Advertising

Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Nobody Is Special, and That’s Great

Advertising
Nobody Is Special, and That’s Great

It is common to see certain people as wholly unique, that there is something special about them. We look at great innovators like Elon Musk, and think he is special because not many people think they have what it takes to revolutionize travel on land an in space. Even figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger we regard as special, after all, we think, it must take a special person to become the strongest man in the world, a movie star, and a state governor.

Most people imagine them as black swans, who stick out from the others and their individuality is worthy of praise. But very few swans are black, yet does this mean that ordinary swans (or ordinary people) are without value? Clearly not. Each are unique.

But this raises an interesting point. If each of us are unique and special, then that must mean that none of us are. If the norm is special, then being special is meaningless.

Advertising

    If this is the case, then where does our obsession about being special come from?

    By Default, Everyone Thinks They’re Special

    We are hard wired to feel special, or otherwise want to feel special. On top of this, our parents tend to see us as special from birth (after all we are their children and are special in that sense). This makes us either want to be special to justify their views, or grow up thinking we are naturally unique and special.

      From childhood we see those who are seen as smarter, more attractive, or charming succeed where most of us don’t. Deep down we all want recognition, its simple human nature. So when we see others getting it, we either get jealous, or think them uniquely special.

      Advertising

      When we get recognition, our confidence and self esteem grows, this can be extremely good for you, but can also have the affect of having an overly inflated sense of worth and pride, and thus think ourselves special to everyone else.

        Feeling “Special” Is Dangerous

        No matter how much we want ourselves to be the special ones, most of us are just ordinary. Some people are simply better than others at things.

        This might seem as an insult for some, but think about it, it is impossible to be great at everything. Though some people might be better than you at one thing, you might be better than them at something else.

        Advertising

        Sure, we can look at people like Schwarzenegger or Elon Musk as if they are special. But there are things that you can do that they would struggle with. The issue is, we only see the things that they are great at. I might, for example, cook better than Elon Musk, or write better than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

        This view of only seeing the positives and great attributes can apply to our view of ourselves too. Someone who is extremely prideful and sees themselves as incredibly special, will naturally have a limited view of themselves. They will be blind to their problems and flaws and negative sides.

          This is a major problem in itself, without knowledge of your flaws, after all, it is impossible to improve yourself. The person who sees themselves as special would in fact be in a worse place than most people in the world, people who want to improve themselves.

          Advertising

            Redefining “Special”

            There are roughly 7.442 billion people in the world right now, and that number is increasing rapidly. Therefore the possibility than any one of us is more gifted than anyone else is borderline statistically impossible. Things I’ve experienced have been experienced by many thousands before me, and many thousands will experience the same after me, it is inevitable.

              So with this, perhaps the only way to be special is to feel good about ourselves. If nobody is truly special, then why need to focus on those seen as greater? If nobody is born special then there is nothing stopping you achieving as they have.

              Advertising

              This idea may be disheartening at first, but I think there is something liberating about it. There is no longer any pressure to feel like you have to be special and great at everything.

              Everyone is unique in the sense that there is nobody in world who is them. There never has been before, and never will be ever again. So instead of trying to be better than everyone else and unique, what’s left is to be great in your own way. You might love to draw and are great at it (I’m certainly not!) so why not just celebrate your drawing skills. Maybe you won’t end up being the next Michaelangelo, but why should that stop you?

              More by this author

              Anna Chui

              Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

              The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

              Trending in Positive Thinking

              1 How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary 2 Signs You Need an Attitude Adjustment (And How to Do It) 3 15 Habits of Highly Miserable People 4 How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others & Celebrate Your Uniqueness 5 Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on July 21, 2021

              How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

              Advertising
              How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

              When someone says, “I can’t do it” . . . I say to myself, “What do you mean you can’t do it?” Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story.

              With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.

              Can’t is a terrible word and it has to be taken out of your vocabulary.

              By saying you can’t do something, you’re already doubting yourself, submitting to defeat, and you’re making that barrier around your life tighter.

              So today, right now, we are going to remove this word for good.

              From now on there is nothing we can’t do.

              “Attitude is Tattoo”

              Your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and how, your facial expression, emotions, body language, and potentially the end result. How you approach an opportunity, and the result of it, is solely based on you — not your boss or your co-worker or friend.

              If you enter a business meeting with a sour attitude, that negative energy can spread like wildfire. People can also feel it — maybe even taste it. This is not an impression you want to leave.

