Most of my first 35 years was a paradox, a split paradigm. On one hand, I wanted to be daring, rebellious, brave. As a kid, I devoured books about Francis Marion, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, the French Resistance in WWII, Martin Luther King, Jr, Elvis Presley. Pretty much any history about out-gunned, under-resourced people fighting for what’s right or being dangerously original. On the the other hand, I was terrified of what others thought of me. This manifested in hundreds of stories of battling these opposing forces, but one story stands out …
I went to high school in the mid-80s. First in the little town of Baker City, Oregon then finishing my junior and senior year in the much larger, Gresham, Oregon. During my sophomore year, one of the trends (at least in our high school) was to buy a used trench coat from a thrift store. I liked this idea and went to the local Salvation Army and found a beige London Fog trenchcoat with a cool herring bone pattern on the interior. It then hung in my closet for weeks. Each day, I would take it out, put it on and get to the front door. Only to go back and hang it up. But one day I did it - the tails flapping in the wind as I rode my bike to school. I wore it all day. No one said anything. Which was a relief. Right at the end of the day, one of the popular girls (cheerleader, pretty, upper-middle class family) said “I like your coat.” Oh what a feeling!
I still have plenty of dichotomies and paradoxes, but I no longer have this particular one. Several mentors (thank you to Ron, Don, and Dave) helped me see my worth and the value of my originality. This was affirmed about 8 years ago when I read John Eldredge’s book, “Wild at Heart”. I think about one particular quote from the book everyday: “Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.”
I adapted a version of this for my brand and purpose coaching, mentoring, podcast appearances, speaking, etc:
Make the world react to You.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Third Way by FosterThinking to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.