Stand Up For Individuality

Do you champion individuality?  Do you routinely encourage unique individuals to express themselves?  Do you listen to your authentic individuality or your fears?  It’s fun and freeing to boldly flaunt your wild, uninhibited individuality.

As a coach, I listen to client fears and prescribe tools and strategies to move  forward in spite of them.  This process is a big part of foundational life coaching before clients are confidently ready to apply business coaching.

Listening to the core fears of hundreds of courageous people has honored me.  These individuals are courageous because they are willing to fully express their fears.

The similarity of their fears is very telling.

You may believe that your fears are unique to you but they aren’t.

You either have fears of success or of failure.  You may have fears of not being capable in one area or another.  Or you have fears of not having enough time or enough money.  That’s it.

A vast majority of the fears fall into one of those five categories.

Individuals are brilliantly unique but their fears are strikingly common.

The marketplace rewards authentic differentiation and devalues what’s common.

Conformity is common.  The fearful conform.  Conformity is common obedience.  Conformity dilutes individual power and dulls authentic brilliance.

What do you think stops you from living fearlessly as the unique individual that you are?  Overtime fears become solidified as powerful limiting beliefs.

You only believe in your fears because you’ve lived with them for so long.  Your fears have crafted the frightening story that you keep retelling.

Yet your fearful story is just who you thought you were.  There’s nothing authentic about that story – it’s just an illusion created by years of over-thinking.   It’s not who you really are.  But you do have a choice.

The longer it takes for you to choose bold authentic expression – the longer it will take you to get what you want.

Taking a stand for your own unique individuality is a courageous and necessary component of evolution.

Buried beneath all of you fears may be an even deeper fear of your own brilliant individuality.

They have come to understand that – no punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict upon themselves, by conspiring in their own diminishment.  Parker Palmer

I rally round the freedom flag of self-employment because working as an employee automatically makes you smaller.

Working as an employee is a consciously chosen path of personal diminishment.

What if your greatness can only be unleashed through the boldness of self-employment?

What if your fulfillment can only come by being your own man or woman, in every way?

What if the one true key to lasting business success is authentic expression?

If you are good at being you, products resulting from your ideas and character will have excellence built into them. Egbert Sukop

Others suffer by paying for inferior products and services when you settle for a job just to pay the bills.  But when you are unfaithful to your true self – you suffer the most.

If you are here unfaithfully with us – you are causing terrible damage.  Rumi

It’s time to quit telling lies about your own capabilities.

It’s time to quit repeating your fears.  Instead it’s time to embrace your wonderfully quirky individuality.

I’m looking for those who are ready right now to shed their cowardly skins and stand tall in their authentic brilliance.

You must make the decision to go for it, in your own way or your authentic brilliance will starve from a lack of self-respect.

I seek to work with the bold.

I seek to inspire and to encourage the bold.

Is it you?  It’s my honor to coach you to your greatness. Can you imagine laughing in the face of your fears?  Using the right tools you can free yourself.

There is a radiating enthusiasm building within you right now.

Free it.  Ask these questions of yourself.

“What magnificence is seeking to awaken within me?”

“What bolder, freer life is calling me forth?”

“How could I engage my individuality to astonish myself?”


  1. Hi Tom – great stuff indeed. I love the way you say “these individuals are courageous because they are willing to fully express their fears”. And also “What if the one true key to lasting business success is authentic expression?” – what a great thought to hold, that our own individual expression is our best product – its such a different mindset to researching what will sell well and then doing that.

    Robins last blog post..Tomato Seeds And Delicious Fruit

  2. Totally agree. Individuality IS where value comes from. “Average” is free, boring, and useless.

    As an employer, part of encouraging individuality and courage in your employees is to make it clear that you ACCEPT FAILURE. That “failure at a task” is not “failure at your job.”

    In fact, someone who has an idea, defends it, tries it (with a way of measuring whether it’s successful), and then ultimately fails, is a TERRIFIC ASSET TO YOUR COMPANY.

    When failure is embraced, you can unleash this power. Otherwise, assume everyone is too afraid to act, even if you never said it.

    Jason Cohens last blog post..How to get customers who love you even when you screw up

  3. Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching says:

    Thanks for this post. That’s one thing I tell myself regularly — the world is waiting for me to step up and give my gifts, and each moment I don’t do that I am selling them short. “How arrogant of you to say that,” another part sometimes says, but that voice is growing softer.

