I remember when I was a kid, my mom noticed all the boys in the neighborhood wearing the same type of football jersey.
Not wanting me to feel left out, she said she’d be happy to buy one for me.
I said thanks, but no. Since everyone else was wearing them, I didn’t want one.
I’m not sure what drove me to feel that way, but it was an early indication that I was on a different path.
Over the years there were many other things that made me feel out of step with other people.
I was socially awkward in elementary and high school. I never took to sports or hanging out with the guys in the locker room.
I seemed to have a sense of humor and perspective on life that was different from many of my peers growing up.
I bet you can relate to this sense of being a misfit too!
At the time I thought perhaps I was “weird” and saw it as a flaw. Maybe there was something wrong with me.
But in hindsight, it became a strength and served me well in my journey to eventually being comfortable in my own skin, as well as being self-employed in the arts.
It was that awkward sense of possibility that inspired me to start a music magazine at age 26 with no previous experience.
It was that “weird” instinct that drove me to self-publish my second book at age 35 in the mid-1990s — instead of seeking out a traditional publisher.
It was that stubborn belief in doing things different that got me involved in music, theatre, improv, stand-up comedy, painting, podcasting, and more.
That “road less traveled” philosophy also motivated me to start posting affirmation and guided meditation videos on YouTube (and risk alienating my existing audience). That move has proven to be wildly successful!
So what about you?
No matter where you are in life — whether you have gone the traditional or non traditional route, or some combination of both — you can start anew.
You can turn your sense of not belonging into a powerful asset.
Or, you can take the safe life you’ve created and turn it on its head.
It’s up to you!
Consider these questions …
Do you want to fit in … or stand out?
Would you rather play it safe … or forge a new path?
Do you want to be predictable and compliant … or take the road less travelled?
Would you rather be an obedient member of a group … or lead a revolution?
I’d love your thoughts on this!
Can you relate to feeling like a misfit? Or have you always taken the “normal” path? How have you embraced or rejected either?
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This is Day 9 of a 30-Day Blog Writing Challenge.
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Bob Baker helps musicians, authors, artists, and creative entrepreneurs use their talents and know-how to make a living and make a difference in the world!