(I am excited that Latotya from PowerfulU Blog is visiting today. As you have probably noticed, I enjoy encouraging others to be who God created them to be. Latoya is continuing in this vein with her own guest blog post. Please read and then share how God has helped you to embrace your unique personality. Blessings, afrotasticlady)
In a world that often embraces cookie cutter personalities, and encourages us to model ourselves after the latest, most famous celebrity; daring to embrace your unique voice can seem revolutionary. I must admit though, I was inspired by afrotasticlady’s series to young girls because I found it to be a neat idea of how to use our life experiences to mentor those who are at a stage in life that you have already passed through. We can all benefit from the experiences of others in one way or another, whether we learn what to do or what not to do.
Here are my thoughts on how to embrace your uniqueness:
Discover what makes you different
In order to embrace something, you must be aware of what it is. Observe your strengths and your weaknesses, your likes and your dislikes, your talents and skill, your opinions and ideas and your dreams and aspirations. Make note of nuances in your character in these areas.
Observe those around you and what they are doing. Can you identify with anyone? Are you drawn to anything similar? This can help you to distinguish yourself. It is important to continually make mental notes of things about yourself that you notice are different from everyone else.
I was always a reader. You could always find me wherever books are located, and so I always knew I had a keen interest in the written word, whether I produced it or it was produced by someone else.
Love what makes you different
Find a level of comfort with what makes you different. Embrace it and treasure it. Do not compare it to others because it is specially given to you to distinguish you from everyone else. Think of what the world would be like if we were all alike. Think of what nature would be like if everything was the same.
Imagine there being only a few colors in the world, a world where there are no shades of your favorite color. The same applies to you. Imagine a world where everyone is identical. Where there are no shades of individuality. In this world everything looks the same. Picture how uninteresting it would be. Your differences help to create a more interesting world. The world is at a disadvantage when we bury our individualities under the weight of being liked by everyone else.
This is not to suggest that you be prideful, but instead, embrace what you are with humility. You are not seeking to throw what you are in other people’s faces but you do not think of yourself any less because of what distinguishes you.
Showcase your talents
With your inner confidence in your God given abilities, you can invite the world to take a look at your talents by stepping out of the shadows and giving them a taste of who you are. Let your light shine. Let your uniqueness be observed. Each time you do this, you get better at it. There is nothing like doing a thing to make you better at doing that thing. It shows that you know what you are capable of and you accept that. You are putting it out there that, this is who I am and I am proud of it.
Refuse to be defined by negative opinions
Be aware of persons who are not appreciative of who you are. Examine your circle by talking to those around you and see how they respond to your intentions. Not everyone can appreciate you for who you are because they probably need to work out their own journey. Do not hold this against them; just understand that if they are not helping you up, you have to decide whether it is worth it.
Some persons in our lives just have to be placed in different categories. Are they supporting who you are or do you need to support who they are? In essence, are they helping you to become a better person or do you need to help them to become a better person? Release yourself from those who seek to hold you hostage with their opinions instead of elevating your character.
Improve your weak areas
Life is about constantly becoming a better version of ourselves. None of us are perfect. We all have areas of our character that could use improvement. That is why we are works in progress. Make mental note of areas that have a negative impact on your life and learn and implement strategies that correct them. We become a better version of ourselves by acknowledging our shortcomings and gradually implementing practices that will change our patterns.
Know that you are God’s grand design
To me, this is the most important step. What could be more valuable than knowing that he who created you had a brilliant plan for your life in mind when you were created. Psalms 139 beautifully captures this thought, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it” (Psalm 139 13-14 NLT). There is nothing accidental about you. You were created with the greatest intentions.
If we seek to live according to who God made us to be then we can operate with confidence in our uniqueness. Whenever you have any doubts, you can go to the source, the Bible, to hear about how keen your creator was in his design of your intricacies.
Latoya blogs about living a life of purpose. She is passionate about inspiring others to explore their God given potential and use their gifts and talents to honor God. You can find her blogging at PowerfulU and on Twitter at@powerfulublog.