Why I'm a weirdo and why I'm OK with that...
Last week I talked about how hard I tried to fit in. In high school especially there is enormous pressure to be like everyone else. If you’re not like everyone else, if you’re that little bit different, you’re almost automatically a weirdo. People don’t want to hang out with the weirdo in case other people think they’re weird too. Let me let you in on a little secret. I’m a weirdo. I do things that plenty of people would never do. For a start I get up on a stage, in front of strangers and I tell my deepest darkest secrets. Who does that? That’s weird. It’s certainly not what the majority of people do. But you know what? We are all weirdos. We have things in common of course, and most people's core needs are practically identical: we all want someone to love us, we all want to have at least one friend we can trust, we want to have our basic needs met and we want to be safe from harm. But when it comes to our walks of life, what makes us truly tick, what lights our fire, what fuels our drives, these things are more often than not, DIFFERENT.Being different is more than ok. Being different is AWESOME. For all those times that my younger self wanted to fit in so badly that I wasn’t authentic – I’m sorry. I’m sorry younger version of myself that I let you down. That I let you buy into the lie that you need to fit in or people won’t like you. I know so much better now and it gets better. The older you get, the better you get at picking friends. The better you get at picking friends, the better you get at surrounding yourself with people who value your uniqueness and celebrate it. I am so glad I don’t fit in. The culture and community I grew up in, if I fit in that I’d still be drunk and broke. Hell yes I’m different. I want to change the world. I want to reach into the lives of people that I don’t even know, I want to talk to them every week and I want to impact their lives for the greater good. I want to help people who have no confidence begin to value themselves more. I want to help people who come from the same sort of place as me – the bottom of the shit pile, who don’t have someone to help them grow and develop begin to believe that they are worthy of their dreams. I want to help them create their dreams and achieve them. Yes, that’s different because a lot of people just want to make money and pay for their kids' educations or even more altruistic things, they want to help starving kids, or help disabled people do their shopping, or help people get fit, or adopt kids who don’t have parents. All these things are amazing but they’re not me – I’m different and if we were all the same then those other needs wouldn’t be filled. We’d all be steering the boat and noone would be rowing and we’d never achieve anything. The world works when we embrace our differences and we are true to ourselves and we help others be true to themselves and we each do what we are passionate about. When we let our colours shine and be the best versions of ourselves we are all capable of amazing things. At the very least, when we let our own light shine, we help others let their light shine too. I’m stealing that from Maryanne Williamson quote, which I’ll share properly in a second, but back in my late teens and early twenties I used to perform in talent quests. It was good stage experience if you have none, you get better each time you perform, you learn to get a bit more comfortable with an audience, and you might win some money if you’re lucky. But what would happen to me, was even though I knew what I was capable of, I knew that I could actually sing the house down, and I knew that underneath my shyness I was capable of connecting with my song and blowing an audience away, even though I knew all that, I was shit scared that if I did, someone would cut me down. Someone would say I tried too hard, or that I was a show off. I once actually got abused, I was like 19, and in a Karaoke contest and a lady abused the crap out of me for being too good. I had barely any training and wasn’t making any money or being coached by a label. I was a 19 year old girl, who happened to be talented and she totally roasted me for it. So instead of performing to what I was capable of, I would tone it down. I would play it safe, and tone down my abilities, and try to be more subdued. I got shy. I didn’t speak on the microphone because I thought it would mean I would look more confident and I wasn’t confident and I let that fear hold me back because I didn’t want to stand out.
I found Maryanne’s quote and I stuck it on my fridge. I put it on my desk, and I put it on the back of my door so I would see it when I walked out. The quote goes like this:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God, your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
I love this quote. This quote gets into the deepest part of me and cleans out that filthy doubt that stops me from being the best me I can be. I’m going to link to it on the website so you can download a printable version. Get it through your head. It’s only from witnessing other people get vulnerable and share their gifts authentically that gave me the courage to do this too. It’s only watching other people give it their all that lets me do that too. I get emails on a regular basis from people who tell me that I am changing their lives. I wouldn’t be doing that if I wasn’t letting my own light shine. It’s not just me I’m letting down if I play it small and keep it down low and try and fit in. Being me, sharing my gifts, and letting my light shine is my responsibility because if I don’t, then maybe you won’t see me doing it and give yourself permission too. Maybe if you don’t give yourself permission to shine, then your kids won’t either. My family message me and call me – family I never thought that I would impact and they tell me that just by watching me give it my all and do what I do, it gives them courage and drive to just do what they do and do it with more of themselves.
Who are you responsible to? Who will you impact? Your best friend? Your teacher? That girl who doesn’t even like you? You don’t know who is going to be impacted and encouraged and inspired by you shining. You already ARE different. So embrace it, embrace your own unique colours and go out there and give yourself permission to shine.
Chances are if you’ve got this far, you’ve found at least something of value in this. If this episode has impacted you and you think it would impact others, head to iTunes and leave us a review and a rating. Each time someone leaves a review it boosts our ability to share this stuff with others and reach a wider audience. Share it on your Facebook page, send it to a friend who you know is just waiting for someone to tell them that it’s OK to be you. It is ok, it’s more than ok – it’s awesome. We need each other. We need our differences. Imagine if we all shined in our own way how great the world would be. That’s it for now, thank you so much for sticking around and for your support. I hope you have a super week being your super awesome self and I will see you next week!
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