I think it’s fair to say that for most of us there are times when we bow down to cultural norms and expectations. At least to some extent. Don’t get me wrong sometimes that is the right thing to do. However, other times such resistance to change can be crippling. I experienced it so often back in my ‘corporate days’. “Oh no, that’s not the way we do things around here! We can’t be different!” was an expression that always got the heckles up. Whether it was suggesting an innovative service, product or cultural shift, wanting to do things differently was often met with head shaking and frowns. Most of the time it was bureaucracy gone mad or sheer fear of change!
Challenge the norms
However, is doing things differently all that it’s cracked up to be? Well, from my personal experience and my work with coaching clients, daring to be different can be an absolute game changer. I went from a corporate job commuting 4 hours per day to becoming a full-time life coach and co-founder of Journal Life. A huge transition and one that I’m SO glad I made. Even within the corporate environment, I’ve seen the benefits of challenging the status quo or ‘the way we do things around here’. Bucking the trend is brave but provided you can clearly demonstrate the benefits I would say it is almost always worth persisting. I’ve seen the difference it can make first hand – enhanced results, more job satisfaction, increased morale, working in flow, high performing teams and happier lives. All of that can be achieved more easily by adopting a ‘dare to be different’ mindset. Test and learn was our motto!
What about your life?
But it’s not all about your career. What if you adopted that same mindset within your personal life? If you didn’t simply accept cultural norms or expectations what could that mean for your life and lifestyle? If you’ve read Tim Ferriss’s ‘4 Hour Work Week’ you’ll know that both in terms of work and lifestyle he challenges everything. Attitudes to where you live, what you do, working hours, retirement, money and freedom. I guess that’s why he was turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers. One publisher took the brave decision to run with it and the rest is history. Daring to be different!
How can you dare to be different?
How can you live more in alignment with what you really want and who you truly are?
What would the benefits of that change be?
What would the worst case scenario be?
How would you respond if that happened?
Does the reward outweigh the risk?
What could you do right now to start making that bold, purposeful shift?
Now do it and keep going. Another step forward every day. See where it takes you!
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