A few weeks ago someone was asking me what I like to do in my free time: she was asking if I had friends in the area that I hung out with? No. She asked if I host dinner parties at my house? No. She asked if I was doing anything for Halloween? Dressing up? Going out? Again, no. After the conversation, I was questioning my self-confidence and starting to feel odd and strange about myself and who I am.
I started to think about how I don’t lead a “normal” life by cultural standards. The thoughts wouldn’t leave my mind as I was running errands that day and it really got to me. I came home and looked at Mike and said “I think I’m different.” And he goes “Yeah, you are, and that’s what I love about you.”
I texted my go-to girls, my sister Catherine and internet bestie Courtney because I was really lacking self-confidence in myself. I’ve always been in my own lane, but for some reason all of the questions from earlier in the day made me ask myself: Am I weird? Am I anti-social because I like to stay home on the weekends? Should I start hosting parties at my house? Cooking more often? Going to local festivals and events?
The answer is no. Why?
Because after talking to Mike, Catherine and Courtney, I realized that being different is kind of cool. You don’t follow your dreams by doing what everyone else does. As an entrepreneur, you have to take chances, make sacrifices and be willing to lead a different kind of life. Being different is part of your story and this authenticity is what other people, who are different like you, will truly connect with.
According to the book Sapiens, humans are the only species that can tell stories and it’s how we evolved from hunter-gatherers to where we are today. People connect through stories: share your happy times, struggles and insecurities. Don’t hold back and be genuine.
So what do you do when you feel like you don’t belong? And you need a self-confidence boost?
1. Don’t change who you are. Easier said than done, but think about what makes you different and use those qualities as strengths.
“Be your unapologetically weird self.” – Chris Sacca
2. Find a group of like-minded people to connect with.
If you think about it, people band together when they have common interests that are different from cultural norms: goths, gamers, religious groups, comic book fans, etc. Why do you think Comic-Con exists? Or NYFW? People bond over shared interests and it makes you feel like you belong.
If you can’t find your “tribe” then start a local or online group yourself!
Style Collective is my tribe and I feel deeply connected to all of the women in the group because I know they are the same as me. They are smart, driven, focused business women who make sacrifices to reach their goals. Every spare minute is spent moving their business forward and while most people don’t understand what we do, we get each other. We have our tribe to connect with when everyone else thinks we are weird and different.
3. Dress the part.
I love following other fashion bloggers to see their fun, trendy styles but I am most confident when I am wearing high heels and a dressy outfit. If I could wear black and leopard every single day, I would. I wore this out to lunch and then while running errands at Target. Sure, I stuck out like a sore thumb because let’s be honest, NH style is VERY casual, but I didn’t care. I was dressing the part for me and who I am.
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