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In order to stand out, one must be different

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In order to stand out, one must be different. I have always loved the saying “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” by Dr. Seuss. For me it was really hard to make this change, as I had spent most of my life being invisible. I love the analogy of a rainbow. It isn’t just made up of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple. It is made up of 100 of shades of every color, and every mix of color imaginable. Take just the 1,000’s of shade combinations of purple in the rainbow. While you might think that no one will notice if one shade is not shining brightly, the rainbow is diminished in its beauty when that happens. It requires every single shade to be there, in order to be the beautiful promise of God. We require every one of you to shine brightly to deliver the promise of God, which he made when he sent you to this earth. Being a leader is an interesting subject for women. I was listening to a part of Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk today, and she was talking about how when she was in school she was told to not raise her hand so much. I remember the same thing happening to me. That I was bossy, a know-it-all, too smart for myself. So I shut down and started being even more invisible. I started waiting for someone to pick me instead of volunteering, and this carried over into my adult life. I turned down promotions saying that I didn’t want the responsibility, when what I really wanted to say was I didn’t want to risk being told to once again become invisible. I continually pushed down the answers I had for senior management and let others steal the ideas and promote themselves. I finally had enough and became what I called an agent of change for my own self. I started listening and following my intuition. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stood up and voiced my opinions. And I have kept expanding my comfort zone. Every mistake I have made is like compost in the garden. It may feel and smell like manure when it happens, but if I compost those failures into my life, I can learn and grow from them. I learned that I can fail and my life isn’t over. I learned that the person who judges me the most has been me, and so I gave the judge permission to cheer me on instead. I love this quote I found today, “when you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same.” I am going to hang it over my desk. I have spent too much of my life wishing I had the courage to do what I see others doing. Instead I am going to “dance to my own rhythm” and let someone else be inspired to do the same. The Lion is released from the cage, and ready for the grand adventure!