Have you ever felt like you’re invisible to your friends or coworkers? Would you like to be the girl who shows up at parties alone and confident? Do you ever feel like you have things to say but you’re afraid to voice your opinion?
I did when I was younger.
When I was a little girl I never stood out.
I was quiet and shy and just didn’t ever want to draw any attention to myself. To be outgoing was a struggle because I was constantly sick and in and out of the hospital with some asthma-related illness.
After my 16th birthday, things started to change. My health was better, I had friends, was a part of my school’s choir, and I started coming out of my shell. Consequently, my grades were better, my outlook on life improved, and I was looking forward to college.
Since then, I’ve never been afraid to stand out from the crowd, in-person and online. However, as I’ve gotten older and I’m much more “strategic” when it comes to standing out. Sometimes I show up or post something and it just happens because the Universe wills it.
Typically, I have a plan based on my favorite six ways to stand out from the crowd.
1. Know who you are inside.
This takes a bit of introspection and taking stock of your strengths. I keep an affirmation journal that I write in every morning to remind myself of the things I love about myself. You can also write in your daily planner or journal how you feel and why. This is a great way to determine your likes and dislikes. Meditating is also a great way to turn your focus inward.
2. Get out of your comfort zone.
Do something new. Experiment with new hair color or style. Try a new food or restaurant that you typically wouldn’t. Join a community or group online if you’d like to take this one slow. Read a book that you normally wouldn’t because it’s not your preferred genre. This will help you build confidence and expand your range of knowledge.
3. Be fearless.
Yes, I know. That’s so much easier to say than do. It takes a great deal of practice to become fearless, but no one is 100% fearless all the damn time. Even I get scared sometimes but I have the tools to help me through those times when they happen. One of those tools is my favorite book about this topic is Fearless & Fabulous by Cara Alwill Leyba. I learned to visualize my fear, embrace it, and tell it how much I love it. Sounds twisted right? Well, think about it this way, once you embrace your fear you take away its negative power over you. It becomes less scary and therefore can no longer control you.
4. Speak your mind.
Have you ever been hanging out with friends, family, or coworkers and a topic comes up that you have a very good knowledge of, but you didn’t speak up? Girl open your mouth. Share your perspective and don’t be afraid to offer insights that others have not thought of previously. When topics come up that you are familiar with, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise on the topic. In doing so without being combative and with genuine respect, you build self-confidence and insert yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert.
5. Stand tall.
In October of 2009, Science News published an article, Body Posture Affects Confidence In Your Own Thoughts, in which researchers at Ohio State University found that posture is directly related to confidence. Not only does sitting up straight and standing tall give others a positive impression of you, but it also improves your own mood and feelings of confidence. I was taught to practice good posture in public and when I’m at home. That way it just becomes second nature. And if you’re not going to have good posture when you’re at home, then you’re probably not going to exhibit good posture when you’re out.
6. Be boldly and unapologetically you.
Stop apologizing for your quirks, weirdness, likes, and dislikes. Wear the clothes you feel most comfortable in. Style your hair the way you want. Shave your head if you feel like it! Be reasonable but be you. You don’t have to follow along with what’s popular. If you’re not comfortable with what you look like, you’ll never be comfortable in your own skin. I love 90’s R&B but you’ll still find me at a concert for a Led Zeppelin cover band and I don’t give a shit who knows or doesn’t like it. My friends enjoy frequenting our downtown restaurants and other venues. I prefer to go out where I live (they call it “the country”. Whatevs).
You don’t need anyone’s permission to be you and enjoy the things you want.
It takes practice to finesse the art of standing out from the crowd. You have to get rid of your negative beliefs, embrace your fear, and build confidence consistently. Eventually, it just becomes a part of who you are.
This kind of confidence isn’t about competing with others. It’s about competing with those versions of yourself that have held you back. Being able to separate yourself from the pack is a powerful skill that could get you a promotion, land your dream job, attract your soulmate. For me, it gave me what I needed to start my social media business and become a successful Influencer Coach.
So, as I said before, this is a powerful skill. And of course, with great power comes greater responsibility. It’s important to remember to not harm someone else in your quest to turn heads. You always want to respect others and treat them with kindness and understanding.