When a woman dares to be an original she is in essence daring to be “herself” and everything that encompasses who she really is. To many of us, that can be a scary and daunting proposition. And why is that? Because it means putting ourselves on the line.
It means subjecting ourselves to scrutiny, judgment and possible ridicule. It means exposure and vulnerability.
Certainly there is more comfort to be found in conformity, lying low, and blending in with the crowd.
There is also boredom, complacency, and the prospect of never living to your potential.
It takes courage and self-confidence to dare to be an original – to reveal your uniqueness and to show that you’re one of a kind. However, as with any frightening endeavor, the rewards of overcoming obstacles and prevailing far out weigh the consequences of not venturing forth.
As Steve Jobs noted in his speech at a Stanford University graduation commencement: “Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
It’s true. Life is too short to live it trying to be anything other than your true, original self. Be who you are, and be it the best way you know how. Celebrate your individuality and uniqueness. Dare to be an original!
Tips on how to be an original or your true self:
•Know who you are
Before you can be yourself, you must know who that is, and then be true to that self. Centuries ago Socrates wisely observed that self-knowledge is the pillar of all virtue. Without it nothing else is genuine.
• Trust your intuition and instincts
Part of knowing who you are is trusting your intuition and instincts. We all have an inner gauge that guides us along our most fulfilling path. Look deep within to find the answers to your life. No one is better at knowing what you need and want from life than you. Of course, it is prudent to listen to the advice of family, friends and professionals, but you are the ultimate authority on you. You are unique and original and no one but you can make your decisions for you. To go against that intuition is to go against your fundamental nature and source of satisfaction.
• Express yourself by cultivating your own style, tastes and personality
Many people try to be like those who seem to be popular. Rather than work on developing themselves they try to copy others and lose themselves in the process. Much time is wasted in such pursuits and the results are disillusionment and feelings of failure. When you work on cultivating your own style, tastes and personality, not only are you genuine and authentic, you’re more interesting and attractive to others. Let go of fear and embrace your uniqueness. Make your life an expression of who you are. As Steve Jobs said, have the courage to follow your heart. If you desire to be an artist, don’t settle for being an accountant because your parents want you to be, or because you can make more money at it. In the end you will lose out because the money won’t matter if you’re unhappy, unmotivated or depressed.
• Believe in yourself and don’t worry about what others think
When you choose the right path for yourself do not allow the opinions of others to distract you. People are good at offering well-intentioned, unsolicited opinions, however only you know what’s best for you. Don’t let a lack of self-confidence or self-doubt prevent you from pursuing what you know is best for you. Let go of your personal insecurities. If you strive to be someone you’re not, you will never be happy. Be yourself. Be proud of who you are. People who have a more positive view of themselves live better, healthier lives.
When you dare to be an original, you dare to be courageous, strong, and vibrant and are willing to realize the full potential of your unique skills and talents.
Benefits of being an original:
• You are true to yourself, therefore derive greater personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
• You are more noticed, interesting, and attractive to others.
• You are willing to take risks, think originally and be creative, therefore are open to greater career opportunities and advancement.
• Due to a willingness to let go of convention, you live life to the fullest and on your terms.
• Whether in your career, the arts, or in your community, you offer a fresh, new, diverse perspective.
• You are usually a trailblazer, set new trends and discover new ways of doing things.
Go and be original!