Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.

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Excerpt from: Likability. Being liked and unliked.

If you want to reach your full potential, then you must learn to accept yourself for who you are & who you want to be and take personal responsibility for your life and how you feel.

And along the way to self-actualization, you must be prepared to be unpopular. Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.

Those who achieve greatness in life don’t let others dictate how they feel about themselves — and neither should you.

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It’s better to be your genuine self…

Excerpt from: Don’t live your life wearing a disguise.

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It’s better to be your genuine self and have fewer of the right kinds of people in your life than it is to surround yourself with those who only accept you as long as you conform to their idea of who you should be.

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Keys to self-confidence

Excerpt from: my book series

One of the keys to self-confidence is recognizing those things that make you feel vulnerable or self-conscious and then accepting them.

Because when you accept yourself for who you are — flaws and all — you leave people far less capable of adversely affecting your sense of self-worth.

One of the byproducts of a stable sense of self-worth is self-confidence.

When you truly know who you are — and who you are in the process of becoming — you will no longer live in fear of what people say or think about you.

Take the time to get to know yourself.

Learn to know the difference between what you can change about yourself and what you can’t.

Understand that you are a work-in-progress and that the things about yourself that you have power over — such as your attitude, diet, fitness, habit, and skills — can and will change for the better over time if you work on them.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, accept yourself as you are at this time.

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When you truly know who you are…

Excerpt from: my book series

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When you truly know who you are — and who you are in the process of becoming — you will no longer live in fear of what people say or think about you.

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Image above inspired by: Pictures in boxes

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Normal may be normal, but it doesn’t mean good.

Always remember that what you may consider totally weird, someone else may consider perfectly normal. And vice-versa.

Reminding yourself that what is weird and what is normal is subjective is a major step towards living in harmony with people.

Yes, every society has its standards, but every society’s standards for what is considered normal are not only subject to change, what is considered normal at any given time isn’t necessarily good for the people who contribute to making it normal.

For example, if enough people in a given area act out a bad habit consistently that bad habit becomes normal and accepted. Smoking comes to mind.

So remember, before you judge someone for not being normal, remember that normal is not only subjective, normal is not synonymous for good.

And normal certainly isn’t good if it means judging others unfavorably for exerting their individuality and not simply conforming to the crowd.

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” — Charles Addams

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Don’t live your life wearing a disguise.

It’s better to be your genuine self and have fewer of the right kinds of people in your life than it is to surround yourself with those who only accept you as long as you conform to their idea of who you should be.

Don’t live your life wearing a disguise.

When you refuse to be anything but your genuine self, you give those who are most compatible with who you are a chance to find you.

Never fear being rejected by those who seek to confine you to their expectations. It’s OK not to be liked or accepted by everyone you cross paths with on your journey.

You have to live your own life, learn from what life experiences provide you and evolve into the person you were meant to be.

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and let go of things that are keeping you from making progress in life in order to make space for more of the things that will help you fulfill your potential.

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Integrity and independent thinking

Gathering data to make an informed opinion is one thing. Simply waiting to agree with the crowd is something else entirely.

Being yourself and maintaining your integrity means standing up for what you believe to be right and true whether it’s in the company of a crowd or not.

Fear of self-expression is a form of self-imposed slavery.

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Seeing things differently

Excerpt from: my book series

Seen in a meme:

“Sometimes I think I’m crazy because I see things differently than everyone else.”

You’re not crazy if you don’t always agree with the crowd. Group dynamics is one of the most powerful forces in human psychology.

The Asch conformity experiments demonstrate that even the most seemingly logical of people can be influenced to make bad decisions due to one’s internal desire to conform to group expectations.

“Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people, in which the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints.

The primary socially negative cost of groupthink is the loss of individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking.” — Wikipedia

Group dynamics can cause people to act irrationally and at their own expense or the expense of others.

Group dynamics can cloud the truth, cause us to desire junk, turn us against people we love, and even follow & support leaders who would do us harm.

Group dynamics is often at the core of prejudice and discrimination.

Independent thinking is far less common than it should be. It should be praised.

It takes an exceptional kind of integrity to stick up for what you believe is right and true when facing a group.

Being able to see things differently is a valuable skill and is often what allows us to make great strides in technologies and processes that benefit all. Due to group dynamics, however, truly new and original ideas are often ridiculed before they are accepted.

“For a work to be truly creative, it has to depart from the status quo at some point. That departure makes many people uncomfortable.” — David Burkus (99u)

The ability to see things differently than the crowd and maintain one’s integrity despite pressure to conform is a gift. Being able to see things differently than other people doesn’t make you crazy. It makes you valuable.

“The person who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” — *Francis Phillip Wernig

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The freedom to be

Are we free if we live our lives in a way that consistently requires the approval of others to be truly happy?

Are we free if we consistently force ourselves to live within the confines of other people’s expectations?

Are we free if we consistently dilute our true selves to make others happy?

Are we free if our emotions and mental state are easily controlled by what others say or do?

Are we free if we cannot consider an opposing point of view without getting emotional or immediately dismissing it because it contradicts our own beliefs?

No.

These are limitations we place on ourselves. They are, quite simply, bad habits.

The good news is that, as habits, we can replace them with better, far more empowering options if we so choose.

It may take work to rewrite years of mental and emotional constraints, but who is in charge of your life?

You are.

When you truly know who you are — and who you are in the process of becoming — you will no longer live in fear of what people say or think about you.”

Whether it’s strong, confident, carefree, independent or all of the above, give yourself the freedom to be as you truly wish to appear to others.

Don’t give power to those who don’t have your best interest in mind. Reclaim the freedom to be your true self by defining your own identity and wrestle back control of your thoughts, feelings, and sense of self-worth from those you have inadvertently given power over you.

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Extraordinary isn't normal. It's different.

Extraordinary people are not normal.

They play the game in unconventional ways. They walk the edge. They take risks. They challenge the status quo. They push their boundaries to see how far they can go.

Extraordinary is different.

If you want extraordinary things in your life, you either have to do uncommon things to make those things possible or you have to have the courage to let unusual and uncommon things into your life when they present themselves to you.

No, not every uncommon experience, opportunity, or person you encounter in your life will lead to extraordinary things, but the alternative is to maintain the status quo and gamble on the remote possibility that continuing to do and accept the same things in your life as you always have will somehow lead to different — extraordinary — results.

Don’t wait for extraordinary things to happen. Make the changes necessary in yourself and your life to allow them to happen.

You can start by broadening your perspective, increasing your tolerance for things that are different from you are accustomed to, and consciously pushing beyond your comfort zone.

Every new day is an opportunity for something extraordinary to happen. Don’t miss out because you rejected it for being, feeling, or looking different than what you considered “normal”.

Extraordinary isn’t normal. It’s *different.

*Different from what you are used to. What’s normal or common to one person isn’t necessarily normal or common to another.

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” — Jim Rohn

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