Dare to Be Different

I dare to be different. I dare to be vulnerable. I’m not hiding. This is me and this is who I am and this is my story. I do not want to be invisible. You would think by sharing some mistakes that I’ve made that people would say shame on you, but it’s the opposite. People will admire you for telling you that you’re imperfect. No one wants to share their imperfections or their mistakes. We live in a society where we are thought that we are supposed to be perfect. Although it is our imperfections that make us who we are.

Does it seem like a crazy idea to expose yourself? For me I decided it was the only choice. For a year I kept everything bottled up only exposing myself to my mother. As soon as I started to come clean about everything that I had done publicly it felt like a weight was being lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t know how people would react, but I realized the more open I was about everything the more people were willing to listen. The more I reached out to others the more others would reach back out to me. I was talking about my imperfections but in return people were telling me that I was perfect. Quite the opposite reaction that I was expecting.

I do not believe that I am perfect and I know that no one is perfect. However, I believe that by sharing my story and the reactions I get is a perfect example of how being vulnerable is how we should be. We cannot care what other people think about us. We are all perfect in our own way. We all have something to share and to contribute to this world. If more people were vulnerable and admitted to their mistakes then we would not live in a society where we believe that perfection is the norm.

I was told that I needed to graduate and get a civil engineering job. I knew, however, that I needed to follow my own path. I knew that there would still be people there to do the calculations to build a bridge or a dam. There would not be, however, someone to share my story to teach people from the lessons that I learned from my mistakes. So I got up in front of that first crowd of about 50 people and put myself out there. It was a complete feeling of euphoria that I had never felt before. I knew I was heading down the right path.

50 speeches later and after speaking in front of nearly 3,000 people I still get that same feeling of euphoria that I felt on that first day. I will speak to around 75 students on Thursday and then in front of a crowd of 500 people on Friday. Public speaking is one of the biggest fears amongst our society.When I think of getting in front of those 500 people on Friday it brings excitement and feelings of joy to my mind.

I dared to be different. I expose myself in my book. I hold nothing back in my speeches and in my writing. We all need to be more vulnerable. Stop caring about your imperfections and realize that they are what make you unique. They are what make us stand out. Do not conform to society. Dare to be different.


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