As children and young adults we are taught that fitting in is natural, and desirable, representing the path of least resistance that leads to friendship, inclusion, approval and success.
However, the reality is that the pursuit of fitting in leaves many of us leading lives and careers that are less than authentic, which is neither comfortable nor sustainable, and rarely leads to the kind of success we ultimately feel good about.
The inability to express our own value inevitably damages our integrity and diminishes our sense of self worth and confidence and this is where the real cost of fitting begins to show.
When we lose our sense of confidence and worth we begin to seek comfort in a more insular perspective, which in turn leads to an increasing number of missed opportunities - opportunities we miss because they are either not offered to us, or because we no longer have the confidence to open ourselves to the challenges they represent.
It is a dangerously downwardly spiraling cycle that continues to erode our sense of self and confidence, leading to resentment, unhappiness, and envy of those that seemingly float through their lives and careers attracting one success after another.
So what is the alternative?
The phrase 'standing out' has always come with a certain connotation of 'eccentricity' if not downright craziness. However when you look at those you admire the most you will notice that they are neither eccentric nor crazy. They are in fact, vital and full of the kind of 'presence' that makes others gravitate towards them.
It is this 'presence' that enables us to stand out in the right way, because it is underpinned with knowledge of the self and supported by the kind of confidence and self belief that allows us to transcend challenges while attracting and embracing an increasing variety of opportunities.
Contrary to common perception, presence is not something we are born with, it takes skill and effort to understand who we really are, to live that truth every day, and to communicate it effectively to others in a way that inspires and enables them to do the same.
My new leadership program Stand Out Success has been designed with this particular skill set in mind - enabling participants with the ability - both physical and emotional - to articulate who they are, and what they stand for, communicating those unique points in a way that stands out from the crowd through a range of visual, verbal and non verbal cues.
It is a profound process that identifies and nurtures their unique point of difference, inner confidence, and self-respect in order to create an effective professional image that allows them to step out of their own shadow and reach their full potential across all areas of their personal and professional life.
To learn more visit STAND OUT SUCCESS.