Your personal brand is your identity and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of sameness.
What if I were to whisk you away on an exhilarating odyssey, transcending the mundane existence that most of us lead?
Imagine traversing the globe, venturing deep into diverse cultures, and fully immersing yourself in their extraordinary ways of life, unraveling an awe-inspiring revelation—countless paths await those who dare to deviate from the norm. It’s akin to stumbling upon a treasure trove of unconventional wonders amidst a sea of predictability.
The conventional path, though it may seem safe and comfortable, often stifles the flames of personal growth. It’s like being stuck in a cozy cocoon, oblivious to the boundless opportunities that lie beyond its confines.
It keeps us trapped in a crisis of comfort, shielded from the transformative experiences that await us.
If your aspiration is to leave an impact or inspire change (even a tiny one), you must be willing to embark on ventures that defy the norms that the majority shies away from. To fire up your journey, I’ve compiled a tantalizing list of seven contrarian ways to set yourself apart.
A few things to note before we get started:
- Personal growth isn’t a linear path but it’s going to be a heck of an adventure.
- Have a clear goal but focus on the journey. Being Present. Your daily habits.
- Have lots of fun while doing it!
7 Contrarian Ways To Set Your Personal Brand Apart
1. Dare to Break Free from the Herd Mentality
The uncomfortable truth is if you want to stand out and live your best life, you need to stop thinking and living like the majority. It’s time to liberate yourself from the shackles of conformity.
The allure of normalcy may tempt you, but let me remind you: normal is a synonym for mundane, and average is simply a synonym for mediocrity. In the realm of human evolution and innovation, mediocrity acts as a breeding ground for stagnation.
However, be prepared, for when you strive to stand out and carve an unparalleled path, you may face opposition. The world wants you to be normal and people will unconsciously hate you when you try to be different.
Why? Because those around you are often prisoners of their own minds, trapped within the confines of their comfort zones. The primal, instinctual parts of our brain constantly scan the environment, perceiving anything different as a potential threat.
Thus, when others witness your growth and success, jealousy and intimidation may result— a manifestation of their limited perspective—an unfortunate testament to their lack of intellectual depth. Don’t take it personally— we call this ‘projection’ in psychology.
The good news is that you have the power to elevate your mindset, defy societal norms, and embrace the extraordinary. By doing so, you unlock the doors to boundless possibilities and unleash the true essence of your potential.”
2. Seek Rejection For Personal Growth.
In a world where praise and adoration often surround us, it’s easy to succumb to the allure of self-importance, breeding cockiness, arrogance, and a swollen ego. However, this path leads to a life devoid of meaningful connections.
Many people naturally seek comfort and safety, but if you recognize this tendency and choose the opposite, you’ll set yourself apart.
Try this instead:
- Surround yourself with real friends who call you out on your BS.
- Talk to people with opposing opinions. Seek to understand, not agree.
- Read books, and articles or listen to podcasts on topics you disagree with. Disagreeing without knowing both sides of the story is toxic and simply lazy.
The pain of rejection will only make you grow!
3. Confront Your Triggers Head On.
One surefire way to set yourself apart is by embracing the things that evoke anger, sadness, or frustration within you. While most people tend to avoid such triggers and instead shift blame onto others, you can choose a different path.
By running toward what unsettles you, you break free from the cycle of stagnation. It’s crucial to realize that personal growth is hindered by a fixed mindset—the belief that we are confined to who we were yesterday.
The hard truth is the person we deceive the most is ourselves. To overcome this self-deception, adopt a growth mindset, where you unlearn what you think you know and perceive everything as a lesson.
Do this instead:
- Cultivate curiosity when something triggers you. Explore why it affects you and what emotions arise.
- Reflect on whether these emotions connect to past experiences. Understanding their roots can provide valuable insights.
- Consider maintaining a journal to document your answers. The act of physically transferring thoughts from your mind onto paper allows your brain to ‘see’ it from a different perspective. Remember, you cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.
Confronting your triggers head-on propels you toward growth and unveils new dimensions of self-awareness. Embrace this transformative practice as a powerful tool for personal evolution.
4. Stop Playing Small.
Don’t diminish your personality because people around you can’t handle it. It’s their problem, not yours. Imagine if everyone was able to step into their power without the fear of others judging them.
Confidence, when genuine and grounded, is not arrogance. Don’t let societal norms dictate otherwise.
Intimidation often stems from recognizing a quality in someone else that we lack within ourselves. It’s a natural response and nothing to be ashamed about.
Here is a story about someone I worked with a long time ago: she was outspoken, sharp, and smart. She rose to company ranks while others talked behind her back because they were jealous.
Curiously, I found myself drawn to her and began to observe and learn from her remarkable traits. Secretly, I admired her. She embodied the very qualities I aspired to possess. I’m grateful she didn’t succumb to the common tendency of shrinking in the face of others’ limited courage. She inspired me to step into my power.
