I’m fairly sure that “rebel” is genetically encoded within my DNA — adjacent to the information about my brown eyes and auburn hair.
All my life, I have unconsciously felt the urge to go against the grain. I have a natural repulsion for the “herd mentality”, the pressure to pretend, play along . Even the “fake it to make it” idea, drives me to the brink.
I have tried these tactics — and sadly — it never ends well. Situations became quickly “combustible” or I would feel that I had compromised something very close to my core. Admittedly, this trait hasn’t always served me well. My youth and early adult life are littered with ill-judged decisions and (more than a few) burned bridges. It’s a testament to maturation.
I hadn’t harnessed my rebel nature — I was simply living in it.
As I refine my life design and focus on a conscious, elevated way of living, I have come to manage this source of personal power. The term “rebel” can now be accurately replaced with more productive labels such as “non-conformist” or may I venture to say — “genuinely confident”. (Even though as a rebel, I hate labels.)
If you are at all like me (and you are in need of advice), I have 4 tips to help you harness this potentially problematic wild streak into something powerfully dynamic.
Here you go:
- Capture “you”. This exercise is imperative — choose 4 values, adjectives or catch-phrases that you want to use as a life compass and direct your attitude, decision-making and behavior against it. One caveat here. Try to keep it positive. Most “rebels” I know have robust opinions, but lack the focus to really stand for what truly matters to them. Time to figure this out. For example, personally I would want to become: 1) positively powerful, 2) enlightened, 3) perpetually curious and 4) a teacher of truths. I can fit my entire life into those 4 values.
- Stand with confidence in what you are for — not just what you are against. Notice I said “confidence, not obstinacy, combativeness or defensiveness. No one is genuinely influenced by any individual who is notoriously negative.
- Focus on mastering communication. Think communication is a “soft skill”? If yes, rebels will find a very tough road. Communication is the only route to influence. If you feel that internal drive to make your mark, you need to know the how/what/where/when and why’s of the written and spoken word. (Don’t worry, I can help. Message me with your most burning questions.)
- Remember, no one owes you anything. There I said it. It is your life — and only you are accountable. “Rebels” are at their most powerful when they recognize this fact. In this way you can stand for your truths, while knowing you are crystal clear concerning where your accountability begins and ends. This insight will garner boat loads of respect.
Not quite a rebel like me, but know someone who definitely is? Here are 4 tips to employ their greatest strengths, while helping them evolve.
- Know that you can rely on them for the truth. Admittedly, the truth may be unsolicited. However, in many contexts, it can be a strength. We need to hear from people who will be forthright and transparent. However, gently remind them to be mindful of the situations where commentary and resistance are not appropriate.
- They will likely not fear something different or even taking action. In my line of work, I see many people who are hesitant to make decisions, take risks or fail. “Rebels” generally, have more tolerance for this. Simply, give them some parameters and let them explore.
- Many have a discerning eye for gaps. “Rebels” often resist what is expected, safe or the “norm”. So they often hold a perspective where they can see elements that can be improved . Find out what they’re thinking — and why. There may be a better path.
- Engage them, but don’t expect them to change. My mind roughly functions the same way as it did when I was much younger. This is because my thinking processes are governed by enduring values. (They are certainly more refined.)
There are many “rebels” among us. I have come to love this part of my personality. It was a long haul — but I am loving my current space.
If you are a self-identified rebel, you can get there, as well.
Read more about it.* (Click on the photo to learn more)
Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.
Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.