For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
For a long time, I wanted to change myself. I wished I could just be someone else.
Someone who could strike up small talk with anyone. Or someone who didn’t switch from the life of the party to the most miserable person in the room in mere seconds. Or someone who didn’t need so much damn rest and self-care.
This week, I’m focused on Unmistakable for the Unique Genius Experiment—the Instagram conceptual art project where I do something outside of my comfort zone, led by my genius, every day for a year.
And—I won’t lie—Unmistakable has always been the part of my genius that has felt a little bit elusive to me. I mean, how do I live out that I’m one-of-a-kind? That nothing about me is a mistake?
I accept myself.
My whole life, I’ve had a strange fascination with personality tests. I’ve taken them all—from StrengthFinder to Myers-Briggs to the DiSC profile.
I think a part of me was always looking for someone to say, “You’re okay. You’re normal. You’re not wrong or broken. And even the stuff that doesn’t seem to fit into the world makes sense.”
Hell, even my life’s work—the entire idea of Sacred Branding® and unique genius—is based in this idea that each of us has a unique gift, a unique way of being in the world.
Because a part of me felt like a mistake. A “too deep,” “too intense,” “too sensitive,” “not practical enough” or “serious enough” mistake.
We visionaries tend to be really hard on ourselves. We’ll analyze what we said hours or days later and beat ourselves up about why we said that. We’ll feel ashamed for our thoughts, feelings, emotions.
And, because we’re so sensitive, it cuts deep. We feel those “mistakes” deeply. So much so that we start to internalize them and tell ourselves that we’re the mistake.
When, in actuality, we’re perfect exactly as we are. We’ve just putting ourselves in the wrong context—the one that doesn’t make us thrive. And we don’t know who we are well enough to put ourselves in the right context.
We can’t fall in love with what we don’t know. And most of us don’t know ourselves—really, really know ourselves—outside of what people have imposed upon us.
We’re not “too much” or “not enough,” but we’ve been listening to those stories for so long that, truthfully, we don’t even know ourselves.
The truth is I didn’t know myself for a long time. I let life tell me who to be. Until one day I woke up as a part-owner of a successful PR firm. It was a nice life, a good life. But it wasn’t mine.
Except I was too busy living it—and listening to whatever everyone told me about myself—to even know I didn’t want it. I never really knew what I wanted.
And it took a mysterious illness and two months of vomiting blood and being couch-bound for me to actually get to know myself. I was stuck inside. I was in too much pain to walk around much. So I had to sit with myself. And learn who I was.
I felt like I was dating myself. The mask of perfection we keep up for the first two or three dates started to slip. And I saw someone real underneath. Uninfluenced by the world around me.
I saw things I liked about my life. Things I didn’t. What I wanted. Who I wanted to be.
And, as I got better, I wanted to know more about this person. I took myself places way outside of my comfort zone. Like acting class and Reiki training and into a relationship with Garrett.
And, in a new situation, I didn’t have my usual armored mask to protect me. So I started to see new parts to myself.
I started to know myself. And fall in love.
Yesterday, as part of my Unmistakable Unique Genius Experiment, I took a book on the Enneagram out from the library. It was something I studied back in high school, but I’d largely forgotten about. So I decided to dig back in to learning more about myself and why I’m not a mistake.
Tonight, I joined a Meetup for Highly Sensitive People. To honor myself and be around people who get my sensitivity.
Because there’s nothing about me—or any person—that’s inherently broken or bad or wrong. We just haven’t fit into the right contexts. And we don’t know ourselves well enough to know what the right context for us is.
So we tell ourselves that we’re wrong.
But that’s crazy. That’s like yelling at a gallon of water for not fitting into a tiny cup. There’s nothing wrong with the water. Or the cup, for that matter. It’s just not a fit.
Once we know the water, we can make decisions for it without shaming it. If it’s boiling hot water, we might choose a pot with a handle. We might choose metal or glass or ceramic over plastic.
The more we know about it, the better decisions we can make that honor it. And that allow us to fully experience it.
Because it’s special. It’s unique. And not just any container will work for it.
It’s Unmistakable. Nothing about it is a mistake.
Usually, when something goes wrong in my life, I blame myself first. I internalize the shame and wish I were different. I wish I said something different—or that I was different altogether.
I rarely ever think that maybe this isn’t the right fit for me. Or maybe it was drinking alcohol that made my mood drop. Or eating sugar. Or not getting enough sleep. Or being around too many people.
Not that I’m inherently wrong. But that the context just isn’t a fit for me.
Honestly, I’m so grateful to be such a sensitive visionary. Because I sense more of life. I feel things deeper. And it’s forced me to get to know myself better to just survive.
Without knowing ourselves, we can never fall in love with ourselves. And we can certainly never accept ourselves for the Unmistakable geniuses we actually are.
Nothing about you has ever been a mistake. You’re one-of-a-kind. And it’s that unique genius that will transform the world. Once you get to know it.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you ever wish you didn’t make that mistake?
— Do you ever beat yourself up for making a mistake? Do you replay a scene in your mind and wish you said or did something differently? Have you ever wished that you were different? Less sensitive? Less emotional? More “thick-skinned”?
— Have you ever had a hard time fitting into something? A relationship? A job? A morning routine? Your family? A friend group? Maybe even entrepreneurship or an artistic endeavor? Have you felt ashamed about it?
— What if you are Unmistakable—meaning you literally can’t make a mistake? What if you’re one-of-a-kind? That who you are is perfect? And that the only way to accept yourself is to truly know yourself? To discover yourself—whether through therapy, counseling, personality tests, Sacred Branding®, whatever? And that’s how you fall in love with your genius?