The passing of David Bowie this week got me thinking about courage, being yourself and owning your “weirdness”.
The music industry is filled with examples of people rocking it out in their own way – embracing their unique style loud and proud.
Lady GaGa. Beyoncé. Nicki Minaj. Rihanna.
Back in the day when David Bowie was just getting started, I understand he was bit of a misfit People didn’t get him. They ridiculed him for his crazy style and odd taste in clothes.
As his talent in music and genuine heart as an artist shone through, people began to see him differently. Instead of sniggering and laughing at the Brit with stardust in his hair they appreciated his musical genius and respected his drive for non-conformity.
Can you imagine if David Bowie had tried to fit in like everyone else?
Imagine if he had dimmed down his creative genius?
Or if he’s decided not to be an artist at all because of what “others” thought?
If you can’t relate to David Bowie then just think of your favourite artist. Maybe Beyoncé or Rihanna?
Imagine them playing it safe and not going all out?
They’d lose their star power. Their uniqueness. They’d blend in. They’d be boring.
The world would be deprived of the full spectacle of awesomeness that these artists have to offer.
So what have rock stars got to do with you and your career?
Well in your life you get to be the star of the show.
Whilst we’re not all born to become famous rock stars, I believe we are born to shine brightly as who we are – to live fully embracing our unique weirdness.
Weird is good.
Your quirks make you stand out. They make you human. They make you real.
Embracing them loud and proud makes you feel like you.
Speaking about your quirks attracts your people who “get” you.
All too often I see women telling me they want to pursue something different but they stop themselves from going there because:
- It’s not what’s expected of them
- It’s not practical
- They worry about what others think
And where’s the ownership of your talent in that?
How can you live a life expressing who you really are if you’re not doing work you love and living in fear of what others are going to think?
Whilst you may not want to quit your job to become a rock star today (or whatever your dream is) you can follow these 3 steps to getting started on embracing your inner David Bowie (or Beyoncé).
Step 1: Have fun with your weirdness
We’ve been taught to conform and follow the rules but what if you unleashed your weirdness and had fun with it?
I’m a HUGE stationery nerd and also embracing my spiritual side. Allowing myself to explore and play with these “weird” things makes me feel like more of me. I’ve met interesting people. Engaged in fun conversations and that alone has invited in more joy and fun into my life.
Action Step: Pick one weird thing about you and spend some time nurturing your weird habit.
Step 2: Take a chance expressing the real you
When I was in corporate I’d wear a lot of black, grey, white and beige. I felt I had to dress to fit in. I didn’t really like my work clothes and loved nothing more than to get changed into my comfy clothes after work. Then one day I went on a business trip to NYC and a helpful sales assistant suggested a crazy “out there” patterned skirt. I reluctantly tried it on and LOVED it. When I wore it I felt a little twinge of happiness. A seemingly small thing but it made me happy!
Action step: Dress or wear something daring to the office on Monday. Perhaps it’s red lipstick. Or a colourful top. Whatever it is: start dressing or expressing yourself in a way that makes you feel happy.
Step 3: Find a friend that you can confide in and who loves you because of all your weirdness
Stepping out as who we really are isn’t always easy. It’s important to find a group of people or at least ONE person who’s on your side. Having that support will be critical to continuing your courage to be loud and proud about who you really are.
Action step: Pick someone that you can confide in about the truth of who you are. What you’re feeling. What you’re going through. What you’re afraid of. Reciprocate and support each other.
There is no one in the world like you. So embrace your unique-ness. Have the courage to be you. The world wants to see what you’ve got.
Here’s to you!