              Advertising

              Now imagine you enter a business meeting with a positive attitude, that whatever happens in here is going to be your result, in your control, not someone else’s. Of course, we can’t always win, but even if the outcome is negative, your attitude and perception can turn it into a positive. The question is: can you do it?

              Of course you can, because there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

              It’s much better to be known for your positive attitude — your poise, your energy, the reason why things go so well because you are able to maintain such character. A negative attitude is easy. It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to be mad, and it’s even easier to do nothing to change it.

              When I say your “attitude is tattoo”, it sounds permanent. Tattoos can be removed, but that’s not the point. Your attitude is like a tattoo because you wear it. People can see it and sometimes, they will judge you on it. If you maintain a negative attitude, then it is permanent until you change it.

              Change your attitude and I guarantee the results change as well.

              Believe You Can Do It

              Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything?

              It’s our lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. The one thing we have to purge from ourselves is fear — fear of bad results, fear of change, fear of denial, fear of loss, the fear that makes us worry and lose sleep. Worrying is the same as going outside with an umbrella, waiting for rain to hit it. Stop worrying and move on.

              Confidence is fragile: It builds up slowly, but can shatter like glass. Project your confidence and energy into believing in yourself. This is a very important and groundbreaking step — one that is usually the hardest to take. Start telling yourself you can do something, anything, and you will do it the best to your ability. Remove doubt, remove fear, and stick with positive energy.

              Advertising

              Learn how to boost your confidence: How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

              Embrace Failure

              Do not fear failure. Do not run away from it. Face it, learn from it, grow, and take action. Just remember: You will never know success if you have never failed.

              Your confidence will bolster after embracing these facts. You will be immune to demoralizing results, and instead you will find ways to fix it, improve upon it, and make it better than before. You will learn to never say “can’t,” and will realize how many more opportunities you can create by removing that one word.

              Don’t let one simple and ugly word plague your confidence. You’re better and stronger than that.

              Start Making the Change

              But to actually start the process of change is very challenging.

              Why is that?

              Fear? Time? Don’t know how — or where — to start?

              It’s hard because what we’re doing is unlearning what we know. We are used to doing things a certain way, and chances are we’ve been doing them for years.

              Advertising

              So here are some ways that I avoid using the word “can’t”, and actually take the steps to put forth the change that I wish to see. I hope you can incorporate these methods into your life.

              Write down What You Want to Change

              Write it on post-its, notecards, whatever makes you comfortable — something you will always see. I usually write mine on post-its and put them all over the wall behind my monitor so I always see them.

              Tell a Friend and Talk About It

              Discussing your goals, what you want to change, is very effective when you say it out loud and tell another person other than yourself. It’s almost like saying, hey, I bet I can do it — watch me.

              When you fulfill that goal and tell your friend, it feels rewarding and will motivate you to do it again in a different aspect. Who knows? Maybe your friend adopts the same mindset as you.

              Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word

              Sometimes,I can’t control myself in public when I’m with friends, so I have to be careful with the words I use so I don’t embarrass or insult anyone.

              Treat the word “can’t” as the worst word you can possibly use. Stop yourself from saying it, mid-sentence if you must, and turn your whole perspective around — you can do it, you will do it, and nothing is impossible!

              Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

              You think this change will be overnight? No way. This is a practice. Something you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life from now until forever.

              As I said earlier, you are unlearning what you know. You know how easy it is to say you can’t do something, so by unlearning this easy practice, you’re self-disciplining yourself to live without boundaries.

              Advertising

              Practice this everyday, a little at a time, and before you know it, the word can’t will not be part of your language.

              Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty

              When I catch myself saying I can’t do something or I don’t know something, looking up information on that action or subject, doing research, educating yourself, relieves that uncertainty.

              Sometimes, we think we can’t do something because the whole idea of it seems too large. We skip the small steps in our head and only focus on the end.

              Before you say you can’t do something, rewind and slow down a little bit. Focus on what the first step is, then the next. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it you will have done something you previously thought you couldn’t do.

              Final Thoughts

              You know what you must do. The first step is right now. Once you begin this habit, and really start noticing some change, you’ll realize the door to opportunity is everywhere.

              The funny thing is: Those doors have always been there. The evil word that we no longer use put a veil over our eyes because that’s how powerful that word is.

              More Tips for Strengthening Your Resilience

              Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

              Read Next