Have you ever been laughed at, criticized, or just felt out of place in the world? Most of us have been in situations where we felt that we didn’t quite fit in, and unless you are one of the few who are born with a golden spoon in their mouth, chances are you have had to work hard to feel accepted and appreciated as an individual.
For those of us who march to the beat of a different drum, or for those of us free thinking individuals that aren’t content to follow blindly along with what everyone else is doing, we have three choices: self hate and dislike our individuality, lash out against others and become resentful towards a world that is different than us, or accept who we are and learn to exist independently of the rest of the world.
Problem 1: Self hate against our individuality.
The first major issue we often face as individuals and free thinkers is that we often criticize and put ourselves down because of our differences. In a world where following along with the crowd is rewarded with praise and acceptance, it can be difficult to be different. We should never strive to “be” in opposition to the everyone else, but we should instead seek to be the type of person WE desire to be.
Do not compare yourself with others, and while you may be aware that you are different from others, understand that everyone has differences that make them unique from others, some people are just more willing to hide them and attempt to blend in.
You are who you choose to be. Don’t choose to be the victim; don’t choose to be the person who hides their differences in the darkness; be a light and shine who you are, be proud of who you are- even if you are different than the rest.
Problem 2: Lashing out against conformity.
In an attempt to protect ourselves and who we are, people will often attack conformity and become flagrant non-conformists. We can all relate to meeting a hater, you know, the person who constantly criticises EVERYTHING.
Have a song you like? They hate it.
See a T-shirt you like? They liked it before it was cool, but now that everyone else wears it, they hate it.
Planning a trip to Paris? They wouldn’t go to Paris if it was free, everyone goes to Paris!
Don’t become resentful at others for being different from you, and don’t even become resentful that most people enjoy the same trends, cycles, interests, and beliefs. It just is what it is, and lashing out at others only adds negativity to your own life. Trust me, the world can be negative enough already, it doesn’t need your criticism.
Create your own happiness and acceptance.
If you focus on your differences and compare yourself to others, it is easy to feel alone, isolated, and out of place, but if you focus inwardly, you can often find strength in being different. Think about it, most people are unhappy, unfulfilled, and lost in the world, people just smile and go through the motions because it’s what is expected of them.
Your happiness and acceptance should come from yourself. Take a look at who you are, find ways to improve, focus on becoming the person YOU want to be and forget everything else.
- The love and acceptance bubble
Picture yourself in a bubble. The bubble contains everything you want and need to be happy and entertain yourself. Whatever is happening outside of your bubble is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is you, your bubble, and the space inside of it. Inside your bubble there is nobody to judge or condemn you, there is no one to tell you how to act or behave, and there is no one to compare yourself to: there is only yourself, and you create the self you want to be.
- Wabi- Sabi
Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese worldview of accepting that imperfection is beauty. Pretty much everything we consider beautiful in the world, we do so because it stands out from the “norm”. If there was an eiffel tower in every city, how would we feel about going to see the one in Paris? The greatest joys and sights in life exist because of their rarity. Beauty is rare, and beauty is almost always unique and special.
Embrace your individuality, and find your acceptance and love within your bubble. You don’t need the world to love and accept you, first love and respect yourself and the world will come to love you too.
The world is a wave, and you can either let it consume you, you can fight against it and be taken under, or you can learn to let go and ride the momentum. Don’t fight to be different, and don’t become the victim to your differences, just choose who you want to be and be.
What obstacles are stopping you from loving and accepting yourself? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!