My daughter loves Ariana Grande. I have started loving her two since I read this quote by her…

“Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are.” –  
Ariana Grande

It was a leap of faith for me to stop attempting to be a template version of who I should be professionally and personally in my work and my life, and choose to expose my quirks and then actually celebrate them and let them go on to become part of the way I represent my business, my college, my approach to therapy, the way I write, the way I present and communicate in my personal life.

Deep down, even the most successful people feel inadequate on occasion. This sometimes stems from comparing yourself and your life to others. From a very early age onwards, we develop a sense of where we fit into society’s various systems based on a wide range of factors and variables. The expectations are placed upon us even as small children by different societal structures (family, school etc).

Read this article for more on stopping comparing yourself to others: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

With age, our talents and character traits start to unfold as do our weaknesses. They are exposed in both good and bad ways. Your flaws are often your strengths in-disguise. For example, being a daydreamer may be perceived as a problem in school but later is exactly what can make you an excellent storyteller and creative. Take any flaw and find the silver lining. It is all about how you use your natural talent and true personality to your benefit or your disadvantage. But as a child, you may feel like a misfit or even freak when your character isn’t in-line with what people around you approve of. This was certainly the case for me.

“All your quirks and all your problems – even your depressions and your failures – that’s what makes you you.” – Gerard Way

Now as an adult, most of us seem to want to strive to just “fit in” and be accepted.  But actually, why should we? We are who we are. There’s nothing wrong with being something which isn’t the “norm”. On that topic, you might like this video I recorded about how and why to share and celebrate your individuality.

Define what Success looks like to you

Have you ever thought about what success means to you? You most likely want to be successful, depending on what that menas to you.

Success to one person could be about having the freedom to manage their own time and be there for their family every day, while for someone else it could be positively contributing to the world. Yet that doesn’t make either of goal more or less important. The only way you will be able to define success is by backing your strengths and prioritising your own understanding of yourself.

Find the right community for you

You will have people in your life that will be with you through thick and thin. Your support team is vital if you wish to lead a successful life.

Although society may have tried to force you to conform to some mythical behaviour deemed ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’, there are many be people around you who could inspire you with their words, or maybe they can make complicated things seem easy.

For me, I am able to geek out with academic friends and fellow researchers, discuss love of my unusual work with close colleagues, talk about favourite micro-breweries and their latest beer offerings with friends and weightlifting with my gym buddies. For those wishing to immerse themselves in being a Geek and celebrate it accordingly, read this: 7 Reasons Why Being a Geek is Awesome.

Be true to yourself

As an adult, we are often taught to hide the character traits we find imperfect but it is part of who we are and unchangeable, they don’t go away. They still come out in times of emotion or fatigue. Sometimes, the so-called flaws were something a child suffered under a lot in childhood, being a daydreamer, having an unusual sense of humour, or having a strong love for a particular rare topic, for example. Therefore, the child may associate these characteristics with shame. As an adult, it may be a bad memory and don’t want anyone to see these behaviours as they fear they will be rejected and shunned just as they were as a child. This creates a deep subconscious feeling of shame and a sense of “I am not good enough.”

The problem here is easy to identify. Deep down, you may believe you are flawed. And your deepest fear is that others will someday find out and expose the real you, who is unlovable. At your very core, you may feel defective. It is so deep that most won’t even admit that but your behaviour shows it. There is even a term coined ‘imposter syndrome’ that exposes to some degree this behaviour of hiding who you are to better fit in. And you can never feel comfortable in your skin if you are trying to live a lie.

Get comfortable exposing your true self to the world. Even if it is bit by bit. The liberation will fill you with joy.

Celebrate your uniqueness

We have never lived in a time where being different was more celebrated than now. The Internet has brought to the general public people of every imaginable difference, some mildly different and others shockingly so. Self-labelled alternative people have exposed how they have suffered but also how they are now thriving. These bold spokespeople enable others like themselves in-hiding to come out and celebrate who they are. There is nothing more liberating than being you. It is so much work pretending to be someone else. It is exhausting and self-defeating. Science shows that hiding who you are inside for fear of being shunned creates anxiety, sadness, depression, and even suicidal thoughts (Downey G, Lebolt A, Rincón C, Freitas AL. Rejection sensitivity and children’s interpersonal difficulties. Child Dev. 1998;69(4):1074–1091).
Moreover, it is no longer necessary. Society will “forgive” you, the right people will welcome and embrace you. You are loved and wanted. There are people just like you ready to support you and even celebrate you!

Let it out loud and proud. You are enough. Turn shame into pride, a victim into a warrior, and flaws into gifts. The true you is fabulous but until you accept your true self and own your fabulousness, you will always feel you are not good enough. When in reality, you are MORE than good enough: you are perfectly imperfect and amazing.

“The only way to come to a full acceptance and understanding of yourself is to embrace your own culture, quirks and differences while learning about those around you and exploring, incorporating and embracing their cultures, differences, quirks, etcetera.” –  Toks Olagundoye

Let’s start embracing your quirks and those of others rather than judging and criticizing. Go out there. Get messy! Go and live your life accordingly. Just don’t be surprised if you end up inspiring a whole lot of people along the way.


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Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.