There’s something very difficult we must do.
If you’re an artist, you must do this thing again and again.
A writer? You too.
Entrepreneurs? Academics? Yes, you too.
Any of us who want to make a distinctive impact?
We must do this.
Here’s the task: Be different.
Yet our minds tell us: Be the same. Blend in. Follow the ways of the tribe.
We’re hard-wired with the instinct to blend into the group, to find safety in sameness. Long ago, when our physical survival was uncertain and highly dependent on the cohesion of the group, perhaps it was wise to let this instinct dominate.
But now, when it comes to our creative and professional lives, the penchant to conform tags along where it is neither needed or useful.
In my ten years of writing online, the pieces that have resonated the most with audiences are the ones that made my heart pound with fear to publish. Those pieces each seemed alien – even to me – when I looked at the words on the page, like the ideas were so strange. Those writings did not feel like they belonged, yet they are what brought my work the deepest belonging to my readers and my field.
The challenge for all of us, again and again, is to trick (or perhaps more kindly said, retrain) the mind to go for being different, even as it keeps thinking that safety lies in blending in.
And for women especially, the next trick is to remember that we don’t have to change or improve ourselves to do distinctive work. We just need to do our real work, bravely, and unblock the way to our self-expression.
Sending love to you today,