Kicking the Pedestal
Being different isn’t being better.
I have spent my whole life running away from ‘supposed to’, ‘should’ and ‘just because’. I feel different. I feel like I think differently. I don’t feel like I fit in. Not surprisingly, I often hear negative ‘voices’, misinterpretations of ‘me’ being ‘me’.
“You are just seeking the limelight”
“You want to be different just because”
“Well, it’s alright for some”
“You are getting people’s hopes up. Setting them up for failure”
“It’s just a phase, go off and do your adventures and then you’ll come back to reality”
The worst one of all is: “You think you are so much better than everyone else” or “what gives you the right to think differently. You think you are so special”.
Does any of this sound familiar? Have you heard these negative “voices”? Admittedly, while I have heard people say some of the above, many of them are my own fears about what people think. Sometimes, I think I can see it in their eyes. My greatest fear is that because I can see things in a different way, because I challenge the way things are done, people think that I believe I am better than them.
But I am NOT better.
In fact, in all honesty, for much of the time I feel not better than others, but worse. I feel like an outcast. My self doubt is my own worst enemy. Trust me on this. I often feel like I have no right to challenge the ‘systems’… but I can’t help myself. It’s the way my mind works, the way I think.
A lot of what I choose to do, I do partly because it is different… but never ‘just because’. When me and my crew of ordinary superheroes started The You Can Hub, we were keen to do things differently. This is a huge part of who we are. With this, I frequently feel terrified that people might think I am putting myself on a pedestal above the rest. Do you ever get this feeling? How often are you shaking in your boots out of fear that someone might think that you are special? Or worse, that they think that you think you are special?
I don’t believe in pedestals. I battle hierarchy every day. I believe that everyone can, that we all have an incredible gift to share with the world that only we as individuals can do in our own unique way. Everyone has an ability, a unique superpower perhaps. If people are put on pedestals then it means that they are somehow better than the rest. More importantly, it means that they are making others feel small. I never want anybody to feel small, because I know what it feels like.
One day recently, I realised that I am not putting myself on a pedestal. I am putting the imagined responses of other people on a pedestal. Well, frankly, that’s ridiculous.
It’s time to kick the pedestal from under my fears and from under yours too.
Let’s look at our strengths with new courage. Thinking and seeing things differently is my superpower. My natural curiosity means I ask different questions, which in turn helps others think differently too. Give me an idea and I can see it happening in the future. I see potential in everyone – yes, in you too. Being able to visualise this potential happening means that I get rather excited and I can’t help but try to show you this new world too.
So if these are my gifts, my superpowers, then it is my duty to share them with the world and to use them as much as possible. Yes, I think I am different in the way that I do these things. But you are different in the way that you do something too. We each have unique gifts and it is integral that we humbly share them with the world.
What are your superpowers? Do you feel different? Do you battle with the same inner demons and fears of judgement? What or who are you putting on a pedestal and how will you *kick it? Write your thoughts in the comments below. By talking about them we make them more real, we make them tangible and it’s a hell of a lot easier to “kick it” together.
Watch out world, here we come!
*Warning, I imagine kicking a real physical pedestal would hurt…a lot. Maybe stick to the metaphor!