Written By Kirsten Moodie
Here’s Why It’s Okay To Embrace Your Weird
“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” ~Epictetus
Many of us have experienced that twinge of disappointment when we realize that we do not fit into the norm. At first it can be upsetting, believing that you are unlike other people. It can be lonely to imagine that you are just a stranger to others and you simply do not relate to the people around you. Sometimes when we are young we attempt to find ways to shield our differences, blending into our surroundings instead of standing out. High school can be difficult for people who are not typical, since it is a mini-society built on blending in. Some of us have learned to accept our weirdness and let go of those constraints holding us back from being our true selves. Whether you have learned to fully accept yourself or not, here are a few reasons why we believe being weird is actually a good thing.
There Is Nothing Real About Being Normal
Normal is just an idea that we have constructed around being typical or average. No one person truly fits into the definition of normal, we all have our quirks. No two people are absolutely identical, making normal just a silly idea. Some people say that being normal is boring, well I say that being normal is unrealistic. Sure, we all have qualities that are more typical and some people have more of those qualities than others. They may fit very well into whatever society has deemed normal for that time, but normal is a constantly changing idea. What was normal 50 years ago, is actually rather unusual now. The idea of being normal, is just a pair of societal shackles that we place upon ourselves. Sometimes it feels safer to fit into what society tells you is acceptable, because you can’t really be judged when you live inside that safety net. There is nothing wrong with being someone who enjoys following trends, if that is truly who you are. Being what others consider average or typical isn’t bad, as long as you are being true to yourself.
Anyone Who Is Improving Is Going To Be Considered Strange
When people break out from the norm, they are often considered strange. Many of the world’s most profound inventions or ideas, were once deemed strange or even insane. Some of the smartest people to set foot on this earth, were once considered very unusual. They weren’t “normal” simply because they allowed themselves to step outside of their comfort zone. They didn’t fit into what society considered average, but they were also being true to themselves. That’s not to say that none of these incredible minds experienced fear when they allowed themselves to stand out. Just because someone is brave, does not mean they were not afraid at some point. We can’t fully know how terrifying it was for those people to take a chance, for them to be considered weird or even crazy. The point is that when you are improving upon yourself- when you are growing- you are often going to get a few judgmental glances.
You don’t need to return the anger towards those people who judge you for your differences. Those people are simply afraid themselves, afraid and probably confused. They may even see a part of themselves in you and it makes them frustrated. When you are willing to stand out from the crowd and stand up for yourself, you are stirring something up inside people that may scare them. Try to accept the fact that this is just as hard for them as it is for you. They may not be as strong as you are, and you make them feel inadequate. Sometimes we shut ourselves off from the people who challenge us, because it is unnerving to be pushed past our “normal” boundaries. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is no small feat, it is scary and often confusing. When you push the limits and shake things up in your own world, you are creating waves that affect the people around you. These waves are capable of making incredible beauty, but they are also capable of making others feel like they are drowning. Allow people to be afraid and learn how to stop taking their criticism as a personal attack. When they attack you, they are attack the parts of themselves that they are afraid to accept. It truly isn’t about you, learn to move on from their grief and do what you can to push forward.
Your Strength Lies In Your Uniqueness
The parts of you that are considered strange or unusual, are often where your strength lies. Things that are often considered odd, are what makes you capable of achieving greatness. People who are shy are often very good at helping others because they observe their surroundings excellently. People who live inside their own minds, are often intensely thoughtful and intelligent. The people who speak in a way that confuses others, often have a truly incredible talent for writing. If you learn to embrace the things that make you different or make you feel alienated, you will most likely discover the most powerful part of yourself.
These things about yourself that seem odd, are the things that make you truly memorable. Some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring creations were once considered strange. Pushing the limits and exploring the bizarre, is how we reach towards achieving greatness.
Standing Out Is How You Find Your People
When you allow yourself to truly embrace all of the aspects of your personality, you will find people who accept those things as well. Embrace your ordinary, embrace your boring, but also embrace your uniqueness, your oddities. When you get to know the deepest reaches of yourself, you allow others people to do so as well. I can guarantee you, that you will find people who love your idiosyncrasies. Those little quirks are what make you authentic, they are what make you who you are. People struggle when they hide themselves from others. When you do this you aren’t allowing yourself to find people who truly accept you. You are allowing them to see pieces, and they are drawn to the lie. When you accept yourself, it allows other people to see your truth.
To say there is nothing shameful about you, is probably not entirely true. We all have our flaws, but there is beauty in even the darkest places. Learning to love yourself allows others to return the favor. Being more accepting of yourself, also allows you to learn how to truly love others. When you accept your own mistakes, you become a more forgiving and appreciative human being.
This Is Your Sweet Spot
It isn’t as simple as just being unusual that makes you excellent, it takes time and acceptance to get there. When you learn to accept your true nature, you learn to grow as a person. Embracing the truth, helps you to discover where you want to be in the future. Denial never helped anyone reach their full potential, just like smothering a fire never kept anyone warm. I’m not telling you to shove your light in other people’s face, I’m just telling you to love yourself and accept your weirdness. It’s good to care how your actions will affect others, it is important to find the line and live right there. Find ways to be yourself, without putting out the fire in others. When you are accepting of who you are and accepting of others as well, only good can come from this. Appreciating yourself and others, is not the same as being self-important. Arrogance and love cannot live in the same space.
Remember that no one is completely normal, we all have our quirks. There is beauty in the flaws and in the rarities. Being “weird” or unusual isn’t something we should deem as a negative. The oddballs, the misfits, the eccentrics- we are the geniuses, the lovers, the dreamers and the truly extraordinary.