Since the early eighties, parents, teachers, advertisers and television personalities have assured children that they were special.
That they’re not like the others. And that the gifts they posses are unique and value and someday, somewhere, somebody is finally going to recognize just how amazing they really are, tap them on the shoulder and promptly reward them with the opportunity of a lifetime.
This message was pounded into my head from an early age. And I’m grateful for it, as it cemented the foundational belief that my talent was valuable to the world.
Educational research has actually proven through numerous studies that teacher expectation enhances performance from children and creates a higher likelihood to graduate from college.
But here’s the problem. The pressure we now put on ourselves to be special and great is higher than ever. We beat ourselves up for not standing out and getting noticed. And as a result, we isolate ourselves by feeling unique in our pain.
Spezzano’s masterful book about healing and transforming our relationships addresses this issue beautifully. He writes:
All our forms of separating ourselves from others come from wanting to be special in some way. Our loneliness is actually coming from the desire to prove we are unique. Because we would rather be special than make contact with others.
And so, feeling special doesn’t serve us as much as we think it does. Often times, it only keeps us alienated from all that is here. I’ve tried being special my whole life, and only in my thirties have I finally realized the danger of this need.
Because when I bring too much outsider energy to the world, perpetually walking around like a stranger in a strange land, building isolating ideational bubbles around myself, I know that carelessly cut threads of connection.
Because I’d rather be a unique little snowflake floating against backdrop of the night sky, searching for tongue to land on, apposed to quietly and humbly melting into the mass of the mountain.
One day, though, I will open my heart to my own humanity. I will acknowledge that my loneliness comes out of the need to be different. I will accept that being spectacular doesn’t guarantee my safety in this world.
And I will give up my choice for loneliness and make contact with those around me.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you willing to let go of your veil of specialness that keeps creating pain for you?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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