Daring to be Different

Recently a man told a group I was in that we should not try to be “dumb, daring, or different”. It was clear he was being serious but somewhere in my mind I could not take this advice seriously. His words lit a flame in my mind, between the lines of fury and passion. This post was born days ago when it came to mind again and I wanted to share why you should be both different and daring.

Ironically, at the time, I was reading a book at the time titled “Daring Greatly“, which, as the name implies, is about embarking out past your comfort zone. It’s about accomplishment through facing fears and tackling those struggles. We’re going to tackle each part; daring, difference, and stupidity.

We all have to be different because we all have different aspirations in life. For example, some of my goals are; living in another country for a couple years, writing a book, and learning how to paint. I’m positive that the guy in the room next to me doesn’t have those same aspirations. So to accomplish my dreams I won’t get anywhere if I follow where everyone else is leading. Following the herd will only lead us where the herd goes. To get where we want to go we will have to be different. We will have to separate from the pack and venture out on our own.

Exposing ourselves is a risk. If we keep that herd analogy,  as a lone sheep we could be attacked, we could get lost, or more realistically fall back into the pack. At one point or another we’ll all be ridiculed for what we do, and we’ll question the path that we’ve chosen to take. However, every inch we walk from the pack steers us closer to where we want to go. If we continue with everyone else, we will not get the results that we want. We have to dare to be different. We have to have the courage to risk it all for what we seek.

Daring is defined by Merriam-Webster as “venturesomely bold in action or thought”. This is an important characteristic that we all need to adapt. To leave the herd we must all be “bold in action or thought”. For leaving the herd also leaves us vulnerable and exposed. This is where fear begins to take over and we decide not to venture out. We haven’t even taken the first step but we reluctantly hold back.

Oftentimes we don’t even clarify what our fears are and that is enough to stop our actions. We don’t even know what we’re afraid of but we still are too paralyzed to act. We imagine this life we want to lead but it’s trailed by thoughts of inadequacy or impossibility. We can’t quit our job to become a freelance artist because we don’t know anyone who has succeeded at it. We can’t write a book because no one would be interested in it. These are the thoughts we attach to our dreams. I encourage you to cut the weights and while being cautious, realize that you can’t plan everything out. You could fail, you could fall back into the pack. But that leaves you better prepared and more knowledgeable for when you take your next steps back out. For any of this to happen you must first be daring. You must be bold and acknowledge your fears for what they are; fears.

When others see you leaving they may call you “foolish”, for the safest spot is surely in the center of the pack. They may call you “dumb”, or “stupid”, or anything they can say to bring you back. When you leave, they are left with less. It also reminds them of their fears and why they aren’t pursuing their own dream. It forces them to confront their fears and if they do not surpass them, to ridicule those who pass their own.

Now, when I hear someone say not to be “dumb, daring, or different”, I’m brought back to this herd mentality. It’s someone calling me back into the group shouting “how dare you be different, you must be stupid. You must not know what you’re doing, you’re going to suffer.” And the truth is you will suffer. You will face things alone sometimes and you won’t always have a set of instructions on how to proceed. But you will get closer to your dreams. You will find yourself accomplishing things that you never thought you could before. And eventually… eventually, you will accomplish your dreams.

So the next time someone tells you to conform, stop and think about what you want. Think about your fears and what’s stopping you. Realize that they are only fears and all it takes to pursue your dreams is to dare to be different.

In the comments below tell me what you aspire to do. Tell me your hopes and dreams and don’t be afraid to write long or short paragraphs. Sometimes we know exactly what we want and can write endlessly and other times we don’t know exactly what we want. Either way, tell me below in the comments!

Have a wonderful night/morning/day wherever you are!



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