Dare to Be Different: Unleash the Power of Your Unique Self
Do you feel different from everyone around you?
That may seem like an odd question, but as a strength and conditioning coach, I often see people working relentlessly to conform to a societal ideal of physical appearance.
Believe me, I get it. The world expects us to play a part and wants us to look the part. Woman. Man. Mother. Wife. Breadwinner. Boss. Grandparent. Champion.
Yet, these expectations are nothing more than a widely held (but fixed and oversimplified) image of a particular type of person.
In the face of these expectations and scrutiny surrounding a multitude of stereotypes, we’ve all tried and failed at some point or another to fit into a mold we weren’t made for.
We’ve failed because of one simple, yet profound truth...no two people are alike.
While there are some similarities between people, each person has a unique personality, perspective, and life experiences that make them different from everyone else.
You are, therefore, different.
You are different from everyone else, and that's what makes you special. So, I hope you not only feel different but embrace it wholeheartedly.
You were planned before you were born. God didn't randomly assemble a collection of components; instead, He purposefully and personally designed you. You are unique, and God intended for you to be uniquely you, offering your distinct self to the world (Jeremiah 11).
If you spend even a second of your valuable time trying to fit into this world, you’ll most likely lose yourself. The fragments of individuality that make you special will slowly get crushed by the pressure of trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t made for you.
“THE most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.”
— Thomas Merton Daring to be Different
Daring to be different is a courageous act of self-discovery and empowerment. Let’s look at some actionable steps, infused with the spirit of courage and guided by the tenets of faith, to embrace and celebrate the distinctive essence that defines you.
Affirmations of Divine Creation
Begin your day with affirmations that recognize your uniqueness as a divine creation. Affirmations such as "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" or "I am a unique expression of divine love" can help instill a sense of purpose and value in your individuality. This faith-based practice encourages a positive mindset and reinforces the belief that your uniqueness is intentional and part of a greater plan.
Prayer for Self-Discovery
Incorporate prayer into your routine as a means of seeking guidance and self-discovery. In open, heartfelt conversations, express gratitude for your unique qualities and ask for insight into how you can best use them. This spiritual practice can provide clarity on your strengths and passions, helping you embrace your individuality with a sense of purpose.
Scripture Meditation on Identity
Select scriptures that emphasize the idea of individuality and purpose. Spend time meditating on these passages, allowing the wisdom and promises within them to permeate your thoughts. Reflect on verses such as Psalm 139:14 ("I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made") or Jeremiah 29:11 ("For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"). This practice can serve as a daily reminder of your unique identity and the divine purpose woven into your existence.
Gratitude Journaling for Unique Gifts
Maintain a gratitude journal specifically focused on your unique qualities and talents. Regularly jot down moments when you recognize and appreciate your individual strengths. Whether it's a skill, a character trait, or a personal achievement, acknowledging and expressing gratitude for these aspects of yourself reinforces a positive self-image grounded in faith. This practice can also help you become more aware of how your uniqueness positively impacts others.
Community of Faith-Filled Encouragement
Surround yourself with a community of faith. Engage in conversations with like-minded individuals who appreciate the group’s diversity of gifts and talents. Share your experiences and listen to others' stories of faith and uniqueness. This mutual reinforcement can be a powerful motivator as you embrace your uniqueness.
In a world that often values conformity, you can dare to be different because you are.
Your authenticity is a gift.
Stand firm in this gift and offer the world the beautiful, one-of-a-kind person that you are.
Dedicated to your success, Sam