OK, so I am weird. I have always been weird. It wasn’t a learned thing … it is just that, as Jessica Rabbit said in the movie Roger Rabbit, “… I was drawn that way”. My o-so-very-concerned parents spent their lives trying to un-weird me. As a matter of a fact many people along the way have been determined to un-weird me … unfortunately for them, and fortunately for me, it was to no avail.
Now I admit there were many times when I fell into the trap of thinking that my weirdness was a burden and a detriment in my life. I even took it upon myself to try to stuff away my weirdness and hide it … thinking I might be able to move through life better that way. I actually got pretty good at that, particularly during my years in the corporate world as I climbed the corporate latter. Alas, I ended that game abruptly about 20 years ago. I couldn’t do it anymore and live with myself.
I have, as some of you perhaps, been reflecting on the impact of David Bowie on my life since he moved on. Yes, he was one of the world’s great creators … a singer, songwriter, musician, performer and artist. But, he was also a man who, particularly during the 60s – 80s, for those of us growing up then and who loved him, made it OK to be whoever we were no matter how outlandishly weird we seemed to the world. It was one of the reasons why he so deeply touched so many of us … it is hard to describe now, but looking back it really was that he demonstrated and encouraged and celebrated that weird was not only OK but it could be seen & heard and even successful. Thank you, David!
We make up so much about our weirdness. We use it to separate ourselves from others. We use it to make ourselves wrong. We worry about it, are careful with it, modify it, hide it and listen to anyone who vilifies it. How odd. I mean, most of us were born with elbows but we don’t shun them. Elbows are not particularly beautiful things, but they are very useful and we accept them. Just like elbows, some of us were born with weirdness, but we don’t necessarily treat it as useful and with the acceptance that we treat elbows. It might be a good idea.
So, why am I focusing on weirdness? Well, I think that for many of us who are creative and are Artists, it is that thing that, if we actually allow our selves to be weird vs. trying to stuff it, weirdness can be our greatest asset – like a Superpower. But, like any Superpower, the tricks to have it be the amazing asset are: 1) Acknowledge that it is a Superpower 2) Own it 3) Fine tune it.
Here are some ways that I strengthen my Weirdness Superpower:
- I honor it and stand up for it! – When someone makes a point of letting me know how weird I am I actually say, “Thank you!” – no backing down, no apologies anymore!
- I don’t try to hide it. – I have stopped trying to cover it up with friends, family, clients, peers … they get to see it just like they get to see my commitment, my love and my other assets.
- I separate my weirdness from being a jerk. – I am very clear that weirdness is not an excuse to do things that hurt others or insult others or destroy things. I don’t push it on people or think I am better because I am weird; I just let myself be me.
- I have let go of trying to make my life and business normal. – I really do allow myself to live my life on my terms and get tickled as my businesses keeps expanding BECAUSE of my weirdness vs. in spite of it.
- I incorporate it in with my other assets. – We all have multiple assets. I don’t just run with my weirdness alone … I use it along with my training, my education, my experience, my skills, my knowledge and my drive better my crafts and to always be the best whole me I can be.
- I use it. – I put it to work, I tap into it, I create with it, I offer it to others, I capitalize on my uniqueness, my difference.
- I celebrate it. – I actually get excited and pat myself on the back for the ways my weirdness helps others and me accomplish things. I work with other weird people and celebrate them and encourage their weirdness.
So how do you put your weirdness to work as the asset it is? Well first … let it out. Be wildly creative, be daring, be different, be adventurous … Really let it out! Allow yourself to be the King or Queen of weirdness! Do you REALLY want to try to fit into some box like everyone else? Do you REALLY want to spend your time trying to deny who you are? Now, just like me at one point in my life, you may be thinking, “Well, yeah I do … I want to fit in and I want that lifestyle and it would be so much easier.” But if you tap really deep inside you know it would just be a sham and totally unfulfilling.
Let’s think about it … do you really think that people hire Artists and creative people or go looking for Art because they want more conventionality around them? Bottom line: People can find conventionality anywhere … they are seeking your weirdness! Do you really think that other people have no desire to stand out and be unique and strive to have their businesses, products and services stand out from the crowd? It is one of the biggest marketing challenges in business and you, with your Superpower, have it naturally!
What would happen if we all just acknowledged our weirdness and let it shine? Perhaps, you can create more because you allow for more out-of-the-box thinking; perhaps you actually soar higher because you are just allowing yourself to be you. Perhaps, if we strive to simple be ourselves vs. like everyone else that is where life takes off. Perhaps it is our weird thoughts, our weird creations and our weird contributions that can alter a business, people and the world!
What parts of your weirdness Superpower can you put into motion today?
The weirdo in me honors the weirdo in you!
As always, I would love to hear what you are thinking … feel free to share with me/us … the diversity of comments I often get are such a pleasure for me to read and often opens up whole new views for me and I bet for others who read them also. Oh, and I promise not to think anything you say is too weird!