Why, then, do we so often want to be someone else?
There is no one just like you. You are unique. And it is the things that make you different that empower you to be anything you want to be.
There are almost 8 billion people on the planet, and yet there is no other person just like you. There is no doppelgänger hiding around the corner.
Even identical twins, with the exact same DNA, are different from each other. Although they come from the same single cell, they have different fingerprints. The fingers we use to leave our mark on the world are ours and ours alone!
The deep desire to be like someone else (skinnier, prettier, more youthful) drives the weight-loss industry to more than $70 billion in annual revenues. It also explains why cosmetic surgeons are in the top 10 highest-paid medical professionals in the world. Cosmetic surgery and similar procedures will generate almost $44 billion in annual revenue by 2025.
On social media, with its online personas, we paint an idealized picture of ourselves as one of the “perfect people.” Instead, we should be singing the praises of our unique qualities.
Can you name one successful person or group that became popular by being like everyone else? Think of the British music invasion of the 1960s. Beatles “wanna-be” bands were everywhere.
Can you name just one of those bands? Yet still today, more than five decades after they recorded their last song together, we talk about the Fab Four. Every music lover on the planet knows who the Beatles were. It was their uniqueness that made them so recognizable.
The Beatles were not the exception to the rule. Look at their music hero, Elvis. He was like no other music act coming out of Tennessee in the 1950s. With long hair, weird clothes, and those gyrating hips, Elvis was radically different from the music stars of the day.
Then there is Dolly Parton. She was told that she was too short, that her voice was too squeaky, that her physique was too buxom. Did you know that Dolly is the fourth-most awarded country artist of all time? Her uniqueness made her into a star in music, TV and film.
Music is not the only place we find unique people. How about the actors that didn’t conform with the mandates of Hollywood? Lucile Ball was told her hair was too orange, Tom Hanks couldn’t get auditions because he was too skinny and goofy looking. And don’t forget Clark Gable and those ears.
In business, the right diploma from the right school is often the path to corporate success. But thankfully for the computer industry, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were corporate non-conformists.
Then there’s the most successful woman entrepreneur of all time. Oprah Winfrey had no business experience at all. She never let her lack of business acumen get in her way.
How about you? What is that weakness that makes you unique, that thing your pride uses to stop you from your dreams?
Embrace your differences. It is your uniqueness that opens doors and makes you easy to remember. It is the thing that makes you different, that makes you special.