Life is full of paradoxes and competing tensions. One tension I believe we all face in life is how to resolve the desire to be accepted by others, to belong to a ‘tribe’ with the equal desire to express our uniqueness.
In the need to feel accepted, it is very easy to allow the external world of peers, family and societal expectations shape our life completely. We can go on for years out of sync with our core values and hiding our inner self. Could it be possible that a lot of our sickness and stress is a result of this imbalance?
I have heard it being said that the most valuable piece of land is the cemetery. It is full of inventions not acted upon, unfulfilled dreams and books not written, Why do people go to their grave without acting on their inner wishes and desires? Could it be again this need for acceptance and a fear of what others will think of them if they fail be one of the main reasons for all this inaction?
What is ironic about life is that often we waste years keeping-up-with-the-Joneses and worrying about how we are perceived by others then suddenly we get to an age where we don’t care anymore- “Take me as I am, warts and all or lump it.” If we are lucky, this confidence to express who we are doesn’t come too late in life and that we have time to act on our dreams and aspirations.
Daring to be different means being vulnerable and living with the real possibility of rejection and being outcasted. At the same time, daring to be different can mean a big step towards a fulfilling life and inspiring others.
So who are you really? How are you different from everyone else? What makes you YOU? What percentage of the secret you, do you ever show to others? What are your core life values and are you living by them?