Cover of The Ugly Duckling
Since the day you were born, you were told how to see, hear, touch, smell, feel the world around you. Our society's culture teach us how to think and behave in "right" way.
It all starts with the Parents. "Don't do this or else... Say that or else..."
Then, the Television, one of the main characters in modern education model, shows you some more rules. "If you don't buy this brand no one will talk to you. If don't buy that brand no girls will like you. If you don't have that car no one will like you. If you don't buy that, you won't succeed."
Enter School. If you don't like the same games that all the other kids like, no one will be your friend. If you don't have good grades, you'll die miserable and poor.
Enter the Job market. If you don't do what your boss says, you'll be fired. If you try to do a task in an improved way, your team will think that you're trying to make them look bad.
They've raised you surrounded by a message of fear for you to fit in. Why? Because when you're afraid it's easier to control you. It's easier to make you become just like everyone else. One more number in a statistic.
Now, you are an adult. It's your responsibility to succeed! After all you were raised to succeed, right?
Wrong! If you were raised surround by an endless set of conscious and unconscious set of rules and "truths", how can you be different from your competition?
Now, after years and years of this brainwash, suddenly you're supposed to:
- "Think different!"
- "Be like Coca-Cola!"
- "Differentiate or die!"
Enter the Ugly Duckling Paradox.
11 November 1843.
Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen wrote a fairy tale about this. It's a story of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight (and to the surprise of others), he matures into a graceful swan, the most beautiful bird of all (more info).
How can you apply this concept in business?
The Ugly Duckling Paradox is to be raised to be like a duck when you're something else. How do you expect to differentiate yourself from your competition if you were raised to fit in and just be... normal?
But there's good news!
Just like the ugly duckling you have two choices. One choice is to try your hardest to fit in and live a "normal" life.
The other choice, is to choose not to. Here's how:
1. BE YOURSELF!
No one is like you! You are unique! You're the only person in the world that can use your ability! (Zig Ziglar)
This YOUR competitive advantage!
I know that it's far more easy to decide what you want to become than to discover who you are. However, once you discover who you are and what you want to become, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
Once you've discovered who you are and what you want to achieve, it's time to believe that you can do it.
Chances are great that you can't walk the path to success alone, so you have to persuade others to join your quest. But, if you don't believe in yourself, who will? If you don't believe that you'll reach your goals, why bother?
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. - Seneca
Prepare yourself with the tools that you need to reach your goals and believe that the time will come for your opportunity to appear. Just be ready when it finally appears!
There will be times that you'll want to just be like the other ducks. Why bother? Because how can you afford not to? How can you afford quitting your dreams? For what? For a life like a ugly duck? Not for you.
Silence means death. Stand on your feet. Inner fear. Your worst enemy. Refuse/resist. - Max Cavalera
3. FREE YOUR MIND!
Amazing things happen when you're not afraid anymore. Free your mind to find innovative ways to use your creativity to reach your goals.
Don't be just like everyone else.
You're just too unique to do that.
I believe in you.
That's the Rabbit way.
Image by Kolika
P.S: This article is dedicated to the most beautiful swan: the love of my life - Carla!
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