I usually don’t tune into awards shows, but I was on Hulu trying to find something to put on in the background while I did some thoughtless admin work, and I decided to “watch” The Oscars.
I’m glad I did, because two speeches really got me thinking, and I was just so happy that they reached millions – and continue to.
Now, even if you didn’t watch, you probably heard about Graham Moore’s acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay (for The Imitation Game).
When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself, because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now, I’m standing here, and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird, or she’s different, or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.
How many of us have felt that way? Maybe not to the extent Graham did, where we contemplated ending our own life, but how many of us have felt – or still feel at times – weird and different and like we don’t belong?
I’d venture to say just about all of us!
– No human being is the same as another, and we’re not meant to be.
– Each of us is born with inherent characteristics that make us a unique individual, perfectly equipped for our own special purpose.
So, if that’s the case, then how did being different become such a bad thing? What makes us feel like something’s not right?
“That little prick called ego.”
Just like, “You had me at hello,” Alejandro González Iñárritu captivated me when he said that in his acceptance speech for Best Director (for Birdman).
I had just published a piece on ego in the workplace for SUCCESS magazine, so the topic was top of mind. And to hear him state his point of view so eloquently – to millions – made me hope that everyone was truly listening.
Honestly, this is crazy in a way, talking about that little prick called ego. Ego loves competition, right? Because for someone to win, someone has to lose. But the paradox is that, you know, true art, true individual expression, as all the work of these incredible fellow filmmakers can’t be compared, can’t be labeled, can’t be defeated because they exist and our work only will be judged, as always, by time.
The truth is, there is no competition. No need for comparison.
We are who we are. We do what we do, and we express it in a way that’s different from anybody else. Somewhere along the way, though, our inherent programming gets tampered with, and we can begin to believe that we have to be like everybody else. Not the case. Somewhere along the way, shame can creep in. But the whole vibe around shame is judgment. In order to feel it, we have to compare ourselves to someone or something else.
That’s when we feel like we’re weird and different and like we don’t belong, and that’s dangerous. It’s time to get back to our core, to reprogram, to believe that we’re perfect just as we are and give ourselves permission to just “bee” and embrace our differences, not criticize them.
So, in that spirit, “Who am I?”
I’m the person who:
…played “teacher” – with or without an audience.
…answered the phone at the front desk in various accents when I was a candy striper.
…would leave long-winded messages and sing songs on my dad’s answering machine so that he could hear how my voice lessons were paying off. (Dad, have I apologized yet??)
…thought summer fun was placing fake vomit on the boardwalk and lurking in the distance to watch what happened. (And I wondered why I didn’t have a boyfriend.)
… actually prefers sitting at the kids’ table.
While these are just a few things that could easily be considered reasons to fear having a child who might take after me, I don’t look at it that way. I’m going to embrace my differences and own who I am.
I want you to do the same. Who are you? Own it and set yourself free!
Amy Peloso is a Happiness Advocate & Personal Growth Igniter. As a Certified Coach, she inspires and motivates people to “bee” themselves and create the life they want to live. Whether she’s speaking to an audience of 1 or 1,000, her energy and optimism gets people buzzing!
Connect with Amy on social media, read her weekly blog, and learn more at thequeenbeenyc.com
Photo courtesy: Flickr