Live Boldly: How to Find the Courage to “Stand Out”

TrapezeBy Jay Forte

“They laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at them because they are all the same.”

When you look and act like everyone else, two alarming things happen:

1. You don’t play to your unique abilities and greatness, and

2. You blend.

You weren’t born to blend; you were born to stand out. You are different, unique, and amazing so that you can find your way in a world of 7 billion people. Your specific talents, strengths and passions are your competitive advantage – your built-in abilities. When you discover what you rock at, you not only find you road in life, but you live your “stand out.”

Despite this amazing and intrinsic ability to stand out, most of us choose to blend. We dress alike. We sound alike. And when someone challenges the conventional, we immediately see them as weird and a misfit. Instead, they are actually the ones who fit – they fit their own definition of life. We, on the other hand, are not living true to who we are when we let others tell us who we should be. We have such a need to feel accepted by becoming who others want us to be that give up on our greatest gift – our uniqueness and the opportunity to make a profound impact on our world with what it is we are great at.

As a speaker, life coach, and founder of an organization that focuses on helping people discover and live authentic and powerful lives, I am always on the search for those who live authentically. In virtually every case, their intention wasn’t to outwardly or boldly challenge the conventional, rather it was just to be true to who they are – on the inside.

In talking with those who boldly live who they are, I find it is courage that allows them to stand out. So let’s follow this back. What encourages their courage? Meaningful choices. When they chose things that fit who they were, they saw the impact of their great choices which fed their courage. And what preceded their great choices was clarity – they know who they were.

Here is the lesson for all of us. When we are consciously aware of our unique abilities – our particular talents, strengths and passions – we have valuable and meaningful information about us. We then use the information to make choices that fit us; we feel capable and competent. This drives our courage to continue to make good choices for who we are. This courage allows us to be who we are – however different it may be – in a world that loves for us to all look and act like everyone else.

So the next time you see someone stand out – catch your inner critic ready to judge them, hold them to your standard and criticize them as different and weird. Instead, consider applauding them for having the courage to live to their own standard – then use them as an inspiration for you to do the same.

What areas of your life do you blend in – and how can you change this? In what areas of your life do you stand out – and how can you continue this?

Someone greater than you thought you should be you – and made you to be distinct, different, unique and amazing. Why not show it off? Let’s get to a place where we applaud people for being who they are instead of judging them as weird just because they don’t look, sound and act like everyone else. None of us were born to blend; we were all born to stand out.