We’re coming to the close of another year, and looking ahead to a fresh start, extra opportunity, and new beginnings. I want to make sure you go into the year as uniquely and as novel as possible.
The “same ol, same ol” syndrome should have no place in your future or in your dreams. Stand out. Set yourself apart. Call attention to what makes you YOU.
It may seem like a fine idea, but you’re unsure of how to do that. How does one stand out without being obnoxious or calling unwanted attention on themselves?I’m glad you asked. Here are 7 ways to shine in the coming year.
1: Know who you are.
Have confidence in your identity, first of all, as a child of God. You were born for greatness. You have an assignment, and therefore, you have to know who you are. You have to know you’re accepted and approved by Him. You don’t need anybody else’s approval. Don’t strive to be like anybody else. You don’t have to compromise your identity or assume you are to fit anybody else’s mold. You are His child. You have to be comfortable in your own skin.
2: Lead from your lane.
Leading from your lane is an extension of knowing who you are. What is your personality style? How are you wired? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your talents, skills, or abilities? Pursue purpose and passion, which has already been embedded in your DNA by God Himself. You are pre-programmed to lead in a certain area. If I am trying to lead from a lane that is not my lane, I find myself ill-equipped and ultimately frustrated. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to be someone you are not or than trying to do something or perform in an arena you were not created to perform in. Lead from your lane.
3: Serve others first.
Our life is not our own, ladies and gentlemen. Whatever we have, or have been given, we’ve been given it to be a blessing to someone else. Whatever talents, skills, abilities, knowledge, wisdom, gifts we’ve been given, we possess them in order to minister to someone, solve problems for others, etc. Everything we do is about being the conduit through which God can administer His grace, love, wisdom, and His life into someone else who needs it. Serve others first.
4: Be an encourager.
There is so much noise in the world today. There is so much negativity, pessimism, cynicism, anger, anxiety, and fear mongering. There is so much stuff happening all around us all the time. You don’t even have to be much of an encourager to stand out from the crowd. You just have to have a positive attitude about something, and you will rise to the top very quickly. One way to really stand out in the crowd is to be a person other people look forward to seeing, hearing from, and being around. Be the person who brings positivity and grace into the conversation, who brings a smile into a room, who brings joy into an environment. Be a person whose attitude exudes gratefulness.
5: Listen more than you talk.
We are in the post-information age. Everybody has an opinion about everything. There is no doubt times we have good advice we can offer people, and there is good counsel we can offer someone. However, most people are longing for someone who will listen to them from their heart. What most people want is someone who will do life with them in a way that doesn’t expect anything in return. We don’t merely want to express sympathy for what they’re going through but, are willing to crawl in the trenches with them and stay there as long as necessary. Listen more than you talk. This is real relationship.
6: Be teachable.
In my younger years, I thought I knew more than I really knew. I’m learning the older I get, I really don’t know much. I’ve learned that I don’t have to impress people with how much I know because, frankly, most people aren’t interested. Be a learner. Be teachable. Observe. Rather than talking about things you have in your repertoire, observe others. Listen. Read. Learn. Allow the people in your world to help you see things you don’t see. We all have blind spots.
Part of being teachable is being willing to take correction when you’re wrong. If you make a mistake, own it, fess it, and fix it. Then have someone who knows better than you in that area help you understand more than what you did the day before.
7. Be authentic.
Be real. No masks. I have never in my life understood why we put on masks. We hide behind judgments. We hide behind our opinions. We hide behind our insecurities. We are like chameleons. We adapt to our environments so as not to offend anyone or try to fit in. We are politically correct to a fault. We do whatever we have to do to adapt so we don’t have to be different. But you are different. You’re born to be different. To not be different is to be one among millions. To be real is to live your life with no pretense.
Don’t hide behind titles or positions. Live honestly. Be authentically confident in who you are. Be real. Be transparent and open.
What are you presently focused on in your life that will make you a person who stands out from the crowd?