How to Embrace Your Weirdness

by Stacey Curnow on · 15 comments

Stacey with Turkeys

Back in 2002, when I took my job with Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders in Mex­ico I had to pack up my com­fort­able life in the United States and move to a part of the world that had no run­ning water or electricity.

To an area where there was centuries-long, deep-seated con­flict between the indige­nous peo­ple and the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment. To do a job for which I had no experience.

It was def­i­nitely the weird­est thing I had ever done. I had no real idea what I was doing. But I believed I would fig­ure out a way to do it.

I’ve learned that what looks “weird” to other peo­ple, feels like excite­ment to me. I’ve learned that it’s the wis­dom of the world speak­ing through me. And trust­ing the wis­dom feels like a huge leap of faith.

So I’ve learned to leap. Before the voices of self-doubt keep me stuck. Once a leap has been taken, or a path has been selected, momen­tum takes over and there is lit­tle time to indulge self-doubt or fear because there’s work to be done. So you get on with it.

But here’s the really cool thing. You take the leap and do the work, but you’re not doing it alone. The Uni­verse also starts to con­spire on your behalf. You don’t have to take my word for it. Lis­ten to what WH Mur­ray, a Scot­tish moun­taineer and author of The Scot­tish Himalayan Expe­ri­ence:

This may sound too sim­ple, but is great in con­se­quence: Until one is com­mit­ted, there is hes­i­tancy, the chance to draw back, always inef­fec­tive­ness. Con­cern­ing all acts of ini­tia­tive (and cre­ation), there is one ele­men­tary truth the igno­rance of which kills count­less ideas and splen­did plans: that the moment one def­i­nitely com­mits one­self, then prov­i­dence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the deci­sion, rais­ing in one’s favor all man­ner of unfore­seen inci­dents, meet­ings and mate­r­ial assis­tance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

It wasn’t until I was sit­ting in the air­port in Ams­ter­dam (where the Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders head­quar­ters of my project was located), about to board my flight to Mex­ico City that I sud­denly won­dered whether I would actu­ally be able to adjust to life in such a for­eign envi­ron­ment. (Did I men­tion there would be no elec­tric­ity or run­ning water?)

Would I really be able to do the job I’d signed on to do? But even in that weird and wob­bly moment, I knew that I would find a way to manage.

Why?

Why was I so certain?

There are lots of rea­sons. And none of them are because I’m braver, more tal­ented, or smarter than you. Because I’m not. I promise.

I’m scared of pub­lic speak­ing, and par­ties of peo­ple I don’t know, and dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions or phone calls.

But despite my very ordi­nary fears, over the years enough peo­ple have asked me where I find the courage to make my bold choices, that I’ve come to see that although we are all inher­ently brave, some of us for­get how brave we can be.

I’ve come to see that my path through life has equipped me with cer­tain tools that help me make the daily deci­sions that add up to a coura­geous life.

I can see how my expe­ri­ences have taught me to have faith that every­thing will be okay, and most impor­tantly that even when every­thing is not okay, every­thing is actu­ally okay.

I’ve been get­ting really curi­ous lately about how I came to acquire those tools, because I want to share them with you. Because I want to offer them to any­one whose self-doubt is get­ting in the way of their good work in the world.

One of the things I’ve learned about courage is that we can “pos­i­tively rein­force” our own coura­geous choices by tak­ing time to notice them, rec­og­nize them and actu­ally give our­selves some credit for them.

So today — please take five min­utes to give your­self the credit for how weird and coura­geous you are.

And then make a habit of stop­ping to notice the small (and large) ways you are embrac­ing your weird­ness and choos­ing courage every day, and of giv­ing your­self credit for it. If it helps, you can imag­ine you are talk­ing to a good friend: How would you tell or show her how proud you are of her weird­ness and courage?

Now, tell or show your­self how proud you are of your own will­ing­ness to be weird.


by Stacey Curnow

Stacey is a pur­pose and suc­cess coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your pur­pose and pas­sion, check out her FREE eBook, The Pur­pose and Pas­sion Guide­book.
Stacey Curnow
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