  4. Beautiful post, Tom – you are a great motivator! 🙂

    While I was reading this sentence: “Buried beneath all of you fears may be an even deeper fear of your own brilliant individuality,” another fear occurred to me… The fear that underneath all of your fears may be an even deeper fear of NOT having any brilliant individuality! Especially after having been a sheep (or maybe a lemming!) for so long.

    Power to those who are courageous enough to find their authenticity, their brilliant individuality – and learn how to express it!

    Audentes Fortuna juvat!

    Keenas last blog post..Who Can You Trust?

  5. Suzanne @ vAssistant Services says:

    “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

    For the life of me, I can’t remember the attribution, but I really love that quote.

    Suzanne @ vAssistant Servicess last blog post..Can You Say the X, Y and Z of Your Business in One Sentence?

  6. I’m a lion … hear me roar.

    I’m a fan of living your values and being YOUR best. Unique voice, authenticity … etc. comes with the turf. It’s all about be true to you and the most you know about yourself, the more effective you can be.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Living Your Process

  7. Hi Tom: This post reminded me of two of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes:

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

    And I completely agree with Rumi: You’re doing the world a great disservice by not being yourself.

  8. In the job I had before I broke free, I was constantly being forced into a mold that didn’t fit. I was miserable forcing myself to conform while my innate desire was to be who I am. What is so ironic is, that when I was being who I was, I was much better at my job then when I was trying to fit their mold. But being me was frightening to them. It really was. I am the kind that will walk into a room and say, “Hey why is that elephant in the room?” Insecure people who hide behind elephants don’t want others to know about the elephant so I was a threat to them.

    Since my jail break and escape to the freeing world of self employment, I am able to break down my own boundaries and be totally me. I also find the more me I am, the better I am at my job. Life is so good when your able to really be yourself. I highly recommend breaking free to everyone and becoming your own boss!

  9. Hi Tom,

    Your posts are usually challenging, and this one is no different. “Believing in our fears” is important to recognise – the fears are not real, it’s only us giving too much energy to them.

    I’m already self-employed, and took that leap 8 years ago. Yet I still hear you, because I’m hesitating about the next leap forward. Reading your blog makes me think about this instead of sweeping things under the soft fuzzy carpet of contentment. Thanks!

    Daphne @ Joyful Dayss last blog post..Attaining Spiritual Peace

  10. Hi Tom,

    My magnificence is simply staying fully present. I call it my shining self.

    The freer life that is calling me is making my income from my own website and products.

    One quibble maybe with your post. I think self-employed people can collaborate on larger projects or as part of a larger organisation. It sounded like you think solo operator is the way you think best. For me it is about individuality being respected, if this can be respected in a larger organisation (and what a big if that is) then that’s great by me. This is what you may be meaning anyway.

    What stops me from living fearlessly? Lack of money is part of it. Dying sad and alone is part of it too. I am working on these things at the moment (developing my own website is also a way of freeing up more time for friends).

    Thanks for a great post.

  11. I love it, Individuality is a value for me ,I absolutely champion it. It’s what makes me stand out from the crowd, what makes me make a difference to my life and the lives of others just as this blog and your coaching does.

    It reminds me of my years when I painted fabric and designed clothing that was for women who wanted to be individual and bold

    I am in the process of writing a talk on something I am passionate about, the word individuality stood out in my reader, LOA in action for me.

    Thanks for both inspiring and challenging. I know I haven’t been here for a while- been getting things completed:)

    Thanks Marelise for the Seuss quote:“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” What I was writing is about ” “ what you think of me is none of my business?”

    Suzie Cheels last blog post..45 Days To Achieve Your Dream?

  12. Stephen - Rat Race Trap says:

    Tom, this is an excellent article! As a “quirky” individual I can really relate to it. I don’t understand why people want to be like other people. I never have. I tell people all the time that the only way to get noticed is to be different. Nobody notices or cares about the common.

    “Taking a stand for your own unique individuality is a courageous and necessary component of evolution.”

    Powerful! This post was “delightful”. 🙂

    Stephen – Rat Race Traps last blog post..Are You Challenged or Disabled?

  13. LifeMadeGreat | Juliet says:

    Hi Tom

    I suppose that in the typical workplace one is not only dealing with one’s own fears, but also those of others. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it is so limiting to not be self-employed?


    LifeMadeGreat | Juliets last blog post..Love Beyond Valentines

  14. Hi Tom

    Great post. I am all for individuality and be our person. You post is like preaching to the choir with me. I LOVE IT!!
    Thank you, Stumbled!!
    Giovanan Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcias last blog post..Be Proud!

  15. Fantastic. I think too many coaches and mentors accidentally aid in the squashing of individuality simply because they find it difficult to deal with “out there” personalities.

    What a shame.

    If more people embraced the different, I think we’d experience substantially more progress than we do in virtually every area.

  16. One of my favorite topics.

    For myself, it was a day to remember when I realized something.

    In my twenties, I gave into conformity when it came to my career and livelihood. I looked back and saw that all of the times I felt scared, trapped, miserable and a sense of impending doom were times when I was trying to fit into someone else’s mold of what I “should” be.

    At the time I thought there was just something wrong with me, that I didn’t fit in in any of these jobs–so I must be some kind of mess. 🙂

    It turns out I was just not meant to work for others–or do any work that didn’t truly fit who I am.

    Christine | Communicate Values last blog post..Ashton Kutcher Hits 1 Million Twitter Followers; Early Adopters Groan

  17. Robin – Glad you caught that. Authenticity can be our universal guide for all creative endeavors.

    Jason – I’ll bet that as an employer you are one of the few enlightened ones. When I think of the value of experimentation I always think of the big Post It note mistake.

    Keena – I truly hope that no one has that fear. Original uniqueness thrives within us all if we will just have the courage to coax it out.

    J.D. – Good thought, effectiveness can be guided by authenticity.

    Chris – Funny that you bring up arrogance. I think it’s arrogant to do the opposite and not share your sweet spot gift with the world.

    Marelisa – Thanks I’d heard the first one but not the second. A Youer You sound delightful!

    Laurie – We are all so happy that you’ve made your break. Unfortunately there is a lot of stinking appropriateness going on in education. They are so concerned with how thinks look that they’ve forgotten to look at how things are working.

    Daphne – Take that next leap, please – you can handle it!

    Evan – Love your courage man. Do it your way – whatever that is for you. I love the thought of shining self.

    Suzie – Always good to hear from a true authentic walker of her talk.

    Stephen – Long live quirkiness! It’s so damn refreshing.

    Juliet – The typical work place is very fear based because everyone is walking around being careful and hiding behind a mask of silly appropriateness. That’s just not a healthy way to live.

    Giovanna – Glad your in the choir we make such beautiful music!

    Oscar – Well said man! All weirdos and eccentrics are championed here!

  18. Tom –

    I adore this post (and you!)

    Naming that nagging little “niggle” and calling it what it is – FEAR – is an essential process.

    Thanks to your free teleclass, I’ve been able to see that I’ve allowing “fear” to create enough hidden tunnels in my life to the point where it had taken my chunk of “cheese” and made it Swiss Cheese!!!

    Naming the worm that was creating those tunnels provided an incredible boost for me. Now that it has a name – I can not only recognize it when it tries to begin “tunneling” in my life – I am also seeing it when others try to release their own “fear worms” into my chunk of cheese!!!

    Again – you’re the best. Thanks for helping me to identify and name that “worm” for me!

    Kathy | Virtual Impaxs last blog post..The Value of Great Small Business Ideas – or What are you willing to do?

  19. Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching says:

    Yeah, that’s what I say to myself as well — that if I’m not fully sharing what I’ve got with the world, what I’m really doing is either judging it unworthy of what I have or assuming that I could somehow hurt lots of people by giving what I have to offer, which are both pretty grandiose assumptions.

  20. Hi Tom. I like the fierceness of this post! You know, I think a lot of people are afraid to admit that they are afraid. I see it a lot where people are almost “proud” that they are happy all the time. But it’s not a true proudness, just a relief that they’re able to hold it together. Fooling themselves because they really know there is something hiding in their corners. Facing those dark corners takes courage. Who knows… there could be a doorway in one of those corners.

    Davinas last blog post..Morning Muse — Flock of Thoughts

  21. I have not been me for so many years – I have been the brilliant caretaker and supporter of others.

    I am brilliant and know it. I am talented and no it.

    I am not afraid, but know that my IT non abilities are holding me back from full expression and success on my blog. Then I waste so much time trying to figure it out.

    I used to sing stunningly…but after cancer surgery can not sing well at all…no matter I could not do music theory or write music – I could just sing….that does not make for success as a singer.

    I keep having to redesign success and how to use my talents…

    This week I have to take a test to re-certify my ethics and boundaries training….I know I will pass most it with flying colors – the logical/mathematical part I will fail…I am working on relaxing my way into this…the therapist says don’t work so hard….

    Patricias last blog post..A Different Journey

  22. Christine – I’m so glad you decided to break the mold and strike out on your own. That’s what most employees don’t get – because the job doesn’t fit they think there’s something wrong with them. But few are a good fit for slavery. Jobs are designed by employers for the benefit of employers. Of course free thionking individuals don’t fit.

