“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” --Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Being different gives you so many opportunities for self-insight and self-discovery. The challenges can be worth it if you are able to let those experiences teach you about yourself, learn from them, and become a better person overall as a result. You have the choice to learn from your experiences or to let the pain of those experiences overtake you. I personally have gained insights through my struggles that I wouldn’t trade for all the wealth in the world. Below are some varied but important insights that others have gained as a direct result of being different. These include the importance of not judging others, not feeling the need to please others, seeing yourself through God’s eyes, having the need to feel different satisfied, knowing that you are not alone, feeling that differences add variety and enriched perspective, and an acknowledgement of the most important things in life.
The rest of this post has now been published in my book Standing up for Standing Out: Making the most of Being Different in Kindle or hard copy.The book includes experiences from 74 people I interviewed who share their struggles and coping strategies on the topics of relationships, belonging, standing out, self-acceptance, working against labels, gaining understanding and compassion, and personal growth. Check it out!