Although the realisation of being different is hard, and hits us hard in our younger years, there are great advantages of being different and I have a ton of references on this. From being told during my whole early life that I’m weird, different and not normal and for the longest time I thought there was actually something wrong with me until I realised, my difference was my gift and it was what made me special.
I can remember people pointing out things about me, to me, that created enormous amounts of insecurity because I felt really different. And it took a very long time for me to realise that’s what makes me special.
And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing right now, because I am different, I am special. That’s what greatness is.
So to put this into practice when people disagree with me online, and say mean things, sometimes they just say them because I’m different, and that’s okay.
Directing this now to social media and insecurities…
I think social media can breed insecurity.
It’s a hyper accelerated amplification of false identity, where people see things in limited context.
They see someone behaving in this way for two minutes and they think that’s how they behave in every aspect of their whole life. They create this unattainable standard for what they can behave like, look like, act like, talk like and be like in situations. So different to who they actually are.
I have no doubt that some people may look at some of my content and go, “Oh my god, I could never be like that,” or Oh my god, I could be like that in three months as long as I do these three things.”
It’s like, no man.
Social media can perpetuate a false identity of what people should be, we should be promoting individuality. And embrace that high level of acceptance of individuality, and the importance of individuality.
If I wasn’t an individual I wouldn’t be changing the world. And then, who would I be? I’d be like everyone else.
What I find so interesting, is that for my whole younger life, the first 20 years, I just wanted to be like everybody else.
I desperately wanted to be like everybody else because I felt so weird, so insecure of who I was because so much of who I was, was being labelled as wrong, bad, disabled, different and weird and I used to think I’m stupid. I’d attach these adjectives that became a huge part of my identity and I’d think, “Why can’t I just be like everyone else, why can’t I be normal”.
That was my self talk. “Why do I have to be so different?”
I’d come home from primary school crying to mum, and she’d say, “It’s okay Kerwin, these are the things that make you’re different, you’re special.”
And I’m talking primary school I was crying about this stuff.
As it went on I became more hyper sensitive to putting on a front and it just turned into enormous levels of anxiety, enormous levels of dysfunction. It amplified ADHD, amplified dyslexia, amplified behavioural issues at school. I failed every subject.
And it amplified the requirement for me to regulate in unhealthy and unnatural ways by using drugs. For me, the first time I took speed was the first time I felt “normal.”
It’s been a very big journey for me to learn how to regulate in healthy ways and to know what base neutral is for me, what “normal” is and isn’t.
And now, how I embrace my difference and my individuality – I prize it.
Individuality is to be prized.