Is 'Normal' what we should strive for?

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected - this is the definition of normal.

Being 'Normal' is something that we inherently strive to be. As kids we want to be 'normal' so that we fit in with everybody else. It's also something we do as adults in social settings as well as at work. It gives us a feeling of confidence and a belief that we belong, but is it really all that useful when it comes to our personal growth and change in general?

Not feeling or behaving in a 'normal' way shows up in a variety of ways e.g. our appearance - anything from the way we dress, our hairstyle, tatoos, our race or gender etc.; the way we speak; the way we work (or the jobs we have), and the way we think.

The thing is that in our quest to be 'normal' and fit in (belong), especially as it relates to the way we think and behave (e.g. thoughts we share, questions we ask), we can actually dampen our ability to grow and change.

Instead, asking good questions, sharing your ideas, challenging the status quo, especially when it might make you 'stick out' is the very thing we ought to be doing! Without it we cannot learn new things, we cannot get the help we need, we cannot grow or change and then we stagnate. This becomes our 'new normal'. The irony being that we get left behind and stuck as those around us move towards success, leaving us feeling like we don't belong - the very thing we are trying to avoid!

'Normal' is overrated, the world needs more people/leaders who are not afraid to go against the flow, to make mistakes and learn from them, and who exude authenticity.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou