If you haven’t had the chance to see The Greatest Showman movie over this Christmas break, I reckon it’s worth seeing.
Hugh Jackman plays a circus founder and freak show curator P.T. Barnum, who created what he calls “The Greatest Show on Earth” by bringing together people who were ostracised from the community due to their physical appearance. Amazingly, the show ran for over 80 years until it was sold to the Ringling brothers in 1909 to continue on for another 108 years.
What drove this ongoing success of the show was the cast members’ uniqueness.
Whilst this all happened in the 1830’s, the story is still relevant today. It can be hard to celebrate our differences; particularly when society tells us what is normal, and what to conform to.
Yet, if we were all the same, we become commoditised and homogenised. Your uniqueness is what draws people to you. It’s your edge and it’s like a magnet. You could say it’s your personal power.
But don’t get me wrong; this is not about being perfect. It’s about being clear on who you are, but also who you’re not.
Al Ries, the bestselling author of the classic marketing text “Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, How to be Seen and Heard in an Overcrowded Marketplace” said “the essence of positioning is sacrifice. You must be willing to give up something in order to establish that unique position.”
Giving up something to stand in your own uniqueness and let your value shine can be a challenging space to be. You may have spent so much time staying safe, fitting in, not rocking the boat and keeping the peace. The reality is that you haven’t done yourself any favours. Everyone else seems to be progressing around you because you helped him or her and you’re still where you were this time last year.
Until you step in into your light everything stays the same. Only you can change that. Only you can amplify your true value to your audience. PT Barnum isn’t going to come past your desk and choose you for his circus. You have to step into your power and create your own show. Everyone out there is trying to achieve their potential, so you might as well be the best version of you and you’ll attract those who value you most.
Your personality, your lens, and experiences have created something that others out there want to learn from you.
As Marianne Williamson said “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
So a few ways you can celebrate your uniqueness for the new year are:
1. Find your tribe: Feeling alone and that you’re the only one experiencing the challenges, fears, and setbacks as you try to achieve your goals is hard. Take the time to find your tribe this year, whether it be a hobby or for your job. Consider industry associations, meetup groups or masterminds. Being around like-minded people will allow you to feel more appreciated for your talents and shine.
2. Focus on your strengths: Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with you that you need to fix all the time, consider what it is that you’re great at, what you love doing and people will pay you to do. This way you stay in your genius, work in flow and harness your energy into meaningful and fulfilling projects to grow your practice and career.
3. Play your own game: One of the surest ways to slow you down is comparing yourself to others. In the film, Keala Settle plays the bearded lady who sings the emotive and touching song “This is Me.” It has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Musical/Comedy. There is a line in the song that says:
“Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”
I find when working with clients on their positioning, they feel raw, naked and vulnerable. It takes a lot of courage to be seen and stop hiding. And the way around it is to stop looking at everybody else. Stay focused on what you need to do, and march to the beat of YOUR drum.
4. Mind your self- talk: Michigan State University found that the average person has 80,000 thoughts per day and 80% of those thoughts are negative. The impact of this is that our subconscious takes over and can’t tell the difference between what is real vs what isn’t. So the key is to catch yourself when you do tell yourself “I’m not good enough” and replace them with kind words, as if you’re your own best friend.
In the same song:
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out”
To see Keala sing the song in rehearsals click below (warning – you’ll need a tissue!)
Here’s to your success in 2018 and to you stepping into your personal power. I’d love to hear how you go!
Jane Anderson is a communications expert, speaker and the author of 4 books including “EXPERT to INFLUENCER: 12 Key Skills to Attract New Clients, Increase Sales and Leverage your Personal Brand to Become an Industry Leader.” With over 20 years experience helping people step into their personal power, she is obsessed about creating human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.