Have you ever felt like you don't quite fit in with the crowd? Have you ever had moments where you felt like you were the only one who didn't quite get the memo on how to be "normal"?
The truth is, there is no such thing as "normal".
We are all unique individuals with our own set of talents, passions, and quirks that make us who we are. It's time to celebrate that uniqueness and take that leap of faith to embrace our authentic selves.
Embracing Your Uniqueness
“What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden and it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.” — Emma Stone
As social creatures, it's natural to want to fit in and be accepted by others. But this can sometimes come at a cost to our authentic selves. We may find ourselves compromising our values, beliefs, or interests to fit in with a particular group or social norm.
Embracing your uniqueness is a journey that requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-love. It requires acknowledging all aspects of yourself, even the parts that you may have been taught to hide or suppress. It also means recognizing your strengths as well as your weaknesses and being honest about your passions and interests, even if they don't fit into the mainstream. There is power in embracing our unique qualities because being different can set us apart from the crowd and potentially lead to personal success.
How to Show Your Uniqueness?
Here are 3 important steps to show your uniqueness:
1) To show your uniqueness to the world, it’s important to first find out what makes you unique!
Ask yourself some questions:
● What do I love doing?
● Why does this bring me joy?
● What am I naturally curious about?
● Who are the people that I love spending time with?
● What are my special talents and how can I use them to help others?
These questions will help kickstart your journey in understanding a little more about yourself and potentially serve as a cornerstone for your journey in discovering the “unique you”!
2) Surround yourself with people who accept and support you for who you are.
Seek out friends and mentors who encourage you to be yourself and celebrate your differences.
While it's great to have a supportive community, remember that not everyone will share your values and beliefs. It's okay to engage with people who have different perspectives from you. In fact, research shows that social diversity can contribute to our creativity, learning and personal growth .
Thus, embracing your uniqueness is also about approaching differing perspectives with an open mind and holding respect for them.
3) Embracing your uniqueness isn’t an easy journey.
You will realise that not all aspects of our uniqueness are ideal or suitable for everyone. Some qualities may be harmful to ourselves or others, and sometimes we may even get criticised for them.
Personally, engaging in positive-self talk and practising self-compassion has helped me to reframe negative thoughts or unfriendly criticism. While it's important to stay true to ourselves and our values, there may be times when we choose to adopt certain social conventions to enhance our personal or professional relationships.
Ultimately, the goal is to strike a healthy balance between being true to ourselves while also being mindful of the impact our actions have on those around us.
How Being Unique Benefits the Workplace?
On the flipside, don't be afraid to embrace your colleagues' uniqueness as well. It is widely known that embracing the uniqueness of others makes your team more cohesive!
There’s a study that explores the impact of celebrating uniqueness among employees in the workplace. The study finds that when employees feel their unique attributes are recognized and appreciated, they tend to experience higher job satisfaction and organisational commitment .
The authors also identify two important factors that can influence the effectiveness of celebrating uniqueness: identification with the work group and supervisor support. Overall, the study suggests that promoting a culture that celebrates individuality and fosters a sense of belonging can lead to positive outcomes for both employees and organisations.
Love Being You!
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that celebrating your uniqueness is a lifelong journey. It's not something that happens overnight, and it requires ongoing effort and self-reflection.
Let’s be patient with ourselves and never be afraid to seek support and guidance from others. When you fully embrace who you are, you become more confident, empowered, and fulfilled. So go ahead and celebrate your uniqueness. The world needs more people like you!
About the Writer
Jeannette Qhek is the Wellbeing Lead at Actxa Wellness, where she curates the wellness curriculum with relevant science-backed content. Extremely passionate about the psychology behind human behaviour, she is now pursuing her Master's in Counselling with Monash University. Her other passion is content creation, and she is part of Tiktok's team of Youth for Good Wellness Education. As part of this exciting journey, she created "Chill By Nette", an online wellness space to share her resources and learnings. Through sharing her voice and creativity, she hopes to make psychological concepts and wellness research knowledge more accessible and fun to the public. Connect more with Jeannette Qhek here ➡️https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeannetteqhek/
Hu, S., & Kuh, G.D. (2003). Diversity Experiences and College Student Learning and Personal Development. Journal of College Student Development 44(3), 320-334. doi:10.1353/csd.2003.0026.
Lee, J., & Robertson, J. L. (2019). The power of uniqueness: The role of identification with the work group and supervisor support. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40(2), 145-160. doi: 10.1002/job.2325