How to cash in on your Distinctive Uniqueness
Have you ever caught yourself wanting to be perfect? That’s not surprising. We women are raised to please, juggle multiple roles, be polished and patient, magically add extra hours to the day when 24 are not enough, and, on top of all that, look like we’re fresh out of the beauty salon at any given moment. But perfection is an illusion; it can never be reached, and striving for it can be frustrating.
However, there is a solution—you can be your best self. Being your best self is not the same as being perfect. Your best you is simply the best version of the unique being that you already are—amplifying the talents you already have, rather than focusing on your limitations, your “weaknesses,” and your “not enoughs.” As simple as this may sound, for many women this is a huge mind-set shift.
But here’s the deal: if you don’t fully acknowledge your very specific greatness, no one will. Successful leaders have this figured out. They distinguish themselves to move to the top. How? By uncovering and building on their authentic brilliance, their Distinctive Uniqueness.
Your Distinctive Uniqueness is the foundation for your branding, whether in the corporate world or as a business owner. Showing your authentic, powerful self makes you visible and memorable. It can turn you into the best candidate for a promotion or the ultimate fit for your ideal clients. In his book SPIKE—What Are You Great At? René Carayol says, “A SPIKE [Strengths Positively Identified Kick-start Excellence] . . . is your brand, the essence of what you are.”
Think about it. There are currently 7.6 billion people on this planet, and no one has your DNA. This is no accident. The world needs exactly who you are. You must play full-out with it because successful leaders don’t blend in. They stand out. Standing out requires courage—another critical ingredient for success. When you uncover your authentic brilliance, your light shines brighter: it will reflect back on you. It’s a virtuous circle.
Strategies to Uncover Your Distinctive Uniqueness
Make a list of 10 unique qualities you possess. What do your friends appreciate you for? Send out an anonymous online survey; ask your friends what qualities come to mind when they think of you. How can these qualities benefit your career? I also call these unique qualities “unique assets,” because some of them are worth gold, if we take the time to dig them up. They can lead to more money in our bank accounts and more satisfaction in our careers.
Ask yourself what you do uniquely well. What makes you feel excited and amazing when you do it? What makes your heart sing? This is an indication of strength and passion coming together.
Do you sometimes feel “weird”? That’s awesome news! In an article for IndustryWeek, Lonnie Wilson asks, “Are you weird enough?” Your weirdness and your quirks can help you differentiate yourself in a crowded market. Look at it this way—limited editions tend to have higher sales figures.
Stop being ordinary. Dare to stand out, embrace your Distinctive Uniqueness, and be extra-ordinary! Or as Oscar Wilde put it, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Dw
Regina Huber is founder and CEO of Transform Your Performance and a transformational leadership coach with a passion for dance, diversity, and co-creation. She is a speaker and the author of Speak up, Stand out and Shine. www.transformyourperformance.com