Personal development

Being different is a radical act #youdoyou

As the pace of life in the 21st century seems to speed up and bring us close to overwhelm – with new technologies enabling changes in life and in the workplace all the time – it’s possible to begin to feel, well, a little lost. Let us know if this sounds familiar.

You’re woken up by the alarm on your smartwatch; before you get out of bed you’ve replied to a couple of texts, sent an urgent email to a client and, while you’re in the shower, you ask Siri to set a reminder of your mum’s birthday next week. On your way to work, you check your week’s step count so far. Ha, in your face, lazy colleagues! You Instagram the beautiful morning sky (not a selfie, you haven’t even had your coffee yet), you use an app to order that coffee, then check Facebook, where your Exec Assistant is sharing pictures of her new baby. A couple of likes, an ‘awww beautiful’ and you’re into work.

Hello?  Where are you – the real you – in all of this activity? Where, in this data-filled, data-fuelled morning, did you spend any time just quietly sitting with yourself; thinking thoughts, making plans, taking decisions or just pondering the meaning of life? When do any of us put ourselves front and centre of our own lives, when it’s not for the consumption and approval of others? We’re so used to living online that sequestering some of our lives away for private viewing could almost be considered pretty radical these days.


We’re not anti-tech. We’re just pro-human

This isn’t a rail against tech. Tech is the lifeblood of our work and our lives – and working lives. In fact, we’re checking what’s happening on Twitter as we write this (#MotivationMonday). This is just a reminder not to let the endless opportunities for connection, conversation and affirmation that, for example, social media provides, dim your beautiful, irreplaceable, unique self.

The truth is that we’re all so busy conforming to social norms, fuelled by the ubiquity of technology, that we’ve forgotten the most impressive and magical fact about humanity – that each one of us is 100% individual.

It’s not easy to take the stance of being different – when our lives are on show at every turn it can feel risky to share your opinions, feelings and beliefs. So much so, that we believe that being different - being authentically yourself - is fast becoming a radical act.


Hold on to your irrepressible humanity

Our core belief, from the time that very first Insights Discovery Personal Profile came off the printer, has been that every single one of us is unique. We all embody a combination of those colour energies that comes out a slightly different shade in each of us. Think about it – that kind of human diversity is what makes teams so successful, makes leaders able to connect in a real way with every single member of their team, and helps virtual teams deeply connect with each other, despite the physical distances.

So all we’re saying is, don’t let anything dim your lovely, real, complex, irreplaceable, singularly special self. Nothing should be a barrier to your irrepressible humanity. If you’re not bringing your whole self to your work and your life, those around you are missing out on some of your best qualities. And you already rock, just the way you are. (#youdoyou)