“The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today.” – James Victore
Life can sometimes feel like a relentless school classroom.
Some lessons can be really hard, others are fun, but mostly they’re challenging.
And, it seems, when we don’t quite grasp the lesson, that the teacher shouts louder and louder – you might even find yourself in detention from time to time.
It’s only when we look back on things after the event, with hindsight, that we can see there had been a pattern to the lessons we’d been shown.
But trying tell that to the awkward teenager you once were, struggling to find their place in the big, wide world; not quite fitting in anywhere, even amongst family and friends.
It was a lonely place to be.
Even the thoughts in your head, once a place of solace and comfort, seemed to turn on you and reinforce your sense of displacement and isolation.
But, even in that lonesome state, feeling so cut off, lies your uniqueness, your magic.
That isolation, believe it or not, was actually your greatest gift.
It showed you who you were when you had nothing and nobody to hide it from.
It reaffirmed to you the things you loved, the things that made you feel good, the things that brought you comfort.
Perhaps it was music, art, films, tv, books, collecting stuff.
It might have even been a very specific passion and hobby – owning every piece of merchandise by a specific band or a fascination with tropical fish.
We all had that quirkiness, that interest, that hobby, that passion; we just didn’t value it or consider it worthwhile, and so we relegated to the ‘I’m just weird’ file and locked it away in the hope that nobody ever found out about it.
And then, ironically, as you got older, and found a way to adapt yourself to suit what you believe the world expected of you, you started to long once again for that sense of uniqueness that you had when you were younger but had never fully appreciated.
Suddenly the weird younger version of you doesn’t seem so weird after all, they were actually the version of you closest to following your heart than you ever gave them credit for.
It’s interesting to become aware of how all the things we thought were bad and wrong about us can actually be our greatest gifts.
But that is still true in this very moment.
The longing, the neediness, the anxiety, the stress – whatever it is we are experiencing currently – that too is our latest greatest gift to ourselves.
It points us back to who we truly are.
It reminds us that our quirkiness and our foibles are a part of our uniqueness; they make us US.
So, embrace the weirdness, the quirks, the things you perceive as flaws; they are all a part of the magic ingredients that make you uniquely you.
Once we can learn to accept, even celebrate, our quirks we can begin to use them as a superpower, and then truly start showing up in the world with true, authentic confidence.