When Daisy needs to make an important decision she doesn’t weigh the pros and cons or try to calculate which choice makes the most sense.

Instead she pays attention to which direction feels right. Her family teases her and treats her like she’s less intelligent because she refuses to be “rational.”

Stewart never wanted to be married, or have 2.5 kids, or a 401(k), or own a four bedroom house in the suburbs. He likes to change career paths occasionally and live in unusual locations.

His friends act like he’s afraid to settle down and have a “real” life. They do a bad job of hiding their concerns that his life will end up being a sad and lonely one.

It can be who you are, how you do things, what you value, even how you think the universe works. It’s never easy to be different.

I see people who are really working to discover and pursue their particular path — one that feels unique to them — frequently get tripped up by the feeling of not fitting in. They get blocked by a perceived need to be seen, understood, appreciated or given permission to live authentically.

If you’re willing to align yourself with the mainstream, then you’ll find a lot of support for and agreement with your (their) values, goals and methods. There is the equivalent of a superhighway to get you to where most of us agree you should be headed.

The more you follow your individual path, the more trailblazing you are likely to have to do. Our collective resources go to support the majority, and they rarely invest in alternative routes.

For those who are struggling with what I call “the blessing and curse of not fitting in,” I offer two points:

1) This is the price of awareness. We want answers about our true identity and purpose, but we don’t always love what they turn out to be. However, once you know your truth it’s very hard to go back. That’s why we often block awareness – it’s not always convenient or easy to follow.

So now that you know, really what choice do you have? Either you make friends and learn to work with it, or spend the rest of your life fighting it.

2) You don’t want to be like everyone else! You would reject and resist a one-size-fits-all path. We all feel some pressure to conform, but deep down you love being unique. Are you really telling me it is your ambition to be easily confused with every other member of the herd?

Think of it as traveling the scenic route. It’s never easier, but the view is a lot more interesting.

The gift of not fitting in is the freedom to not have to vacation at a tourist trap, shop at a strip mall and eat at McDonald’s every single day of your life. You have the option to be free from conformity. It offers you the possibility of following your own path.

You won’t be celebrated for having the courage to be unlike the rest of the group until you are first willing to be the only one to understand, believe in and stand for your truth.

What’s the price or challenge of following your unique path? And why is it worth it? Leave me a comment here.
photo credit: C. G. P. Grey via photopin cc

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