    Kathy – Seeing our fears in the harshest of lights is such good medicine. It’s so freeing to know exactly what we are dealing with. Bravo to you!

    Chris – Well said. We all have something special to express. It’s actually quite natural to express it when we remove the d fears or choose not to give them power.

    Davina – I used to let new clients off the hook by allowing them to call their fears concerns. Not anymore. Now if that can’t tell me what they fear then they can’t work with me. If they feared nothing then they would have already created what they want ed to create. Our job as coaches is to stop the bullshit!

    Patricia – Do some thing that you want to do. When we treat ourselves to new activities – we c see openings that we couldn’t see just thinking about things. Over thinking is the hardest of work. Just do, playfully.

  23. Hi Tom

    This is a fantastic post and said in such a refreshing way, perhaps the best one that I have read so far on this topic. At least it spoke to me loud and clear.

    I loved especially this quote: “The longer it takes for you to choose bold authentic expression – the longer it will take you to get what you want.”

    I think this said it all to me and I want to live as consciously as possible to always keep that at the back of my head, to not fall into some comfort zone out of fear.

    I am proud to say that I am taking a huge leap in a few months myself and leaving a very secure and steady job and nice pay check to free myself. Not sure yet where it will lead, but it is the first step in my personal self expression and so far fear has stayed out of it 🙂

  24. Interestingly enough, I have to agree on this. I never thought I’d venture in a home-based business with my family and still be able to be true to myself or stand up for individuality. This way I’m always discovering new things about myself and others.

    Imees last blog post..Things To Consider Before You Start Working From Home

  25. Promoting one’s individuality surely paves away to success as one who promotes individuality really gets himself prepared to accept failures as a way of life.

  26. 2 years ago I had to finally ask myself “where is all this fear coming from”. I took the time to dig deep and now I have the answer to that question. Not an easy road, but a very worthwhile one. And true to your words, I felt very free!

    Stacey Shipmans last blog post..A poem On Commitment

  27. Evelyn Lim says:

    I like how you consistently inspire us to be authentic and true to who we are. If there is any fear that I am experiencing in stepping into my own Divine Power, I’d know who to go to! Keep up the good work!!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Resolving Conflicts: Peace or Drama?

  28. I jumped off the bridge into self-employment 9 years ago in my day business and it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Over time I became disillusioned by that business and just three weeks ago, I fired myself. I said self (sound like Donald Trump) “YOU ARE FIRED”. I was not being my true self.

    Now, with my new venture, Giggle On, I am shining my light, my playful and empathetic Christa light, to everyone I meet.

    Am I fearful I won’t succeed in turning my passion into a business? Sure, but I am more fearful how I would feel 10 year from now if I didn’t even TRY to turn my passion into a business.

    Will the market respond to my message? Will my mortgage be get paid on time? Will my cup of coffee run dry before I stop typing this email? I dunno but I’ll tell you this – I am being more me than I ever have been before and I am LOVING IT!

    Don’t Give Up! on your dream, your goals or on life.

    Giggle On my friends, Giggle On! 🙂

    Latest post: Big Giggly Goals with Laughter Yoga

  29. Evita – Congrats on your upcoming leap. Please return and tell us how the landing turned out. The world needs your authentic expression. Take heart in that.

    N. Welcome. Tell us more next time.

    Imee – Some environments are more supportive of authenticity than others. In your own home do your thing, by all means.

    Stacey – And you are still enjoying that freedom. Once felt we just can’t go back.

    Evelyn – It’s what I do because it’s who I am. Thanks for noticing.

    Christa – Sounds like you truly broke the shackles and there is no holding back. Be your wild self there are enough opf us waiting to support you.

  30. Love it! Love it! Love it! I find the working with a life coach significantly helps people express, live, and thrive within their individuality.

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..7 Strategies for Putting Your Authentic Self First

  31. Thanks for this post, Tom! Quite timely and helpful. I’ve had some problems expressing my individuality in the Corporate world where conformity seems to be the norm and individuality an unwritten taboo. Regulations suppress individuality – little things like imposing uniforms so everybody else can look alike and even the clean desk policy which strives to erase from your own desk little marks that you’ve been there. Maybe the way to go is really to strive for self-employment.

    Jocelyn at I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..How Do You Treat a Bad Person?

  32. Stacey – Our individuality is our edge. Smart coaches know how to line you up for success.

    Jocelyn – keeping you down and making you fit an illusionary mold is such fear based thinking. Her’s to the day that you break free and declare your right to be all of who you are without apology.

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