Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 6, 2021

How To Be Different When Everyone Wants To Fit In

How To Be Different When Everyone Wants To Fit In

It’s hard to be different in a society that shuns those who don’t fit in. I mean, let’s be real here. Unless you’re David Bowie or Marilyn Manson, you might be met with less of a success mindset for being different. No one wants to be a poser, but it’s easy and surprisingly common for people to alter their personalities to get that dream job, romantic partner, or group of friends.

The truth is, we all have a deep desire to fit in. There’s even measurable data backing this need to belong [1]. Kind of tough to beat science, huh?

What if there was a better way to both be different and be successful? Turns out, there is! Ditch the poser identity and embrace a successful mindset.

1. Why Accepting Yourself Is So Tough

As it turns out, it’s exceptionally hard to be different when you don’t accept your differences. Who would’ve thought? That’s why the first thing you’ll need to do to be different is to accept yourself. You might have to play therapist for this one and ask yourself why you’re trying to fit in.

What has led you to the suppression of your inner uniqueness? Once you know the answer to this, you can accept the wonderful quirks within you that are just waiting to be shared with the world.

2. Stop Trying to Be Different

Here’s the thing: if you try to be different, you’re no better than that poser who was trying to fit in with the popular crowd.

Advertising

What happens when you try to be different is that you work to fit into what you think is different without actually sticking to your personal interests. And, if it didn’t work in the cool kid’s club, what makes you think it’ll work for the hipster rebels or other, more unique groups?

If you want to actually be different, you’ll need to focus on your quirks. From an early age, we’re conditioned to dress, talk, and think in certain ways (thanks, education system!) To break that brainwashing and unleash the unique persona within, you’ll need to look within yourself—rather than at unconventional trends—to find your inspiration.

By now, you might be wondering what we mean by looking within. No, this isn’t some new age meditation tutorial, but if you’re into that, consider it your niche! What we mean is you need to experiment with your quirks by honestly challenging the status quo.

Don’t copy less popular trends, and don’t try to convince yourself of certain interests to stand out as doing so will just attract the wrong kind of attention. When you naturally focus on your uniqueness, you will feel more like yourself and therefore develop a success mindset that exudes confidence. Sounds good, right?

3. Why You Need to Embrace Your Hobbies

Now for the fun part—hobbies! Hobbies do wonders for one’s identity. They can help you further tap into your inner differences, making them extremely great for having good mental health and a successful mindset.

Here are some ways hobbies can benefit you:

Advertising

You Gain Identity

It can be easy to lose oneself in the need to fit in, and some people even go so far as to take on different identities and interests just to feel like they belong. When you deny yourself of hobbies for the sake of fitting in, however, you also rob yourself of the opportunity for true self-expression. Taking on your true passions is far more rewarding in the long run.

You Can Find Like-Minded Peers

Hobbies are your opportunity to embrace what makes you different in a way that can actually help you find friends who happen to have the same interests as you.[2] Not only is it okay to be different, but there’s also a community of like-minded individuals somewhere out there just waiting to include you in common hobbies. Once you’ve found the group that is just as passionate about your hobbies as you are, you’ll find it’s invigorating to be different!

You Feel Success

There’s nothing like feeling like you’ve mastered a new skill in your hobby. Whether you’re learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons (no judging here!) or you’ve finally learned how to yodel, mastering an element of your hobby puts you in a success mindset that can lead to elevated moods and more confidence.

In a study on how activities can affect mood, researchers found that “participants who reported a higher number of Mastery activities for the week had higher mood ratings.”[3] That’s right: mastery of your hobbies can actually make you feel better!

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out

Simply put, it’s hard to suddenly receive attention if you’re used to fitting in. For better or for worse, when you choose to be different, you will draw attention to yourself. Don’t psych yourself out just yet, though. This can actually work in your favor, especially when it comes to a career success mindset!

Yes, you read that right. Standing out from prospective job hunters or even your peers at your current job might make all the difference between you keeping that boring, low-paying position versus rising to the top as a successful, “out there” kind of person.

