“There is no way I can put all of me in this box anymore.”
Have you ever been there? At that point of frustration and desperation because you feel as if you will suffocate if you don’t express all of you in your work.
Why do I have to choose? Why can’t I express all of me? How can I not use my entire range of skills in my work?
These are often questions that accompany those feelings of being done with the box. You know, the box that people try to put you in oftentimes so they’ll be more comfortable with you.
I remember hearing a former pastor say, “Never let anyone else create your world. They will always create it too small.”
That one saying has stuck with me for nearly 20 years and I often think of it when discussing “the box.” In our society we are almost obsessed with a “check the box” mentality.
But what happens when you don’t fit in the box?
I was chatting with a client recently and she expressed her frustration with not fitting into a box. She’s a gifted stylist, personal shopper, make-up artist, and social media expert.
She has a way of looking at you and seeing how your offline and online brand should align. And she can help you dress for your body style in a way that fits your personality.
But wait, there’s more. She also takes your offline style and presence and aligns it with your online presence. She has the skills and ability to manage your online presence as well. I am always in awe when I see her at work.
The thing is, what do you call all of that? Is there a nice neat category that allows her to simply check a single box?
She recently faced this conundrum when she joined a new networking group and had to select her category. She laughed when she realized that she technically could fit into at least three of them, but had to choose only one.
Once she finished sharing her feelings, I asked, “why don’t you create your own category?”
While I understand that for purposes of the networking group, she will check the box, but in her own mind she doesn’t have to force herself into a box.
As she creates her world and build her business, she can create her own category and it may never fit someone else’s definition.
And that’s okay.
One of the dangers of trying to force ourselves into “the box” is we often begin to lose our identity. We ask ourselves questions such as, “what is wrong with me?”
What if there is nothing wrong with you? What if it were okay not to fit?
Do you have the courage to set the box on fire? Do you dare to be different?
The truth is, none of us fit into a nice neat box. We are all multi-faceted, gifted, amazing, and powerful. Take time today to relish in your brilliance.