The art of being unique

I went to a women’s networking event this morning. I’m still trying to work out if this kind of event is for me. I’ve been to 3 or 4 now and all the ladies are lively, motivated and interesting. It’s not them, it’s me. I can’t even put my finger on why I’m so two-headed about it. Maybe it’s the business focus. Maybe it sometimes feels a little like trying-too-hard. I’m not even sure I love the idea of gender-specific forums. I suppose I’ll work it out over time but in the meantime I’ll keep going because – well, because something tells me I should. At the very least I’ll learn something about myself. Will I discover that I’m just being narrow-minded and even snobby? Watch this space!

All this does make me think about what I call “The Other”. It’s that tendency we all have at times to believe that someone else’s opinion has got to be superior to our own. Boy, oh boy, I feel like a great deal of my life has been plagued by this knee-jerk subsuming of myself. I think I’m largely cured now – these past 10 years of focused self-development have definitely worked wonders – but every now and then I go down that rabbit hole. Like just before the summer when I tied myself in knots downloading e-books, listening to webinars, tweeting, facebooking and generally running myself ragged trying to find the answer to my marketing dilemmas. How easy it was to get waylaid by the latest social networking guru or invitation to a gazillion dollar weekend on Success!

A lot of this is actually good stuff and oftentimes it’s free, but talk about information overload! In the end – just before the kids broke up from school – I caught myself. I was floating outside of my body, any sense of perspective buried in the 10 step program to this and the once-in-a-lifetime bonus gift for that.

So how I do keep making sure I keep things ‘real’ – in other words how can I take on others’ advice and opinions and still keep a strong sense of my own purpose and direction? Here’s some thoughts:

a) I need to accept that I’m going to get caught in the rabbit hole every now and then, so I must not beat myself up

b) I can trust my Future Self and my instincts.  “If it feels good then it’s right” – it sounds fluffy but it’s the best measure I have aligning for to my truth

c) I must remember that we are all as individual as snowflakes. How can someone else’s way ever be entirely right for me? I can take bits and pieces but ultimately T. Sansome at her best is simply a bundling up of all that I’ve learned, that I’ve loved and that I wish to take with me on my journey ahead.

This last one reminds me of one of my favourite songs – I used to play it to my Artist’s Way Workshop participants. Have a listen and let’s feel empowered to be utterly, gloriously, uniquely ourselves!

(Bit of a dramatic version but you get the gist!)

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