Growing up, many of us wanted to “fit in” in order to be accepted by our peers and hopefully make some friends. Many years ago, being like other people was considered normal, and anything that was not normal or mainstream was frowned upon. But now, times have changed and being different or weird has become widely accepted and become the “new normal”. Now it’s considered perfectly fine to stand out from the crowd. Why is that? What’s changed?
People are realising that being true to yourself and following your heart gives you a better chance at finding happiness. Being different takes courage, though, and many people find the idea of being different and not be accepted, of standing out and not blending in, a scary prospect. But we are all different, each of us is unique. There is no one else like us in the world. We are being to realise that now, and we are learning to embrace our uniqueness and how useful it can be.
What makes us different or weird can be our “superpower” and we should learn how to use it. For example, shyness can mean you are a great listener. An awkward laugh can make you endearing. These quirks can also make you memorable. You won’t be remembered for doing something someone else can, but you will be remembered for something only you can do. Embracing your differences makes you more authentic, and the world needs more authenticity instead of people pretending to be what they are not. Weirdness and creativity also tend to go hand in hand; much of the worlds greatest art and discoveries have been made by those who many would have considered weird. If you stand out from the crowd, you will be able to find your “tribe”, those who share your weirdness, and will not be alone.
Times are changing, and the time when holding one job for years is gone. Now it’s normal for a person to job hop or works for themselves. The increased use of computers and technology in businesses leads to a lot downsizing, forcing people to find ways to make themselves attractive to those who need their skills. That means they need to learn to stand out.
In the world of business, standing out from the crowd is practically a must for a company in order to get the attention of customers. You need your products to stand out from all the competition who have similar products. You need a brand and logo that will stand out so you will be noticed among all the other businesses out there flooding the market. The business leader also needs to be able to stand out from the crowd and be recognized within the industry.
In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to embrace what makes you different. Know and be yourself. Be confident. Be disciplined. Be friendly and engaging. Have a positive, upbeat attitude. Be passionate. Be a good listener, but also be a good communicator, both in writing and speaking. Be dedicated and involved, making great contributions to you work. Think creatively. Show your worth with results and achievements; show off your skills and toot your own horn once in a while.
The key to standing out is to know what makes you different and use it to your advantage to make yourself memorable. As Joss Whedon has said, “Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset.”
You can learn more about the “new normal” and standing out here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
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