Are you one of those people who are overly gifted in one (or more) aspects? i.e.
- you are usually taller than the rest;
you are usually more attractive than the rest;
you are usually quicker (in understanding or/and performance) than the rest,
…and that is a real problem because the wish to be fitting in leads you
- to crouch
to act defensively and apologetically
to try and hide your talent
Depending on the culture you are coming from or living in that kind of problem is more or less acute. In Middle-Europe, you can be sure that this is a VERY big problem because the watchword is: “Fit in!” instead of “Stand out!”
I see the result of that watchword in my seminars through otherwise top-presenters who are afraid to show their energy – and that is why they fail to fully capture their audience.
I see it in very attractive women who keep a rather defensive attitude from the beginning to the end of a seminar session only to tell me finally how grateful they are for having received confirmation of their own style and way that they had chosen.
I see it in young project leaders who are put in an informal leadership position by their peers because they are quicker and more reliable than the people actually in charge. They end up in a lose-lose-position between their leadership and their peers, unable to just perform well and do a good job.
For all of you who are induced by group pressure to “fit in” instead of to “stand out” and live your gifts to the fullest and bring the maximum to the world you are living in – to your family, your company, your friends – I have chosen to bring the flower you see at the top of this article:
I am observing it since weeks. It stands alone of its kind in the middle of a large meadow. The higher the grass around it the higher it grows. It keeps standing out. It is tall and strong but agile enough to bend to the wind. We had violent thunderstorms lately but it still stands tall and straight and lovely. It does not inhibit the grass and smaller flowers around to grow and they do not inhibit that flower to grow as it is supposed to do. Each one fulfills its purpose.
THAT IS THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS: everybody has her or his gifts and the best service you can give to society is to explore and to live them fully. People around you will adjust to you. Never do it the other way around.
There is no way to win by denying what you have got.
- If you are tall, stand straight or sit down if you don’t want to overlook others.
- If you are beautiful, greet others with your biggest, open smile so they’ll lose their timidity.
- If you are quicker than others, then strive for the position which gives you the right place in your team.
That is the only way for you to feel free and to perform from your core.
This post is also available in: German