Stop Trying to Be Unique?

If you want to be unique and completely stand out from the crowd, STOP IT. You’re only hurting yourself and others.

Is that a terrible thing to say? Does it bother or offend you?

Hear me out, it’s not what it seems.

First, though, let me make a confession: I DO want to be unique!

For most of my life I really HAVE wanted to stand out in a singular way and not be simply one among many, and that’s a PROBLEM.

Here’s why.

Webster’s defines “Unique” as:

• Being the only one.

• Being without a like or equal

Do you see the problem? See the unavoidable issue with the desire to be truly “unique” in your field?

You are NOT the only one who does or can do what you do!

You are NOT the only marketer, consultant, service provider, financial advisor, lawyer, plumber or stay-at-home mom.

You are NOT the only “rags-to-riches” or “rich-kid-made-good” success story.

You are NOT the only he/she/they/it who has made the journey from where you were to where you are now and has the potential to go where you’re headed next.

You are not unique.

Now, before you send me nasty messages about how you’re a beautiful snowflake and there’s only one “you” in the world, pay attention to the context.

I’m not talking about uniqueness in terms of your VALUE as a human being, but in terms of your FUNCTION in the world, what you bring to the table.

Maybe you can hit unique status for a moment, but you cannot be “the only one” in your field forever, and neither can I.

Here’s why this matters.

If I am constantly trying to find ways to be “the only one” in my area of expertise, I’m fighting a losing battle that will leave me constantly frustrated, dis-empowered and discouraged.

That hurts me.

What’s worse is that in my quest to be absolutely unique, I am likely missing all KINDS of opportunities to be USEFUL to the people in my circle and in my market. 

That hurts them.

But what if instead of trying to make ourselves stand OUT for our OWN benefit, we focused on standing UP and offering real value to others for THEIR benefit?

What if we stopped comparing our UNIQUENESS to our competitors, and instead committed to offering greater USEFULNESS to the people we are best positioned to serve?

That would change the scoreboard from measuring how well we’re competing to how much we’re contributing, and THAT is a game we can actually win.

Not only that, but if True Success is making the world around you better than it was (and I believe it is), then making the shift from chasing uniqueness to pursuing usefulness sounds like a great way to get there.

And you know what else?

It seems to me that a life and business like that would DEFINITELY stand out from the crowd… 


(Photo by David Rotimi on Unsplash)


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