This morning I think I shocked some people. Every single day when I drop off my son for school I am dressed in jeans, sweats, or something extremely casual. I usually have a baseball cap on and sunglasses on, so I go relatively unnoticed.
Many of the mommies at our school could win a beauty pageant! They're the country club set who show up in their tennis gear ready to go play a game. What makes it even worse... is that they're all incredibly nice!
This morning, I had my TV face on, ready to publicly meet the students, parents and teachers of our school for the first time. I dressed up, did my hair and even put on a suit. I rehearsed my speech that I was going to give to the school to raise more money for our Technology fund raiser.
When our principal announced that a mom had something to say, I took the microphone from her and loudly greeted the students, faculty and parents: GOOD MORNING ST. MARGARET MARY!!!
(The movie Good Morning Vietnam was my model!)
For that next minute or two I engaged the students in banter about the upcoming event! I told them that Friday was going to be filled with MUSIC, GAMES, FOOD and FUN!!! Then I shared WHY raising money for technology was important! I challenged the school to get a VISION for technology and that we all had to work together!
My message was LOUD and CLEAR! WE NEED MORE MONEY!!!
It was more like a pep rally than a speech.
I think I scared some people….they weren't used to having someone be that loud. They weren't used to having someone so boldly ask for money. It may have made some people uncomfortable, but it's important and we're behind in our goal. They needed to hear it! And I think we got the energy going!
I've finally come to the conclusion about me. I'm different. I'm not a wall flower. I'm not someone who is calm, cool and collected all of the time. I used to wish I was. I used to want to be one of those incredibly beautiful, perfect women who make it all look so easy. I've finally realized, that's not me… and now I see some advantages to being who and what I am.
I can get in front of a school full of people, shake them up, and get them to take ACTION!
What about you? What are those things that are different about you? Are you someone who is comforted by taking a back seat and supporting others? Are you one of those people who can be organized all of the time and love nothing better than reading a good book? Are you someone who can see a room and know that if you added a bit of color and a few accessories that the room would really come to life? Or are you someone who loves creating things on the computer that challenge your mind?
I've come to realize that our roles in life are here so we can work together to support one another. All of us have different gifts and talents and in order for us to have happiness in life, we have to be using our gifts to benefit others!
We all have weaknesses too. That's why we NEED each other. None of us can exist solely on our own. I know that a person like me NEEDS the organized person to keep me on track, to do my books and to keep my desk clean. I can't do that very well and it's bothersome of course. I am blown away at how some people make THAT look so easy.
Accepting yourself isn't easy. It's hard to be different when you're a young person. No one wants to stick out like a sore thumb and be considered an oddball for looking, acting and feeling different.
It's time to celebrate the differences that we all have. Let's start acknowledging those around us who are different. Tell them that it's GOOD to be different. Thank them for being HONEST with themselves and others when they show up and are authentic.
And remember, when you see the others who look prettier, funnier, snazzier, smarter, sharper, more articulate, richer, or skinnier than you… remember that they CAN'T do what you can do!!! Tell them that they're great.. and then go and do your thing! The world NEEDS you to express your talents and to use them to help and support others!
Mary Gardner is an executive communications consultant and coach, and trend reporter. http://www.marygardner.com