Figuring out who you really are and what makes you unique is a tricky business but an important one.
I'm not sure I'm 100% there myself and as with everything in life it is always an ongoing journey. Today though I wanted to look at the importance of understanding your uniqueness, embracing it and using it to help you more effectively especially with regards to your career and moving forward successfully.
Perhaps in generations past peoples uniqueness was not so easily celebrated as it is today. Conformity was more standard and those that stood out from the crowd could be frowned upon and misunderstood. But times have changed and now your uniqueness can be your greatest asset. Don't be afraid to be yourself because that is why you are so special.
UNIQUENESS IN LIFE
1. Your personal beliefs. We are all bought up with different beliefs and in different cultures and this can inform a great deal of who we become. We don't necessarily have to believe in the same thing as our families and friends but it is this learning about what we stand for and believe in that helps to set us apart from others and teach us more about who we are.
2. The experiences that have built you. Good or bad, life experiences will change and inform the person you are and are going to become. Whether that be overseas travel, coping with the loss of a loved one and everything or anything else in between. It is all valid and it all has a binding effect on who we become. When it comes to the bad - as painful as it may be, the trick is to find a way to learn and survive. Be driven by it but don't let it own the entirety of the person that you become.
3. The code by which you live. Here I'm really talking about morals, ethics and at a very basic but important level your attitude and manners. Being unique doesn't give you a license to be unkind or rude. The code by which we live will create the strength and standing of the person that we embody.
4. Your personal style. Here I'm talking about all sorts of things. Of course personal style, this is the greatest outward way that you can express yourself. Style doesn't just mean the clothes that you wear, although that can be a great tool for showing a glimpse of who you are, but your personality is also your style - your signature if you like. Smile and the world smiles with you! Are you bubbly, calm, enthusiastic, kind, gentle - the list goes on, but don't forget this is key to the uniqueness of you. Here I'm also going to include things like your accent and where you come from (maybe wrongly) but I think this is a great attribute to the style of you. When I was at drama school we were all encouraged to learn RP - Received Pronunciation or Standard English as it is better known. Yet everyone was encouraged to keep and embrace their own personal regional accents. This marked a significant change in the way people were starting to perceive things - embracing and indeed craving to hear and learn more about people from all walks of life and not just expecting us to all speak, walk and talk the same. Unique!
5. The relationships you keep. The relationships you have with your friends and family are unique and special to you and will also form a part of who you are. I'm not necessarily even talking about good relationships here but the way you interact with others is a big tell to who you are. Are you polite, loving, cold? Either way this still makes you special and is part of who you are in comparison to someone else.
6. The dreams and ambitions that you have. I talk a lot about setting and achieving goals on this blog but your personal aspirations and dreams for the future also make up a huge part of your own unique formula. Whether motivated or disappointed by your hopes and dreams the way you look at life and your future will set you apart from others around you.
It's also important that when searching for a job and attending an interview your use your uniqueness to stand out in their minds. You may have all of the necessary experience but so might the other 10 people that they have seen that day. You need to stand out and make them remember you. I'm not talking doing something crazy here! The best advice I've found comes from the article below from the Undercover Recruiter - Don't Be Afraid To Be Human!
How To Stand Out In Your Interview - The Undercover Recruiter
What has your journey to understanding more about who your are entailed? Do you have any advice or tips to share?