How to Cultivate Your Distinctiveness

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Many of you want to be just like the last guy who got the promotion. But he probably did not get it by being like someone else, and guess what? Neither will you.

Success comes from being the distinctive person that God created us to be. It’s our differences, our uniqueness, that gets us to where we’re supposed to be in life—our God-given destiny.

It’s not about trying to transform yourself into a vision of who other people want you to be or who your employer wants you to be. Understand what’s required for your job but do it in a way that is authentically you.

The quality that makes you unique—your talent, your style, your gift—is the very thing God will use to take you where you’re supposed to be.

Here are a few tips to help you cultivate your distinctiveness:

1.Hang with original thinkers

Spend time with people from all walks of life who are challenging the status quo, producing original work, and refusing to conform. Be sure they’re not people who simply look the part but are afraid of defying convention; those are easy to find. Instead, hang with those who appreciate your distinctive thinking but also challenge it.

2.Ask forgiveness, not permission

Don’t seek people’s approval before you do something that expresses your uniqueness or originality; just do it. I’m not telling you to do something that violates the rules of your workplace and gets you disciplined, just not to look for anyone to validate what you want to try before the fact.

Commonly, well-meaning individuals will try to talk you out of actions they feel are risky, not understanding that taking them is critical to your growth and advancement.

3.Go where the crowd isn’t going

When you’ve surveyed the landscape of your profession or industry and seen what the herd is doing in terms of creativity, business ideas, marketing, or anything else, pivot 180 degrees and go in the other direction. It’s like the advice you’ll often hear about the stock market: when the crowd is selling, buy, and when the crowd is buying, sell.

People flock together for validation and safety; no one wants to be the one in the herd who stands out and gets taken down. But you’re no herd animal. You’re an original. Be the first one to go in your direction and make everyone else follow you.

4.Don’t focus on keeping what you have

Playing it safe is basically saying, “I don’t trust my instincts, passion, faith, or God and I’m afraid if I don’t repeat what I did last year, I’ll lose my nice house and nice car.”

Train yourself not to worry about keeping anything. You’re only renting it from God anyway. Don’t attach to what you have and, strangely, you’ll have more.

5.Create silence to listen to your inner voice

Find times and places of peace that allow you to quiet your mind, talk to God, and listen to your nagging, tugging, motivating inner voice. That’s where you’ll hear the Lord speaking to you in ideas that you can’t get out of your head, thrilling brainstorms that you stay up all night working on, and the courage to stand out from the crowd.

Now that you have tips on how to cultivate your distinctiveness, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know which tip you are going to apply TODAY!


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