Yeah, But I’m Different

An old friend of mine, Don Osborne, shared with me some material he wrote many years ago about how many of us use the “I’m different” syndrome to simply avoid doing something we don’t want to do. I’ve revised it a bit and am sharing it with you here today.  I hope you find it interesting.

When it comes to ourselves, we’re always the exception.  Everybody else should do what’s been proved to work. Personal development works as soon as we stop treating ourselves as the exception. True, everyone is unique–but not different when it comes to self-development. 

 Perhaps it’s only procrastination that leads us to declare that we’re “different.” Or our “circumstances” prevent us from agreeing to follow proven methods of self improvement. Maybe it’s the fear of success or failure in making changes. There are all kinds of legitimate concerns, but none is an adequate excuse for not engaging in self-development activities. There is no good excuse for not following the basics. 

Everybody who has achieved success has succumbed to the basics. In fact, many success stories talk about fighting the urge to reinvent the wheel and sticking to what’s been proved to work. Why we fight city hall on “I’ll succeed without doing what’s been proved,” I don’t know. But it’s a fight you’re going to have to lose if you want to win the battle for an improved lifestyle.

It shouldn’t take a tragedy or a major event to send you down the road of self-development.  True, most of the success stories we hear about or grab the headlines are like that. You could wait for, or create, a spectacular situation to spur you on. Most stories of success go untold because they weren’t born out of tragedy. Rather, they were born out of frustration, and being sick and tired of being “sick and tired.”

The reality is that most of us are living out our own story in quiet desperation. A story sufficient enough to make you different. The kind of different that qualifies you as unique and, therefore, a candidate for the tried-and-true methods of self-development.

Stop hiding behind the excuse of “I’m different.” Accept what all who have succeeded know: The basics work, no exceptions.

5 thoughts on “Yeah, But I’m Different

  1. I would think that it would be more self-encouraging to say “I’m not any different. If they can be successful, then so can I. Whatever they did, I can do.”

    Otherwise, it would feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s like saying the laws of physics don’t apply to you. Or that everyone else can lose weight by eating less and moving more, but not you.

    That would be discouraging and you would never even try. Much better to think, “I’m as able to be successful as they are!”

  2. Fear is a strong motivator. Move that fear from hiding behind being “special” to a fear that if something doesn’t change than goals may not be achieved, and progress will be made. Special is nice, especially when it’s in areas that don’t interfere with excellence. So sure, sing in a different key, as long as you tell the piano player and learn the lyrics…

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