Unique in our own expression of beingness in every way.
I bet my mind is different from yours and yours is different to everyone else's. We are each unique. As an entire human being, there is only one you on this planet - and I’m not just talking about your physical appearance.
Everyone has their own beliefs, values and norms - mostly taught and gathered throughout our different upbringings. Your social, cultural, emotional, physical experiences and impressions have shaped you and made you the individual that you are today.
What changes a person is whether they have encountered a lot of hardships or if they are showered with encouragement and approval rather than disapproval throughout their lives. We each filter information through our life experiences - wearing different sets of glasses.
As a business - you want to embrace diversity on all levels. Let me just say - It adds a spectrum of value that can not be replicated in any way - once fully embraced and embedded into your organization’s core.
We all have our unique stories and I promise you - by making room for everyone’s story within your company - you will reach and touch clients around the world. Imagine your staff actively using their set of unique qualities, talents and gifts within their everyday tasks and processes. Believe me when I say this - Each individual assists in up-leveling your businesses ‘brand and story’ by adding their personal fingerprint to the whole.🗺
Everything that’s distinctive about us - is exactly that which makes us unique. In fact, the word ‘INDIVIDUALITY’ itself is the state or quality of being an individual.
Having worked and connected with people around the globe, I know first hand how incredibly profound it is to a businesses success to celebrate individuality within their operation. 🚀
Truly - we all remember being the one that ‘stands out’ in school or at work while holding a presentation - feeling uncomfortable at times for being different from others in some way.
Afraid of what others might think. Afraid to go against the grain of protocols and what we’ve been taught. Afraid to do things differently from our peers.
I sure know that feeling waaaaaaaaay too well lol - I have definitely found myself in situations like that my whole life.
Quite frankly though - it shouldn’t trigger a feeling of awkwardness and insecurity within us, as we are being us.
I mean - don’t we all strive and seek to find ourselves on a deeper level? To find that which makes us our most nourished and authentic selves. So why be afraid to live it when you’ve been looking for you all your life?
Goodness - Imagine a world without diversity - it would be so bland.
Individuality paves the way of innovations - it means a bigger variety of complexity and diversity in discussions, opinions and behaviours.
Let us see one another within the beauty of being different. Make sure to empower your executive and management level to truly keep an open mind - and lead by example.
Encourage your team to connect and look beyond each other’s colors and shapes and forms and job titles.
You want to create and establish a safe space of stability and confidence within your teams - inclusive of everyone. A place in which your staff can receive and take in direct feedback; rather than react from a place of protection. Social interaction is probably the most important setting in which people play out the consequences of their expressions.
Every single human interaction and involvement grounds us deeper in who we are.
Our identities derive from reminiscences that reflect a lifetime of experiences and challenges.
As you grow you'll discover more and more about what makes you unique and different. You'll learn more and more about the inner world of yourself and choose to embrace your quirky self even deeper.
We can all make a unique contribution to the world and we do not have to invent anything other than our own existence with our own vision.
We are all our personal brand. We all yearn to contribute our uniqueness and add value to a business, and any professional or personal relationship.
People come from all walks of life and who they are and what they say is a combination of their life experiences and how they have been treated. Once you look further - you will see we all have one thing in common.
We want to be loved for who we are - and we want to show up as us no matter where we go - contributing and living ourselves. We are all afraid of being rejected within our uniqueness.
So how do we tap the value of the collective without going so far in the other direction that, rather than a team, all we end up with is a collection of individuals, each pursuing their own path and agenda?
Well let me share something quite fascinating with you. I have come across this many years ago and it stuck with me to this day.
I’m still talking about humans here of course, but the insight I’m about to share with you actually comes from fish - Yup, fish! 🐟
Scientists estimate that more than half of all fish types group for at least part of their lives. In other words, fish team up.