5. Create, Not Consume.
95% of people in this world are consumers. They put money in the pockets of people who are putting things out there, whether it be art, writing, products, or opinions.
Isn’t it intriguing how people can be walking paradoxes? We may find ourselves annoyed when others share selfies or personal updates on social media, yet our own selfies often gather the most likes. Personal posts have an undeniable relatability.
Have you ever wondered why some individuals dislike those who openly share about their personal lives? It often stems from their own lack of self-confidence and fear of judgment. They might hesitate to post a picture of themselves online, resenting others who show vulnerability or unapologetically express themselves.
Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as “over-sharing.” Accusing someone of it is simply a form of judgment. The choice to continue scrolling, block, or delete lies with each individual.
One valuable lesson I’ve learned from truly content people is their lack of concern for what others are doing. They focus their energy on enjoying their own lives rather than wasting it on worrying about the actions of others.
A simple solution to overcome this fear? Repeat after me:
“NO ONE CARES ABOUT ME BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL TOO WORRIED ABOUT THEIR OWN LIVES.
Now, go ahead and be unapologetically you.
When people leave negative comments or hate on you, they are merely projecting their own insecurities onto you. Understanding this psychological fact empowers you to step into your own power and embrace your true self.
And if you find yourself projecting onto others, I hope I’ve inspired you to pause and reflect on why you feel that way.
The benefits of being a creator:
- Fulfill a basic human need: sharing. We unconsciously gravitate toward those who share their creations.
- Stimulate your brain and keep it active. You’re going to lose your looks but you will always have your brain.
- Transform your creativity into a side hustle and potentially make money from it. The rise of the solopreneur movement has demonstrated the limitless potential for one-person “companies” to achieve substantial earnings. In our age of radical connectivity, human potential knows no bounds. If you can’t see it, perhaps you’re not in the right environment.”
6. Master the Art of Focus.
Attention is the new currency. Everyone and everything is constantly screaming for your attention
Here are some effective strategies to help you maintain your focus:
- Cultivate the ability to enter flow states, where you become fully immersed in your tasks and experience heightened productivity and creativity.
- Guard against the temptation of mindless scrolling on your phone. Instead, curate your feed to align with your values and contribute to your personal growth.
- Minimize distractions that can easily hijack your attention and divert you from your goals.
- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who prioritize focus and can support and inspire you on your journey.
Remember, your attention is a valuable resource, and how you choose to allocate it will determine the quality of your work and the depth of your achievements. By mastering the art of focus, you set yourself apart from the majority who succumb to constant distractions, allowing yourself to make significant strides toward your goals.
7. Learn About Your Brain.
How do you achieve the first six points to this article? Start with the basics: YOUR BRAIN.
Our thoughts shape our reality. Control your mind. control your life.
Sadly, most people overlook the importance of self-reflection and fail to explore the underlying reasons behind their actions. Instead of seeking the root cause of a problem, they opt for instant gratification, quick fixes, and temporary solutions.
But you, as a contrarian, have the opportunity to break free from this shallow thinking.
Fortunately, deep, critical thinking is a skill— like a muscle that can be strengthed over time.
By delving into the study of your own brain, you unlock the secrets to understanding your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This self-knowledge empowers you to make conscious choices and create meaningful change in your life.
Here are some ways to embark on the journey of learning about your brain:
- Dive into books, articles, and research on neuroscience and psychology to gain insights into the inner workings of the mind.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation to cultivate a deeper connection with your thoughts and emotions.
- Seek guidance from mentors, therapists, or coaches who can provide valuable perspectives and tools for self-discovery.
- Hang out with like-minded people who are into philosophy, wellness, and cognitive sciences.
- Ask your friends deep questions if even it may cause controversy to encourage thoughtful conversations. If friends disagree, use it as an opportunity to practice patience, and learn to listen instead of reacting.
- Be open and vulnerable so others can relate to you.
- Connect with like-minded people on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Quora.
- Listen to podcasts such as The Huberman Lab and Psychology Podcast (by Scott Barry Kaufmann)
- Keep notes about your thoughts, reflections, and insights daily.
- Curate your social media feeds and don’t partake in online arguments because that is all poison for your mind.
- Meditate, breathwork, or create simple moments in your day where you are doing absolutely nothing. This will literally “clear space” in your mind because if it’s full of stressors and to-do lists, it can’t work its magic.
Imagine a world where we all took accountability and learned how our primitive minds work?
Imagine a world where we all supported each other and lifted each other up?
Imagine the possibilities if we were all aligned in making the world a better place?
Remember, the more you understand your own mind, the more you can shape it to serve your aspirations, overcome challenges, and unlock your true potential.
TL;DR: 7 Contrarian Ways To Set Your Personal Brand Apart
- Dare to Break Free from the Herd Mentality.
- Seek Rejection For Personal Growth.
- Confront Your Triggers Head On.
- Stop Playing Small.
- Create, Not Consume.
- Master the Art of Focus.
- Learn About Your Brain.