“The world is not changed by people who sort of care. The world is changed by people who passionately, irrationally, audaciously care. You need to communicate your core personality advantages and people will passionately care about you.”-Sally Hogshead
As an immigrant, growing up was difficult. In many ways I stood out like a sore thumb from my name, the way I dressed, the lunches I brought and my accent. All I wanted was to “be just like the other kids”. I worked extremely hard in school trying to prove that I was just as good, if not better than those around me.
As I got older, I began accepting and embracing my differences to the point now where I use them to my advantage.
The beautiful thing is each of us are unique and possess different gifts and talents. Whether it’s your ability to negotiate with clients, attain buy-in from key stakeholders or develop innovative solutions, everyone has something they bring to the table—you just have to know how to tap into it.
Here are four things you need to start doing today to start leveraging your differentiators to become great:
- Own it. Identify your strengths and own them like it’s no one’s business. Become a specialist in your field. Know your weaknesses but truly focus on the things that make you shine. In a Forbes article, the writer states: “You only have limited resources. You need to maximize your potential.”
- Feed your curiosity. Things are ever-evolving; make sure you’re on the leading edge. By knowing new things, you are bringing new perspectives to your workplace and relationships. Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day to continually build his knowledge. This article is one page. You’ve got 499 pages to go.
- Be polarizing. Stop wasting your energy on others’ opinion of you and focus on what you do best. Zig Ziglar once said, “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” Don’t hold back, have an opinion and express your viewpoints.
- Get out there. Don’t over-think your problems or faults. The worst thing to do is retreat into your shell. Pull yourself out and do something. Meet new people or better yet give back. The best way to help yourself is to help others.
Dare to be different, dare to stand out and most importantly express your talents. Challenge yourself everyday to step out and do something that scares you because this is the only way to find out who you are and what you are able to achieve. Aim to be great!