You are special! There are 7.4 Billion people in the world and no one is exactly like you. You have unique wiring, special talents and a distinct perspective that is exclusive to you.
It’s easy to forget this sometimes and feel like we’re just average.
You’re not average. You are awesome.
The truth is that we all are.
We begin our lives marching to our own beat. We don’t know any better, we just do what feels right. We are drawn to and excel at activities that are unique to us. We begin to develop big bold dreams.
Unfortunately, many of us lose sight of our uniqueness and those dreams as we try to fit in on our way to adulthood.
Most of us are never taught to understand how we’re wired. Worse, many of us are persuaded to fight our uniqueness and become someone we’re not. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing what we think we should while secretly living a life of quiet desperation.
I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way, right?
I did everything I was supposed to. I went to college, got a “good” job, got married, bought a house … But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.
My discontent grew slowly until I knew that I couldn’t continue living this way for another 30 years. I wasn’t following my dreams and embracing my uniqueness. I was settling for average.
Getting to Know You
I admit that figuring out who I am was not an easy process. We get so used to ourselves that our greatest talents seem normal, like everyone can do them. This is where it really helps to enlist the help of other people who know you well and have your best interest at heart. Ask them about your superpowers, those skills and abilities that set you apart and make you unique.
Think about the times in your life when you have felt like everything is right in the world. What childhood activities got you most fired up? What were your favorite subjects in school?
Consider those moments when the concept of time seems to disappear. What activities do you daydream about? What projects at work make time disappear? What leisure activities do the same? Identify those things that ignite joy.
Throughout this process, it’s important to keep your values and priorities in check. What beliefs do you have that no one can change? What are the most important priorities for you each day? Where are you unwilling to compromise?
This was one of my biggest challenges in the corporate world. I was often told to do things that I knew in my heart were wrong. I learned firsthand that neglecting to build our lives around our values is a huge source of discontentment.
After you do some soul-searching, I recommend investing in personality assessments. These assessments helped me see my strengths more clearly. They also helped me to see my weakness as part of my makeup, rather than flaws. That doesn’t give me a free pass to say, “yeah, I’m not gonna deal with that, it’s just how I’m wired.” Instead, it gives me the insight I need to become the best version of me.
Earlier this year I spent some time comparing the results of every test I’ve ever taken. I found the alignment of the results to be spot on. For example, Myers Brigs classifies me as an INTJ and I’m a DISC-type C with a Creative Pattern. They both list being detailed, creative, insightful, independent and honest as strengths. My greatest weaknesses include being uncomfortable with emotions, resistance to authority, and being honest. Yup, honesty is my strength and weakness. 🙂
I recommend the DISC Personality Profile because of its simplicity and clarity. I also recommend Strengths Finder because it’s more focused on strengths than personality. These two combined will give you a great snapshot of how you are wired to do great work.
Making It Work
When I started exploring me, much of what I know now was buried deep below the surface. There wasn’t a clear connection between what I enjoyed as a child and what I felt were my greatest strengths. As I began taking action I was able to begin making connections.
If you’re just starting out, the process may seem daunting. I promise you’ll find great satisfaction once you begin to connect the dots. Imagine what your days will be like when you start doing work that’s authentic to you. When you understand how special and unique you are, there will be no stopping you.
If you’re looking to jump-start the process, I recommend working with a professional. Ashley Logsdon is an expert on DISC. She teaches coaches how to use the data and is amazing at recognizing patterns. She is currently running a special that includes the DISC assessment, a video, and a coaching call.
When have you felt like there should be more? What did you do to find it?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.