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.


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:


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.


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.


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


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Midori Verity

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

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

7 Reasons to Dare to Dream Big

7 Reasons to Dare to Dream Big

When you dare to dream big, you are taking an active role in your life. You are being present and allowing yourself to experience things as they happen. As you make a conscious effort to set goals and achieve them, you are going to have a richer life experience. In this article, we discuss 7 reasons to dream big.

1. Live a Life of No Regrets

There are plenty of experiences in life that don’t come around very often. Halley’s Comet, for instance, comes around once every 75 years. As a result, most people make a serious effort to experience this once in a lifetime event. When you understand something is special, you usually try to make it a point to experience it.

Your life and the experiences you accumulate are no less valuable. Yet, there are people who are not experiencing this very special opportunity every day.

There is little worse than coming to the end of your life and realizing you never lived your fullest life. By acknowledging that your life is as special of an event as an eclipse or Halley’s Comet, you will live your life to the fullest. When you dare to dream big, you are breaking your limits and challenging the status quo.

2. Inspire Others

Think about the stories that motivate you to take action. These are usually stories of people who overcame the odds and achieved something great. It is why so many people love to watch movies; you are living vicariously through the experiences of the hero. Their willingness to do the right thing in the bleakest of times is the stuff legends are made of.


Heroes exist in real life, too. Just like in the movies, they are the people who show courage in the face of danger and dare to dream in the face of adversity. They are also willing to put the needs of others above their own. You could inspire the next generation by your contribution if you dare to dream big.

3. Receive a Greater Reward

Those who are willing to take risks in life end up receiving the lion’s share of the reward. Think about the difference between someone who opens their own law firm versus someone who chooses to be a public defender. They are essentially doing the same work, but the person who is a public defender is not taking any risk. They are going to receive a consistent paycheck every week, regardless of the amount of work they perform.

Someone who owns their own law firm has the ability to earn an unlimited amount of income. However, they also have the ability to earn nothing.

Those who dare to dream big understand that there is a risk associated with their decisions. Most people are not willing to take on the risk associated with chasing their dreams because do not want to be put in a position where they can lose everything. They would rather live a life short of their true potential in order to avoid possible failure…but where’s the fun in that?

4. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is such a wonderful place. You get into a little groove and things seem to be coming along naturally.


However, while your comfort zone can feel great, it is also the place where your big dreams go to die. For someone to dare to dream big, they know they must push themselves beyond their current limits. A Yale study says that stability shuts off the switch to your brain. In other words, when you remain in your comfort zone, your brain stops learning.[1]

When you dare to dream big, you are encouraging your brain to imagine ways to accomplish your goal. There is a level of uncertainty that causes you to fear leaving your comfort zone. You are worried about your ability to succeed and whether the journey is worth traveling.

You may think, “What if I invest a year into this relationship and find out this person is not right for me?” Or what if you accept that new position, but you don’t like your new boss? All of these thoughts are signs that you are about to leave your comfort zone. Instead of running away from these experiences, try to lean into them.

5. Living Small Doesn’t Help Anyone

The sad truth is that plenty of people will not like you simply because you are successful. Success will test your relationships with your friends and family. You will feel tempted to limit yourself and not pursue your big dreams.

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you cannot dare to dream big because the people you are currently around dream small. Living small only hinders your growth and theirs[2]. At least by pursuing your dreams, your friends and family may live through your experiences. As a result, you may be the catalyst they need to pursue their own.


In addition, you never know what amazing things you will accomplish if you dare to dream big. Imagine going to medical school and creating the cure for cancer. Or making advancements in technology and changing the human experience for decades to come. You need to find your motivation and drive in life.

If everyone lived small, there would be no innovation, advancement, or growth. Does that sound like a world you want to be a part of?

6. Conquer Fear

There are two choices in life. You are either living a life of fear or a life of dreams. When you dare to dream big, you are undoubtedly living a life based on your dreams. Your dreams are found in that little voice inside of you that tells you all the amazing things you can do to change the world.

The problem most people face is they have another voice in their head telling them all the reasons they cannot live their dream life.[3] This voice is constantly reminding you of all of your mistakes and all of the reasons success is not possible.

Fear is a powerful tool you can utilize to help you take action. Instead of being afraid of how someone is going to react, be afraid of letting yourself down. Stop thinking about the worst thing that can happen for once and start thinking about the best things that can happen.


How would your life be different if you dared to dream big? In fact, how would the life of those you love be different because of your willingness to pursue your dreams? Allow these answers to fuel you in your time of fear and self-doubt. You are counting on you, but if that is not enough, those you love are counting on you, too.

7. Write Your Own Story

Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Books tend to be better than most movies’ because books don’t have a budget. Movies are bound by the laws of science and technology. These laws don’t exist when you write a book. There is no discussion around how much those explosions cost or whether you can make something look real.

Indeed, books allow the author and the reader to both use their imagination. The author is putting their imagination on each page, and the reader uses their imagination to interpret the story. Your life is like being lost in a good book. Every day you wake up, you are writing another chapter. No one knows how the story is going to end, but how would you like it end? Do you want to be victorious because you were willing to dare to dream big, or do you want people to say you left with untapped potential?

Final Thoughts

Your life is the best gift the universe can give you, so don’t waste it. Be willing to dare to dream big and allow yourself to make mistakes. Things are not always going to go your way, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find a way overcome the challenges you face. Continue to strive to be a little better each day, and before you know it, you will be everything you thought you could be and more.

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via


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