Do you have a deep desire to make a difference in the world, but you feel like you’re just too ordinary? Like you don’t have anything of value to contribute to the world? And that everyone else seems to have some extra “cool” factor that you missed out on?
I did. For the first 34 years of my life.
To start off, my beauty is average. I mean, I was a cute kid, but I was never going to make it with a modeling career. I sing like Skuttle on The Little Mermaid and I can’t keep a beat. I’ve never been noticed for my intelligence, my artistic abilities, or my stand-up comedy.
And on top of it all, I had one major perceived character flaw.
As a kid in school, almost every year on my report card under the teacher comments, it would simply say, “speaks too softly”. (My husband, Matt, on the other hand, had nodules on his throat from yelling when he talked, so now you know why we’re a perfect fit for each other.)
In a world that values extraversion, this began my inner dialogue that somehow my quiet soul wasn’t acceptable, that I was flawed. I soon realized that to be noticed, praised, and validated, I had to speak up and speak often, but it didn’t matter how hard I pushed myself to be that person, I just couldn’t.
My entire life, I envied my peers who’s lighthearted gregarious chatter would capture the room. I longed to have their quick wit and knack to shoot the breeze with just about anyone. Instead of joining in the small talk, I would sit taking it all in, only laughing at their jovial stories (that, of course, was all the encouragement they needed to keep talking).
In my mind, quiet passive demeanor never seemed to be good enough. I struggled to speak up and get noticed. I sat by while others took the lead, offered their opinions, and made a splash in this world. I learned I was the most comfortable standing on the sidelines. If I ever did gather the courage to exert myself and was met with the slightest disagreement or critique, I’d pull back into my shell and swear to never do that again.
I just didn’t think I had what it took to make a difference — a real difference anyway.
But, I was wrong, so terribly, completely, and utterly WRONG. The world needs thinkers, listeners, and feelers. Society needs the solid average individuals who are willing to show up and care, because, at the end of the day, that’s all anyone really wants. In this political climate, we need more people to pull up a chair to the table and just listen.
I won’t be the next Tony Robbins or Rachel Hollis dancing to JayZ on stage in front of a stadium of crazed fans (geez, the thought alone gives me hives), but I will sit and listen to a stranger pour his heart out for hours, and that. That is making a difference in this world.
So, what about you? What inner dialogue have you gotten wrong about yourself? It’s time to change how you see yourself. You’ve got something special within you. You aren’t flawed, you’re you and YOU are what brings balance, color, and variety into this world. You have a spark that someone needs to see.
You and me, we don’t have to move the masses to contribute value. Just by showing up, accepting yourself just the way you are, and finding small ways to be a light in the darkness makes more of an impact than you know.
A tiny candle can be seen 30 miles away on a clear dark night. Never ever underestimate the value you bring to this world.