Advertising

5. Avoid Psychological Games

It’s no surprise that getting caught up in games is easy to do. From power plays in the workforce to gossiping in a social group, people have learned some pretty clever tricks on slyly fitting in and manipulating situations for their benefit. Look at what happened in ‘Mean Girls’ with Lindsay Lohan’s character, for example.

Though it might seem like a strategy that will bring a successful mindset to fruition, you sacrifice your identity just to fit in when you get caught up in psychological games.[4] Not to mention, playing games can backfire over time as people start to catch onto what you’re doing. Doesn’t seem so successful after all, does it?

It’s best to be different by not participating in gossip, cheating, and fake behaviors if you want to rise to the top and preserve your self-respect and identity.

6. Dress Up (or Down)

Once you begin to verge away from the crowd, you’ll start to view yourself in an entirely new light, and that’s perfectly okay! So, why not change your style to better suit your personality?

We’re not saying to wear a giant hat that’s shaped like Texas—unless that’s your thing—but this is your chance to change up some of the accessories you’ve been wearing on a day-to-day basis that have contributed to you fitting in.

Consider wearing a watch, belt, shoes, hat, or an edgy piece of jewelry. Paint your nails, dye your hair that color you’ve always dreamt of, and toss out that standard business attire for something quirky and unique. You’re likely to feel more empowered when your outer appearance matches your inner personality.

Advertising

7. Don’t Be a People-Pleaser

You’ve finally taken the plunge into the depths of your unique personality. We’re not through quite yet, though!

Just because you’ve embraced your inner differences and made the changes doesn’t mean you’re immune to the influences that got you to suppress yourself in the first place. Other people will talk about you and label you as different. You might even feel like an outcast in certain situations.

Don’t let what others think of you discourage your need to be different, however. Continue to embrace the qualities of yourself that set you apart to prevent yourself from going back to the need to fit in and please those around you.

Let Your Uniqueness Shine Through

Remember, you and your identity are important. In a perfect society, everyone fits into their own place in the social world based on the unique characteristics that define them.

When you allow yourself to be different, you set yourself up to find the right crowd for your personality, develop a successful growth mindset, and be appreciated for who you are. And who knows? You might even influence and encourage others to walk to the beat of their own drums while you’re at it!

More Tips on How to Be Different

Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Midori Verity

Mindset Coach, Certified Behavioral Specialist, and Entrepreneur for 25+ years

How To Be Different When Everyone Wants To Fit In How to Optimize Your Life and Live by Design (Not Default)

Trending in Life Potential

1 7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals 2 How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter 3 Want To Live A More Fulfilling Life? You Need To Understand This Concept First 4 5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity 5 7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2021

7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals

7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals

Even though there are some people who feel great about their job and have somehow managed to find a good lifestyle that suits them, many still feel trapped and dissatisfied. There are people out there that are desperate for a change, be it in their personal life, their career or something else. The worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings bottled up and soldier on. Depression affects a good chunk of the population but making a change can be scary and difficult. However, if you decide to face the fear of failure and reinvent yourself, there are certain steps that you have to take to improve your chances of success.

1. Decide on what you want to focus on

Never plan a big change in your life and career, with only a vague idea of what you wish to accomplish. Sit down and think about all the things you are interested in, would like to do and see yourself investing a great deal of time in. Your motivation can be money, passion, reducing stress, being free to make your own decisions, or having more free time on your hands eventually. Find a path that suits you and bravely make the first step.

2. Always try to make some time for your new passion

We can all be busy and have hectic schedules, but if you really want to make a change you’ll need to find a way to make time for your new passion in life. You’ll need to spend a lot of time learning new skills and acquiring great amounts of information, so most of the free time you have will have to be used up for improving yourself. Even if it’s just fifteen minutes on a break or if you have to sacrifice your TV hour after work to studying, you need to make the sacrifice. Only by completely doing away with useless procrastinating activities like watching TV, YouTube clips or playing games, can you find enough time to earn a living, work on reinventing yourself and improve your mind and body.

3. Keep educating yourself and look for resources

A lot of people complain about the lackluster education system and rightfully so. Today you need a bunch of forms for everything, and although efforts are being made to switch to online forms that would make everyone’s life easier, we are still a long way from enabling quick and efficient decisions to be made within the education system. Changes are made very slowly as it takes ages to process all that written information.

