When I ask clients/friends/people on the street who let me talk to them what makes them amazeballs, I usually get a lot of hems/haws/feet shuffling. I also usually get, “Well, nothing special or anything….I mean, it’s not like I can do anything that anyone else can’t do.” This is where steam comes out of my ears and my head explodes and my voice gets even louder than usual (the fact that I can’t get my voice lower than a 7 is part of my uniquity). I start talking about The Creative Habit and how, when Twyla was listing her Five Big Fears, she had this to say under “Someone has done it before”:
I mean, think about the fact that pretty much everything we do falls under a certain genre: tap dancing is called Tap Dancing because it’s a certain type of dancing that’s established because so many people have done it before. Now, it’s not to say that you couldn’t create a new type of dancing – Sherfurffle Dancing, maybe? – but honestly, let’s take the pressure off here, people. We need to look at our uniquities as what they are: our strengths, our attributes, our specialties. It’s not about Creating Something Totally New That Nobody Has Seen Before Or Can Identify. It’s instead about uncovering what we love to do and what makes us us, owning it, and offering it to others. And while there are 21,000 members of the International Coach Federation (which regulates life coaching certifications) there’s only 1 When I Grow Up Coach who writes rhyming career change workbooks, plays music in her workshops, and uses a pink ukulele to write theme songs for her offerings (yes, she also writes about herself in the 3rd person).
So, when someone immediately disowns what makes ’em amazeballs, I have to break it down. What do they get complimented on? What do others come to them for help with? What do they find themselves doing when time goes by super fast? I then usually hear:
“But everyone can bake a great chocolate chip cookie from scratch!”
“So-and-so already has a career as an interior designer who caters to college student, so there’s not room for me to do that, too!”
“Sure, I can put together a killer outfit that’s runway-worthy, but it’s not like anyone’s gonna pay me for that!”
The things the Anti-Uniquity Vampire (our Vampire Voices are the ones we have in – or out! – of our heads that suck the good stuff right out of us) says leads you to deflate yourself, not letting you give yourself any credit whatsoever for what you do well and what makes you you. I gotta tell ya, I can’t bake a great chocolate chip cookie from scratch or otherwise, there’s definitely more room in the dorm room decor field for 2 (or 20!) designers, and I did pay someone to help me put together killer outfits and it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
So the next time you get asked what makes you amazeballs, you can dust off your cookie pan, your bunk bed design boards, and your Vogue-worthy ensembles, knowing that your uniquity is, simply and easily, what makes you truly you.