I’m so happy that you’re taking the time to read this post on my new website Unique and Thriving. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better.
So what’s Unique and Thriving all about? Why have I set up this website and this blog?
I believe that every person is unique. Even if you’re a twin or a triplet, there is no one else exactly the same as you. There never has been and there never will be. Your experiences, your natural gifts and abilities, your interests, together with your values and the way you view the world, all combine to make you a totally unique individual. As the old saying goes: ‘they threw away the mold after they made you.’
So how do you rate yourself on a scale of one to ten? Are you reasonably comfortable being you or do you wish you were fundamentally different? The reality is that while we like some things about ourselves, most of us are uncomfortable with other bits. We look at people we admire and wish we were a little more like them. We wish we were kinder, more ambitious, independent, organised or creative. We wish were had more empathy, positivity, decisiveness, ability to adapt or whatever. We focus on what we aren’t.
An independent person will be hard on themselves for not being very aware of other people, while someone with a strong value of empathy wishes they could put themselves ahead of everyone else, just for once. We constantly compare ourselves with others and come up short. The crazy thing is that what we dislike about ourselves is the flip-side of what makes us amazing. By focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves, we stop seeing our strengths.
So why do we focus on our perceived failings?
We reject aspects of ourselves because we all have a deep need to be loved and belong. We’re afraid that if other people see things in us they don’t like, they will reject us. Your fear of rejection is an emotion inbuilt to protect you. In caveman days, you had to belong to a clan or you wouldn’t survive – it was as simple as that. Today you will survive physically if people reject you, but your primitive fear of rejection can make it difficult to be yourself if you think others will disapprove of you.
And let’s face it, as children when we did things our parents didn’t particularly like we experienced their disapproval in some form or another. And it’s not just when we were children that we experienced disapproval. As adults, people in almost every aspect of our lives shun us or figuratively shut the door on us when don’t conform to what they expect or want from us. We’ve been trained from babyhood to fit in and be what others want us to be or face the consequences. Even those lucky ones of you with parents who encouraged you to be yourself, there will be times when you want the approval of a particular individual and try to please them.
Those around you need you to be you, not some poor imitation of others. You have something special to offer that no-one else can, just as each herb or spice brings a different flavour to food.
My goal for Unique and Thriving is to share what I’ve learned about being true to myself and to learn from others on who are on a similar journey. Deep down we all long to be loved and accepted for who we are. The first step to being loved and accepted by others, is to love and accept yourself. Over the next few days, remind yourself frequently that you are unique and amazing. There is no one else like you and because you are here, the world is a better place.