Daring to be different can be viewed in many different ways. Some may choose to be different for all of the wrong reasons, and others may choose to be different to improve their quality of life. In the context of breaking the cycle and not conforming, being different is viewed in one way – the better way.
Choosing to be different will require you to be confident and unapologetic. You have to be 100% certain and comfortable with your decision to be different, otherwise, you may get deterred and end up conforming, just like everyone else. There will be consequences (good and bad) that comes along with choosing to be different. Some of the things you should expect on your journey to be different are: envy from others – even from those closest to you, being singled out, becoming a target of unpleasant treatment, or feeling like you don’t belong - which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Developing confidence and an open mind to overcome the adversity you will face might pave the way for others. There are people, probably more than you may know, who also wants to be different by choosing a better path, but lacks the courage to do so. Your courageousness and unapologetic qualities may just be what it takes to give them that.
When you choose to be different to better your life, and the lives of others, you should also prepare for the positive that comes along with. Contrary to the not so good consequences, striving for better will naturally render positive results. Your quality of life will improve by the choices you make, your behavior, the people you choose to associate with, and your overall mindset. All of which are benefits of daring to be different.
Never feel guilty about your choice to break the cycle by choosing a different, better path. This should never discourage you from doing what is right for you or a loved one.
We’re ultimately responsible for taking control of our own destiny and not allowing ourselves to be influenced by our surroundings. Being different is actually a form of obligation; obligation to yourself that if you know better, you should do better!
We may not be able to control others’ actions, but we can control how we let their actions affect our lives. I was driven to seek a better education and better options for myself, and others treated me differently. With more education, I saw things in a new light, and I made smarter choices. There were people I grew up with or who lived in the same community as me who perceived it as if I thought I was better than them. I was told that I think I’m “white” or that I act “white”, just because my vocabulary or pronunciation was different than the majority of those from my neighborhood. I didn’t think I was better than anyone else, I was simply being me, and making the best of the opportunities available to me.
Dare to be different and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! This is your life to live and you can’t go through it worrying about what other people think of you. Love yourself first and the rest will follow…
Daring to be different will not only change your life, but it can also change the lives of a community.