Stand Out

Well what a difference some nice weather makes to everyone’s face and the sheer want to get things done. I know it doesn’t suit everybody but it sure makes me a lot happier just to be able to do simple things outside. Manchester of course is known for its rain but the people are bright and breezy. I’ve had a friend calling it Madchester after hearing of recent events that have happened to me. People are strangely different wherever you go and last night I spent the evening interviewing students for a summer internship. Virtually all were from overseas looking for summer jobs between their second and third year at university. Out of around one hundred candidates two or three stood out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not what most people actually want to do. We have a self-protective mentality that generally means most of us just want to blend in and not be different and yet it is that difference that most people also want so they are recognised by others to make them stand out. It’s a strange dilemma when we want to be the same but different. Those who do show themselves as unique either end up rich, famous or quite often ridiculed. I like to see the uniqueness in people, the variety of thinking and the remarkable ways others get enjoyment and find their mojo in life. Knowing your own passions, your true beliefs and values and then being able to sum them up into a story of the who, what, why and where of our lives makes that difference.

We need confidence to stand out though, without it we’ll never be able to achieve what we most want in life. We can all have our confidence dented by the actions of others but building our self-confidence is a valuable exercise. My friend gave a talk at the weekend where she had the attendees shout out and list adjectives about themselves (what they do), followed by nouns (what they are), followed by verbs about themselves (how they do it). Once listed the idea was to pick the words or phrases that resonate best with our own thinking and then put these into a paragraph to concisely say what we are in life and what we stand for. Armed with this knowledge is a confidence builder in itself but the point is that when we have it we can then be it, see it, say it and feel it.

Some really powerful statements came out of the day and I’m sure that all those that attended both enjoyed the excitement of the session and were enlightened about themselves in some way. There really is no feeling like helping others and helping them to help themselves in any way is a confidence booster for both parties. I recently visited a coach who niches his product down to finding your mojo. When you have the story behind the why, how and what you do whatever you do and can give that out in an elevator pitch, your level of confidence will increase simply because of your own knowledge of yourself will boost your ability to do what you do.

Endeavour to stand out and let your real self shine through.

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