I’m an ultra-running, weight lifting, hypnotherapist, researcher of self-hypnosis with a “hypnosis geek” YouTube channel who has a penchant for bow ties, trucker caps and gin, who reads research papers and sci-fi novels for fun and loves watching documentaries about serial killers. If you’ve met me, you’ll know I’m a hotbed of idiosyncrasies and quirks with a peculiar sense of humour. Let’s be honest, I’m a weirdo.
The fact that it suits me just fine is something I wanted to share and write about today.
“ There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.” – Tom Robbins.
People often don’t want to seem weird or unique, especially when we are children struggling to find our way through school. But a 2018 study published by Yale psychologists Avram Holmes and Lauren Patrick in Trends in Cognitive Sciences argues that we’re all a little bit weird, but being weird is, in fact, totally normal.
Weirdos are, by definition, unique, eccentric, curious. They’re the folks who don’t just think outside the box, they live there. It’s not necessarily occurred to them to colour in between the lines. What makes you weird also makes you wonderful. It’s also the secret sauce for a successful life.
Freaks and geeks rule the world. So many industry leaders and true pioneers are those once called a weirdo, geek or freak (go and google your heroes and you’ll see for yourself). I’ve written about embracing your inner geek before, you can read that article here: 7 Reasons Why Being a Geek is Awesome. https://www.adam-eason.com/7-reasons-geek-awesome/
“Its OK to be weird. And maybe your weird is my normal. Who’s to say? I think its an attitude.” –Lady Gaga.
Here’s why you need to let your inner weirdness fly:
1. Weirdness fuels your passion
“Don’t be afraid to be awesome. Sometimes being weird and different is good. When you think you’re working hard, there is always someone else working harder, so always be yourself and know your stuff.” – Jacqueline Macinnes Wood.
Research has suggested that when we fully focus on what we enjoy, we get in a flow state, opening ourselves up to new ideas and alternative solutions.
Maybe you like rock gardening. Or folding paper into flying birds. The heroine in the popular novel Copygirl enjoys sculpting dolls out of wax. Kay is stuck in a rut, flailing at her high-pressure copywriting job because she’s burnt and uninspired. But a little voice urges her to dig out the shoebox of supplies in her closet and resume her abandoned hobby. And as weird as it makes her feel, losing herself in her quirk helps her find the inspiration she needs to kick butt at work and life.
Getting your freak on will clear out the cobwebs, fuel your creativity, and light that fire that makes you leap out of bed dancing the Electric Slide.
2. Weirdness get noticed
best branding is all about differentiation. What makes us weird is what makes
us stand out. When you have a special skill or unique feat, that’s what people
will remember about you. So instead of blending in with the furniture, you
shine in a room all your own. Wouldn’t you rather be known for your expertise
in spelunking than never noticed at all?
(To save you going and googling it right now, spelunking is the exploration of caves as a hobby)
3. The weird club is more fun
If you embrace your weird passions or pastimes, as well as your foibles and idiosyncrasies, you’ll find you are not alone. There are clubs, fan groups and communities for every interest under the sun. By putting yourself out there and doing your thing, you can meet ‘your people,’ be more social, and bond with kindred spirits who truly get you. Talk about a powerful way to expand your network and work opportunities. In addition, you will open yourself up to a whole lot of laughs. Ever been to a Star Wars convention? Those freaks are having light years of light sabre wielding fun. I’m not even going to mention what it’s like going to a hypnosis convention!)
4. Being weird is easy
It’s a heck of a lot of work pretending to be someone you’re not. Copygirl Kay had spent the first twenty-six years of her life embarrassed by her penchant for daydreaming and all her other eccentricities. She’s convinced she has to ‘fake it to make it.’ But the truth is, it’s so much easier to be ourselves.
When you choose confidence and lose the self-doubt, you’ll finally have the energy to take on the bigger, better things you were born for. Those successful people you know who make it look easy? For many of them, it is easy, because they’re not fighting to fit someone else’s mold.
5. Weirdness is more demandable
Average people are two cents a dozen. There’s loads of them. The standouts are far more valuable. Being different gives you leverage, an edge, and it means you’ll have less competition. Just like that obsessive lego builder or science nerd from primary school who now rocks the world of robotics, many of the world’s best inventors and innovators were notorious freaks.
6. Weirdness Makes you Unique
“You laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” – Jonathan Davis.
One of the biggest advantages you can have in your life is being unique and leaving a mark. It comes from having confidence in who you are and knowing what you can offer to others.
People won’t remember the thing you did that everybody else can do, they will remember the thing you did that only you can do. That only you did. You have your own unique fingerprint, get out and show others what you have to offer. Being you in all your glory in and of itself is something no-one else can do.
7. Weirdness fuels innovation
Weirdness often leads to solutions that go beyond the existing paradigm, because it involves a new way of thinking. Do you ask the questions that others are afraid to ask? Do you give opinions that others may disagree with? Or do you stay quiet because you don’t want to seem odd or disruptive?
