Do you wonder why you often feel like a misfit?
Do you sometimes feel like you’re the only one who’s not achieving success in one or more areas of your life?
Do you find yourself emulating and wanting to mimic the path others have forged and conquered?
Maybe you’re not the typical caricature of an awkward high-school introvert who gets bullied, or the rebellious “stick-it-to-the-man” type, yet somehow, you don’t fit in and you can’t figure out why.
First, let me confirm your notion. Yes, you are a misfit. You’re an outsider. You don’t fit in. You are a unique masterpiece with your own path to forge. Here are a few reasons why:
You have your own distinct set of God-given talents or natural aptitudes. Although these raw abilities can be developed and perfected through training, they are gifts that are simply deposited in you at birth. Some talents are easy to spot (singing, gymnastics), while others may be less obvious (interpersonal or “soft skills”). In any case, you were delivered to this world with your very own, remarkable combination of abilities.
While you’re born with talents, skills are developed through training, experience, or practice. Some of your skills were acquired by developing and perfecting your natural talents. You found other skills by training in areas outside of your natural aptitude; these are skills you may have gained out of necessity or circumstance. We hold some expertise in common with much of the world (shoelace tying, reading), while other skills are specific to us, birthed out of our own passions and experiences (ie. I’m skilled at “Name That Tune” in 3 seconds or less). As with talents, you are power-packed with your own set of custom skills, even if you have a hard time identifying them.
You are also a misfit due to your passions. Sure, you might share your love of Star Wars with millions around the globe, but you have other areas of interest that only a handful of people might find as appealing as you. To prove this point, all we have to do is look online to find an infinite amount of special interest groups and meet-ups centered on just about any topic imaginable. Leveraging your personal passions, along with other factors mentioned in this article, can certainly place you on your singular path of uncharted territory.
It’s obvious that each of us has our own set of life experiences that makes us misfits. I daresay you are the only person in the world who was born where you were born, raised how you were raised, experienced what you experienced and arrived at the point in your life where you are today. Yes, I guess it’s possible you had a twin who grew up under the same circumstances, but even twins have their own particular set of talents, skills, and passions. These distinct experiences affect the way we think, our outlook on life, our relationships, and so much more. No one else has travelled the exact same path of life as you, and this sets you apart.
In addition to talents, skills, passions, and experiences, your personality also makes you a misfit. The special combination of factors which compose your disposition, temperament, nature, and more is also one-of-a-kind. Sure, personality tests (and the dystopian movie, “Divergent”) often group people into 4 or 5 categories, but this is only scratching the surface. Each of us is divinely nuanced in our personalities and how they play out in our contributions to the world.
My challenge to you is to not only accept the fact that you are a misfit, but embrace it! You ARE unique. You ARE a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. You are an extraordinary brew of talents, skills, passions, experiences, and personality.
So stop comparing yourself to others. Stop wondering why you’re not achieving someone else’s particular brand of success. Use your own special super powers to propel you towards your own path. Become the best you possible. After all, we’re counting on you.
A Career Strategist, Coach, Author and Speaker, Gabriel Aviles is passionate about helping transitioning Creatives & Entrepreneurs launch into purposeful and profitable work. He lives with his wife of 11 years and three small children in Nashville, TN, where he also continues his 20+ years of work in the Entertainment and Media Business.