There have been times when I’ve sat at the back of a room in a class or meeting, and tried my best to blend in. Times in high school when I’d walk in to a room at the beginning of the school year and try to find the spot that had the ideal positioning; not too far from the board that I couldn’t read what was written, and not too close to the teacher that I’d be seen as a teacher’s pet.
The irony is that I’m now the teacher, and I see this daily.
In high school, I think we often have this “role” and expectations with that role placed on us. If we were involved in theater or popular athletic sports, we were seen as the boisterous, confident students. I could rattle off different “groupings” of students and how they/we were perceived because of those “groupings”, but I think you get the point. No matter the school, the students still put this defining role on themselves of how they should act and behave.
It’s interesting to look back and see what kind of person we were in high school, compared to the person we are now.
As a teacher, I look at things a little differently. Being a teacher has given me the lens to view students as themselves. I see them not defined as an athlete, artist, scientist, etc., but rather as individuals who are going to make a difference in the world.
The difference between my perceptions on how people were “grouped” in high school, and now looking back, is that I see more of the potential of what a person can be. God gave us so many talents and gifts so why shouldn’t we use them?
Why not stand out and be the best person we can be?
I used to think, as I slid in to the approximately back-middle of my classes, that I wanted to be perceived as the girl who knew how to act in a social situation, but not too boisterous or bold to sit close to the front of the room. (I also think that at times I put way too much thought in to where I sat in each class.) The older I’ve gotten, the more I think we, as adults, still have a bit of this mindset. We worry so much about how we’re going to be perceived by our peers because social acceptance is paramount.
Standing out from the crowd doesn’t mean we have to be the loud ones, the ones who act like know-it-alls or sacrifice social grace for moving up the ladder in the business world.
Standing out from the crowd means that we are confident in who we are as a person. We’re bringing positive leadership each day to those around us, living out our lives with integrity.
By being confident in yourself, you are letting your true wonderful-self break through. I think of it as a metaphor with wearing bright colors. You’re confident to wear the colors to stand out, and they bring out the best in you.
You, my friend, have so much of value to offer the world. Whether you are the person who, like me, slid in to the middle-back of the room each day, or you felt comfortable enough to be at the front of the room (which I commend so so much. I could have used that confidence all those years ago.), or you sneak your way in the seat by the door, I hope you know how much you are loved. Walk confidently and keep on trucking. Wear bright colors each day and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Standing out from the crowd in a positive way is never a bad thing.
How do you find the confidence to stand out from the crowd?
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