But more and more I am learning that being Unique is Good. Being Different is Good. Being Different is Good.
Being Remarkable is better. Bland is boring. Conforming is boring. It does NOT get noticed.
Average is average.
Take some time if you have it and watch this video from Seth Godin about Standing Out
He mentions the word:
Otaku (おたく / オタク) is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interest which ends up resulting in those people then talking to others like their friends who also have those types of interest. I call these people "like-minded people".
I want to explore with you what it means to "Stand Out"
The Dictionary Definitions are:
1. to be distinctive or conspicuous2. to refuse to agree, consent, or comply
3. to protrude or project
4. (Transport / Nautical Terms) to navigate a vessel away from a port, harbour, anchorage, etc.
a. a person or thing that is distinctive or outstanding
What speaks to me the most is to be Distinctive, to Project and to be a person that is Outstanding! First it is about BEING that person. Though to be that person does not come easy. To be that person you need to do the other...you need to refuse to agree, consent or comply and you need to navigate away from the port or away from what others are doing. That is not easy for others to do. It is safer for most to stay in the harbor with the other ships. Moor your anchor in the harbor and stay close to dry land, right?
Well for most I could see how that is appealing. Yet, for me it is enlightening to explore what is out there. Standing out is exhilarating and frightening at the same time!
I hate heights. I remember in High School when we had to do the High Dive for PE. I love the water but hate the high dive. We didn't have to do anything fancy, just jump in from the highest diving board. I remember standing on the edge of that board feeling scared out of my wits. I stepped off and through the air I could barely breathe, I landed in the water and felt surrounded by the waves crashing around me. I went down to the bottom and pushed off and came to the top of the water for air, as I reach the surface of the water I was smiling ecstatically and was giggling. My instructor said "I thought you were scared?" I said "I was, but the whole experience combined felt so exhilarating that I have to do it again!"
To me that is what it is like to stand out. In High School I was quite shy. Yes. It is true. I know hard to believe. But a dear friend believed in me and encouraged me to let others see me. He encouraged me to STAND OUT and show the world who I was and what I had to offer. You know what? I was scared as heck. You know what else? I am so glad I did. I didn't know then much about what I wanted to offer the world. I was 16 years old! I knew I loved life. I knew I wanted to make a difference. I knew I wanted to change the world any way I could. I knew I wanted to live life with every breath I could. I knew I didn't want to conform. I knew I wanted to be allowed to be me and I wanted that to be ok.
The even better thing about that time in my life was that I had a few friends who were there with me as I started standing out. This one girl was fearless and just told you like it was. She was by my side all through Junior High and High School. We went to Proms together when no one else would ask us and she would stand up for me when others were mean to me for standing out. Not everyone is lucky enough to have friends like these I know. The funny thing is for years I always thought I didn't have any close friends until I started looking back on my life realizing how much a part of my life these people played in it.
To stand out means being ready for ridicule. It means being Brave. It means being Courageous. It means being strong enough to take the blows because I tell you, they will come. It may mean being lonely. I say MAY because I feel these are two types of Standing Out...the Cool Kind and the Other Kind.
I was not the Cool Kind. I didn't have the popular clothes or the fancy cars. I didn't have the jock boyfriend or the popular friends. I didn't have all the cool classes and hang out with the all the cool groups. I didn't do all the cool things.
Nope. I read Psychology Today and House Beautiful Magazine through High School. I was in Pointe Ballet, Ice Skating, Gymnastics, Modeling and Etiquette Classes right after school and when I wasn't dong that I was in ROP (Regional Occupation Program) for Cosmetology or Banking (Senior Year). I was the only girl in my Basic Computer Class. I took Horticulture, Choir, HandBells and other Geeky classes.
My mother was into Metaphysics and Hypnotherapy and so bringing friends home was NOT the norm. I once brought a friend home and when we walked in my mother was doing a session for a woman with the curtains drawn and candles lit with funky music on and the girl quickly turned around and bolted backwards and said LATER and I never saw her after that. I took Spiritual Training and read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People or The Artist's Way very young while my friends were hanging out at Shakey's Pizza or the Mad Greek across the Street from where I lived on Beach Boulevard.
I STOOD OUT alright, but then I wasn't sure I wanted to....It was great training for later in life...
Now, I STAND OUT because I am willing to. I desire to make a difference. I do not want to be a Cow or a SHEEP and be like the herd. I want to be Unique and Different and be my OWN Authentic Self.
What's it like to Stand Out?