Different isn’t always better, but better is always different. Several studies (for example Shaomin Li et al., 2003 at trinity College Dublin and Duzel & Bunzeck of UCL, 2004 and Fenker & Schutze at the University of Magdeburg, 2008) show that weird experiences cause a release of dopamine in the part of our brain responsible for discovering, processing, and storing new sensory impressions. That hit of dopamine not only makes us more motivated to explore, and creates a stronger connection to long-term memory.
We all fall victim of stagnant thinking. It can be hard to consistently churn out new ideas, but this is why it’s so important to ask the hard questions and bring new/odd ideas to the table. Innovative thinking occurs when you challenge the status quo with strange ideas. This is why being weird is your best creative trait.
8. Weirdness inspires others
Being weird is an influential source of your character and creativity. When you start to embrace your inner weirdness, others in your creative circle will be inspired to do the same. When others start to see things like your outlandish ideas leading to new and great ones, or someone praising your work for being something different than they are used to, they will become inspired to let their guard down as well.
Revolutionary ideas push our way of thinking, our community and society. Being weird isn’t about the promotion of counterproductive behaviour or weirdness for its own sake. It’s about thinking differently and revealing our individual idiosyncrasies and passions – the things that make us human. It’s about letting go of the fear of embarrassment or failure.
Accept it, you’ve got a weird side. So embrace it, and come change the world with the rest of us.
“If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” – Elaine S. Dalton.
Whether you are searching for your heart’s work to begin a new path, or simply trying to incorporate a little more passion into your daily life, there are some simple steps to identify, embrace, and embody your inner weirdness.
How Can You Find Your Inner Weirdo
Countless people are actively seeking something different in their careers. People recognising that they have climbed too many rungs on the wrong ladder. They are ready to focus on something else, but just aren’t sure what that “thing” may be.
There are a variety of formal assessments that can help to identify and prioritise your interests and skills. The most notable, perhaps, is The Clifton StrengthsFinder. An incredible resource to assess your true talents and help you build upon them.
For those looking for a simpler, more organic route, it’s best that you turn to the expert: YOU.
Evidence of your passions is in front of you every day. Observe your own behaviour and ask yourself the following questions:
• What am I unapologetically passionate about?
• How would I spend my time if money was no object?
• What are the things that people thank me for?
That last one can be very revealing. Notice how you help others. Claim the skills you do without thinking.
You would be amazed by how a small amount of self-reflection can reveal your true value. Commit to a few days of heightened awareness, and you will begin to hone in on that one driving force.
Once you find your unique value, it’s time to embrace it.
How To Embrace You Inner Weirdness
We all seem comfortable with the notion of strengths. We also seem to acknowledge that we each have them. The part we struggle with is believing that our strengths make us strong. As humans, we often battle that inner voice that tells us to blend in, go with the flow, be “normal.”
“Sacrificing who you are for the sake of what others think just isn’t worth it.” – Brene Brown.
But what makes you weird is what sets you apart – it’s your own personal brand. Think of those ladies with the red hats, or that speaker who wore the crazy tie during his luncheon presentation. They drew attention to their uniqueness instead of shying away from it. As a result, they made a lasting impression.
Embrace who you are. Find the courage to shine a light on what makes you different. Because when “different” is paired with confidence, it can lead to extreme success.
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, grew up with a speech impediment. He never felt comfortable having normal face-to-face conversations with people. Now the world talks to one another in 140 character spurts over 500 million times per day.
Like Dorsey, finding and accentuating your greatest asset can change the way people think and interact with one another. Spend five minutes brainstorming all of the ways your weird can positively impact the world.
• Will it make them smile?
• Will it make them think?
• Will it inspire them to act differently?
How to Use Your Inner Weirdo
A strength may come naturally to us, but we need to make the choice to use it. This connected world we live in provides endless opportunities to put our unique gifts to use.
The great singer/songwriter Andrea Bocelli started his career as a lawyer. He worked part time at a piano bar as an outlet for his love of music. He is now the biggest-selling singer in the history of Classical music.
Leveraging your uniqueness does not have to mean uprooting your life to make a significant shift. It can translate to a new volunteer experience or part-time gig. Whatever you do, share your talents with the world. You owe it to yourself and those around you to let your freak flag fly.
“Whatever makes you weird, is probably your greatest asset.” Joss Whedon – who holds a laundry list of television and movie credits (PLEASE, please, please do another series of Firefly!!), most recently as the Director of The Avengers – made this astute observation. He went on to say that normal is boring, that people’s best work comes from their weirdness. So, embrace it, nurture it and use what comes from it to create wonderful things. It is, after all, your greatest asset.
“ We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love ‘ true love.” – Robert Fulghum.
Have some of these themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist who is looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
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, it’ll help you advance eating habits!