I usually wake up in the morning and go directly to my office, which so happens to be the desk in my room, the local coffee shop, or some random bus or airplane terminal. Regardless of where I am, I have an odd obsession with breakfast. I end up pushing it back until noonish but have no fear, I always end up having my favorite breakfast snack, a bagel.
One day, as I unwound the bagel bag to pick a circle of deliciousness out for my sandwich in the afternoon, I was struck by something very odd looking. Yes, the bagel I had chosen was far from symmetrical and was actually awkwardly lopsided.
My initial instinct was to put it back in the bag and choose another more ‘normal’ bagel. As I began to do this I realized, “Why the hell are you doing this Ian?”. Besides the fact that you now know I talk to myself, at this very moment in time I was instantly taken aback by my actions. I had made such an incredibly rash judgement about a bagel that was just a bit different than all the rest.
I felt ashamed of myself, almost like I had let everything I stand for wash away into a bagel abyss. I took a moment and reflected on the incredibly small but reverent thought. I had just judged a bagel by it’s looks and not for what it stands for and offers the world.
Okay, so you may be a little creeped out by my personification of a regular ol’ bagel, but I think this small moment in my life can serve a much bigger meaning.
Sometimes you may feel like this lopsided bagel. You may feel like you don’t belong, like everyone is looking at you weird, and even perhaps that no one will love you or support you in your journey. To be honest, there are going to be times where all of that is true (well your family usually loves you). However, let go of what preconceived stereotypes people put on you, your confidence in being yourself will shine through and usually show to those you interact with.
Example land time
In my daily life, the hardest thing I try to shed from myself is my age. At the tender age of twenty-one, it is hard to get respect from some adults while doing business. Let me rephrase that, it is difficult if you let your weakness define you.
You see, I may be twenty-one but I provide valuable insight and partake in conversations with adults that have them question my age continually. I am only able to do this because I believe in myself and that I have value to provide. You should believe this about yourself as well!
We all have insecurities no matter how large or small, and we will always have things that work against us. Just know, that the quicker you face these insecurities or so called “disadvantages”, the quicker you will be able to grow as a person and as a professional.
Never allow a stereotype define you, the word disadvantage only exists for those who consciously decide to give up on breaking the standard mold. Being yourself is the first step to awesome, the second is embracing that being a lopsided bagel is a GREAT THING!
Key takeaways if you don’t read paragraphs:
- Bagels are delicious
- Being confident in your views and expertise will shed any preconceived stereotypes
- Embrace that you’re different, and find a way to use it to your advantage