Schooling fish - to anyone who’s not too familiar with fish lol - this terminology explains a group of fish who swim in the same direction and in a coordinated manner. These groups do everything they do in lock step, in other words, every individual fish is expected to be like the rest at all times. 🐠
But schooling has some downsides. Can you see where I’m going here?!
One of the most obvious disadvantages is that those out of step with the group get sacrificed - yikes, right! Yet the greater risk is a school's deeply diminished ability to adapt as circumstances change. Schools stay schools no matter what, even if it means the whole institution goes down in one might gulp.
Now me personally - I prefer a shoaling kind of leadership and lifestyle. How about you?
So now what is ‘shoaling’ - well, shoaling fish are those who have an advantage. Shoaling fish swim in groups like others. But unlike schoolers, shoalers not only allow but embrace the power of the individual players.
You’re probably thinking to yourself - ‘Wow, who knew we could all learn something from fish, right?!’ Or at least that’s what I thought - I was in complete awe.
Shoaling fish stay together for social reasons and when they group, they get all the upsides schoolers get - they have greater potential to defend against predators, and they can more easily find resources like food or mates, to name the most obvious benefits.
But shoalers seem to intuitively know when the collective has reached its limits and that sometimes they need to make way for the power of the individual. 🐟🐠
That's why they are ready and willing to briefly separate when doing so is to their advantage, be it to feed, rest, travel, or avoid a threat. Wisely, they're just as ready and skilled at coming back together when the advantage lies with the collective.
Though studies have not been able to get inside the fish brain to know for sure, shoaling fish seem not to wage a battle in their minds or in their groups about the singular supremacy of either the group or the individual - something that many people organizations drift into rather than seeking the balance.
Quite strange that despite our bigger and more adept brains, a human leader is often quick to dictate or defend their role within their leading capacity.
Out of fear we at times force and enforce hierarchies while inadvertently we eradicate the benefits we are all seeking so desperately - the power that comes from championing the individual.
Creative thought, innovation, awareness, and adaptation in its unique ways of expression. There is no zero sum for shoalers, which leaves them plenty of times to practice at how to balance the benefits of the individual and the group.
Pretty fascinating, right?
So this leaves me with the fact that we are all due for a swim in some way.
Be proud of who you are. Express yourself authentically. Enjoy being you and the rewards you’ll get from standing out!
Your vibe is your vibe alone - own it. The same goes for your business vibrations and your team's collective and individual energy. 👊🏼
Instead of fitting in and doing what everyone else does - shine your spark and inspire others by being a shoaling embracing fish in this big pond of entrepreneurship.
Only you can bring your purpose and birth your heart's mission into the world. 🗺💛
Wouldn’t you agree that the greatest inventions and advances always came from those who utilised their unique skills and talents despite any setback or opinions from others?
When we become more of who we are, we become irresistible and attract the right ‘fish’ in our lives.
Let the world know what you stand for - your values - your company's framework and foundation it is built upon.
So maybe ask yourself today - How much of how you are communicating yourself to the world is because you think you should be that way - and how much is who you really are? How much of what you are doing today is because you truly chose to do it?
Make no mistake, the world is changing and the pace of change is increasing more and more with each new day. 2020 has been an extremely powerful year so far.
We as humanity will only ever overcome new challenges if we encourage kind actions and enable innovation - if we celebrate and empower individuality – not because they are disruptive, but because they will utilise that great capacity for imagination to look at old problems in new ways – and to find new ways of limitless possibilities forward.
You’ll never please everyone and attempting to do so just waters down who you are and what you stand for. Truly - I’ve lived it and learned from it. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I listened to all the ‘noise and voices’ around me.
So in the end - remember - No one person has all the skills, answers, or ideas to do this. It takes the collective, right down to the last person.
Inspire and encourage the people around you to be themselves - by doing so you are creating the biggest difference/ripple in the world. A legacy ripple to last in the hearts you have touched in the most profound way - and far beyond 💛
Simply be you and touch hearts - today and every day, Nadine