This is a question that most of us ask ourselves during the course of our lives, usually more than once. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who was struggling with this question.
She is a personal trainer trying to carve out a niche for herself in Los Angeles, a large task to say the least. Over the past few months, she has asked for advice from several of her friends about how to stand out in a crowded market place.
Most of them seem to agree that she should fill the role of the “sexy, sensual personal trainer” that every man wants and every woman envies. Unfortunately, these well-meaning friends have it all wrong.
You see, my friend is not the “sexy, sensual” type. Yes, she is physically fit. (She is, after all, a personal trainer.) Yes, she is attractive. (She models for fashion magazines, TV commercials, etc.) That does not, however, mean that she is the “sexy, sensual” type. If anything, she is bubbly, goofy, and quirky.
I have known her since junior high. In all these years, she has never been anything but bubbly, goofy, and quirky. It is in her blood. It is who she is. Still, she feels pressure from her family and friends to act a certain way.
Exasperated, she asked me:
I’m tired of being serious, and walking proper because I have to be a certain way. And then when I wear shorts my sister tells me I look like a slut! So if I can’t be me and I can’t be someone else who the fuck am I suppose to be?
I gave her some simple advice: Embrace your weirdness.
“Own your quirks and capitalize on them,” I said.
I explained to her that she does not need to be “sexy.” She needs to be authentic. People love authenticity. They need it; they crave it. If people suspect that someone (or something) is inauthentic, they’ll resent it, especially if they feel like they were tricked into believing something that wasn’t true.
In business and life, you must be authentic to succeed. You can only “fake it” for so long before you get caught. Then, you lose credibility that can never be fully restored.
How can you be more authentic?
Think about what makes you weird and embrace it. Your weird qualities are what sets you apart from the mass of people that roam this planet. Your weird qualities add color to an otherwise “normal” personality. Your weird qualities are what make you unique, so embrace them!
If you are a bubbly, goofy, quirky personal trainer who works in Los Angeles, then be a bubbly, goofy, quirky personal trainer who works in Los Angeles.
For years, I tried to hide my weirdness and blend in with everyone else. In the end, it just made me unhappy. It was only when I started embracing the things that made me weird (which is a lot of things) that I started to experience greater happiness and success. It is only through embracing your weirdness that you will uncover your true character and experience true happiness. To live any other way is simply depressing.
Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment and share the things that make you weird. Go ahead and embrace them!