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  • Kelly Hevel

    Kelly Hevel is a coach specialized in helping curious, ambitious women reinvent their life’s work and blaze their own trails, something she has done herself several times over in her corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial work. She is currently based in Istanbul where she often flaunts tradition and chooses coffee over tea.
4 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

4 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

“You’re so weird!” Everyone has moments of feeling weird, different or misunderstood. Whether this is something you only feel at certain times in certain places, or a part of your everyday journey through the world, it can feel disconcerting and lower your confidence. But what if you could see your weirdness as a positive trait? Here are some thoughts on how to change your viewpoint while not only accepting, but embracing your inner weirdo. 4 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Weirdo Blessed are the weird people – poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters & troubadours – for they teach us to see the world through different eyes. -- Jacob Nordby Say “thank you” If someone tells you you’re weird in so many words, thank them. For some people weird is just another way of saying unique, and you could argue that being unique is a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with approaching life and problems from a unique perspective. It can have many benefits, allowing you to accomplish things others never had the ability to even imagine, or to achieve a goal in a way that makes you stand out. READ: The World Needs More You: How to Be Successful at Being Yourself Even if someone calls you weird and means it in a negative way, thanking them shifts the conversation. It may confuse or distract them long enough for you to make your escape -- because, really, who needs to be around that kind of negativity anyway? Or it might even make them rethink their viewpoint, and consider how weirdness could actually be good. I learned to see my own inner weirdo as a plus from a friend who often stops in the middle of a conversation with me to say admiringly, “You’re weird!” I used to argue that it wasn’t true, but now I accept his conclusion with a big smile and a “Thank you!” Revel in it Once you accept that you’re weird life becomes much easier. Now that you are no longer trying to hide who you are, and don’t fear being called weird, anything goes. There is a true sense of freedom in not worrying what others think. What you choose to do and how you choose to do it can now be ruled by your goals, objectives, and beliefs, without the extra burden of trying to pursue them in ways that seem “normal” to others. Trying to live your life as others believe you should is a losing prospect, because we all know you’ll never be able to please everyone. So revel in the fact that you are free to live and act as you please: it opens up endless possibilities! Find your people Flying your freak flag makes it easier to find your tribe. No matter how weird you may be, you know there are other weirdos out there like you, but how do you find them? I used to work hard to be appropriate and fit in, especially in the corporate environment which is not a natural fit for someone like me who tends to approach problems and assignments in nontraditional ways. READ: The Risky Road to Connection: Why You Must Dare to Be Yourself My pattern in new situations used to go something like this: for the first year or so I would look, act, and speak the way I was “supposed” to. Once I felt accepted, I would feel comfortable enough to start acting more like myself, and while sometimes people were surprised by these changes, they never reacted negatively. Only after I revealed my true nature would I find out that there were other secret “weirdos” right beside me, also suppressing their weird tendencies, and we would become fast friends. While variety is good, sometimes we need to spend time and talk with people who really understand us. You may never know there is a fellow weirdo hiding right beside you until you reveal your own weirdness. Accept that we all play different roles, and this is yours Most would agree that if everyone was the same the world would be a boring place, and even if you don’t agree, experience tells us that there are many ways of being in the world. You can struggle against your role, constantly trying to change yourself and being on your guard against slip-ups, or you can accept that this is who you are. Finding a way to accept your role will reduce your stress. Constantly trying to fit in and never succeeding in hiding your true self is stressful, will make you self-conscious, and often leads to difficulty performing at your best. Once you stop worrying about fitting in (because you never will), and learn you can simply say, “Yep. I know. I’m weird,” your self-consciousness will go down and your ability to live life fully will go way up. So own your weirdness openly and proudly, and keep an eye out for the other weirdos doing the same.