“Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland
What is it about you that makes you different from any individual in the world? What gifts and talents do you possess that the world will miss if you never use them?
Most of you reading this post remember the story of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. I know it is not close to Christmas, but Rudolph came to my mind when addressing how your uniqueness can become your advantage.
Rudolph is a great example of what can happen in your life if you accept what makes you unique from others. Your differences can make room for you to excel beyond yours and others expectations.
If you know the story, you know that Rudolph had a unique feature that made him stand out from the other reindeer. If you remember the cartoon, you know that in the beginning he and his father tried to hide his red nose by covering it up with a fake nose.
Rudolph’s father wanted him to be like all the other reindeer. He was willing to forfeit his son’s uniqueness so he could blend in. What unique talent, ability or gift have you tried to cover up to blend in with others? Why are you afraid to stand out?
The world has enough people living an average or mediocre life. There are plenty of copy cats and imitators. The world needs more people willing to take a chance of walking in their uniqueness despite the opinion of others.
In the beginning of Rudolph’s story, he was wearing a fake nose to fit in with the crowd. He got away with it for a while, but during rough play with some friends his fake nose came off and his unique red nose was revealed. When the other reindeer saw his big, red shiny nose they began to laugh and call him names. They would not let Rudolph play in anymore reindeer games.
It is funny how people will be with you because they considered you just like them, but when God decides to expose your uniqueness the same people will ostracize you or box you in a corner. Just like Rudolph, the reindeer he once hung with were the ones that abandon him because he was different.
Have your uniqueness cause people to walk away from you? How did it make you feel? Rudolph felt left out and disconnected. The reindeer, who once played with him, now became his antagonists. In the beginning Rudolph’s uniqueness seemed to be his disadvantage.
Stand out, don’t blend in
You were created with unique gifts and talents to present to the world. You were designed to stand out and not blend in. Men often miss doing great things because they spend too much time trying to fit in rather than standing out.
I believe the reason men settle for blending in rather than standing out is because of the work and possible ridicule involved. Standing out will force you to break free from the familiar. Blending in keeps you locked in the familiar. Standing out will place you in uncomfortable situations to express your uniqueness. Blending in will cause you to miss living your best because you want to fit in.
At the end Rudolph’s story, we find Santa in a serious predicament. He can’t make his Christmas deliveries because of an intense fog. There is no way he can see to lead the team of reindeer through the fog. When it seems hopeless that the delivery of toys on Christmas would not happen in comes Rudolph.
Santa sees Rudolph big, shiny red nose and realizes if he put him at the head of the reindeer then he will be able to guide the sleigh through the fog. I love this part of the story because the one everyone thought was insignificant because of his uniqueness was now counted on to do a significant work.
Live out your uniqueness
In the end Rudolph was able to help save Christmas because he allowed his uniqueness to stand out. Santa was able to make his deliveries to boys and girls around the world. He went from being laughed at to becoming the leader. He went from being counted out to being counted in. Rudolph went down in history as a hero.
You may not go down in history as great hero, but you can shine before those who you are connected to by walking in your uniqueness. You may have to admit that you have downplayed your uniqueness because you fear being different. You may have to face the reality that you are afraid of what others may think or say.
You must determine that enough is enough. You must decide today is the day that you start walking in your uniqueness. You must discern that your uniqueness may be your advantage. Let go of the restraints to living out your uniqueness and watch your life explode.
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up?
Photo Credit: Getty Images