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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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Allan July 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Whoops! Embracing your weirdness! I can tell you that this could not have come at a better time. I find even my closest pals complaining of my weird character and quirky way of doing things. To be frank, there are times these comments become so cynical and intense that I can no longer ignore them.

Well, I now guess that with this article (which is what I have been looking for all along), I will be able to really and sincerely embrace the weirdest of my being. Even though, I still find it a bit weird that one has to embrace one’s weird character. Yeah, I know that’s weird…lol!

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Stacey July 12, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hi Allan!

I’m so glad that my post was what you were looking for to let go of any residual bad feelings you had about being weird. Yes, one of the hardest parts is dealing with other people’s reactions to your weirdness.

I’ll never forget lamenting to a friend that I was getting so little support from so many people about my imminent trip to Mexico. I said, “You do something a little unconventional and you get a lot of flack.” He looked at me and said, “What you’re doing is not just a little unconventional and any time you do anything outside of the norm, you’re going to make other people uncomfortable.”

So now when I feel any criticism for being unconventional/weird, I remember that it’s coming from the other feeling uncomfortable and I can accept that.

Again, my weirdness also creates some discomfort for me, and I can try to give them some of the compassion that I want for myself too, right?

Thanks again for sharing (and celebrating!) your weirdness!
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Lori Gosselin July 11, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hi Stacey!
I was drawn to this post because I wrote along similar lines today. My post, “Are You Normal” came out today! 😉
I guess my answer is over there. I could have called it “Are Your Weird” too.
🙂
Lori
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Stacey July 12, 2013 at 7:48 am

Hi Lori!

Thanks so much for your kind comment! I followed you to your blog — how could I not with your great title? I love the discussion there — and all the encouragement for embracing our differences/weirdness!
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Tim July 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

Hi Stacey:

Wow, I really enjoyed this…starting in school, most of us do everything we can to just fit in. Anybody different or “weird” gets picked on or ridiculed. Learning about your experience, however, I realize different is good. Really good. Your post is a nice example that it is most rewarding to embrace our own unique “weird-ness.” Thanks for sharing here!
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Stacey July 12, 2013 at 7:56 am

Hi Tim!

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!

Yes! I really have found that my weirdness, and specifically my willingness to embrace it, in a way that’s more vulnerable than assertive (I’m no Lady Gaga!), has led to so many wonderful opportunities and connections.

I’m so glad that you get it, too!
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Sue | London Life Coach July 12, 2013 at 6:38 am

Wow, it’s so brave of you to give up your comfort zone to embrace your weirdness. Thanks for sharing this great experience of ours. Continue to sail on. 🙂

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Stacey July 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

Hey Sue!

Thanks so much for your comment!

Thomas Jefferson once said, “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

I completely agree with him — and I’ve found that I can amend his statement and replace luck with any other qualities I want more of — bravery, weirdness, you name it. 🙂
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Emily Rose July 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Could not agree more! Embracing our individuality is the best!

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Stacey July 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thanks so much for sharing, Emily! xxoo
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Rakesh Narang July 14, 2013 at 4:33 am

Everybody is a little weird in some way, but that’s what makes us different. I do want to change certain things about my personality, but if it will take some time, it’s fine. Meanwhile, I am gonna enjoy as much as I can.

Cheers. 🙂
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Stacey July 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

Hi Rakesh!

Yes! Life can be so much fun, and I’m so glad you’re making enjoying yourself a priority. Embracing what makes us different, while always reaching for improvement (I always love a challenge!), is a sure recipe for happiness!

Cheers to you! 🙂
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Jerry July 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hi Stacy!

I’m not scared of pub­lic speak­ing anymore, however par­ties of peo­ple I don’t know is dif­fi­cult for me. I guess I need to go to more parties! 🙂

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Stacey July 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

Hi Jerry!

That’s awesome that you’re not scared of public speaking anymore!

Public speaking rates as one of the biggest fears of most people, so there’s no doubt you could enjoy yourself more at parties, if you set your intention to it.

I find I have an easier time if I commit to having meaningful conversations with one person, rather than “small talk” with many.

In any event, it could be fun homework to try. 🙂
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Jerry July 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Stacey, I’ll do my homework!
Jerry

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