Advertising

This is why you don’t develop any applicable skills or learn a whole lot in school – everyone seems to be focused on bureaucracy instead of effective education. This is why you have to do all the research and learn on your own if you want to get anywhere. In this age of online courses, cheap eBooks and video tutorials it’s not very difficult to find the information you need from respected sources. Start off slow and learn about the basics, then branch out and keep devouring books on the subjects you wish to specialize in.

A good way to get started is to look at the bibliography listed in the more basic books and do some online research to find out who the most trusted experts on the topic are, and just get their books. Even if you’re very busy and strapped for time, devote an hour a day on reading and if you have plenty of free time, fill it up with reading and research. If you get bored, then switch to improving your general knowledge to keep things interesting.

4. Do plenty of networking, both online and offline

Between all that reading and your usual obligations you’ll have fairly little free time, mostly in the evenings or on the weekend, and you’ll want to make the most out of it by relaxing and having some fun. You may also take a few breaks during the day and scroll through your Facebook and Twitter feed for something interesting. These are great opportunities to do some networking. While you’re out about town, try sparking up conversations with people.

Keep going out, hanging out with your friends and meeting new people. Ask around to find out if anyone knows someone who works in the industry you are interested in and offer to buy that person a round of drinks in exchange for a short conversation. When on social media, look for people that share the same professional interests and follow industry influencers to get some inside info about new trends and tactics. Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities.

Advertising

5. Create a schedule, but don’t look too far into the future

Having a clear schedule is a good idea when you are trying to make the most of any given day, and setting goals helps keep you motivated and on track. However, you can get bogged down on plans for the future, career choices you’ll have to make and the money you will be able to earn, so much that you lose sight of smaller goals.

You can also psyche yourself out and lose motivation, or spend a good amount of time daydreaming instead of doing something useful. In the begging it’s all about learning the basics, steadily developing deeper knowledge, getting a bit of experience and becoming more proficient in your new chosen profession. Only once you’ve become good at it, can you start thinking about career-building opportunities and make long-term plans.

6. Take care of your body and mind by staying fairly fit

If you have health problems, don’t sleep well, and have dietary deficiencies, living a fast-paced life and reinventing yourself is going to be a whole lot harder. Physical exercise can help keep your hormones in balance, prevent chronic aches and pains, and lower the risk of a lot of illnesses. It will make you feel more focused and full of energy.

Getting plenty of quality sleep is also incredibly important for keeping your mind fresh and working at 100% capacity – which is the key to fast learning and reducing stress.

Advertising

A 30-40 minute workout session or 10-15 minutes of active running will tire you out and make it easier to fall asleep, which combined with some stretching and keeping your bedroom in complete darkness will help you get those 8-9 hours of sleep your body needs.

Eat a decent amount of fruit, vegetables and unsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, and fish oil) during the day to keep your mind and body working at optimal levels and to keep your immune system in check. With 3-4 hours of exercise per week and some healthy food in your diet, you will be much more positive and productive.

7. Hang out more with people who are supportive and can help you grow

Most people won’t welcome change, particularly if you are doing something that doesn’t fit the side of your character that everyone has gotten to know over the years. Some will even discourage you or try to distract you. You will be pressured to spend more time with others, and time will become a very valuable resource to you.

This is why you should quickly and efficiently cut off everyone that keeps pulling you back or expects a lot from you without giving anything back. You know the kind, constantly asking for favors, looking after their own interests above all else and nowhere to be seen when you are in a pinch and need some help.

Advertising

Focus your efforts on people who give you support, aren’t afraid to tell you their opinion without judging you and that can actually help you out. You need to be around people you are compatible with and whose company you enjoy in the little spare time you have, and around people who can help you improve.

There are no guarantees, and you might fail once or twice before finding a good path for yourself, but that shouldn’t discourage you. It’s better to work hard and overcome adversity in the end, than to toil away feeling miserable.

Featured photo credit: Sharon Christina Rørvik via unsplash.com

Read Next