Today I was just three words away from being a Spice Girl. Pretty close, no? I can’t think there will be a moment in my life where I will come any closer. In my head, I heard Sporty Spice. It’s probably not even an identity I would relish, but it did make me smile!
So what really happened?! I bumped into one of my lovely neighbours. I can’t remember the last time we spoke but it’s obviously a while because he asked about my now not-so-new car. As he asked about the performance of the car, his wife interjected and said “ah, but you’ll always be Sports Car Sue in our house”, lamenting the departure of my once lovely MX-5 late last year. For a moment, as we ended our brief conversation, I even nominally became Sporty Sue, as I left them to play tennis.
As we laughed about my identity or ‘label’ in their house, I couldn’t resist sharing a brief story of how I used to sing in a blues band, and (for some reason that now conveniently escapes me) I have been known to appear in a glittery-tinselly wig on stage. For some friends, when trying to distinguish between the Sues in their various groups of friends, I was henceforth known as The Sue with the Glittery Hair. I don’t think my neighbour’s young son could believe his ears – don’t think he’d really pegged me for being in any sort of band, let alone one where I might rock up with glittery hair!
As I drove off, smiling, I couldn’t help but think of his face. The sheer incredulity of it all. In that moment, how he saw me had changed. I guess I was no longer the friend of one of his friend’s mothers. No longer the neighbour in the corner house with the felines that used to fascinate him. Not even just Sports Car Sue. His perception of me had changed. Whatever I had communicated about me previously – consciously and unconsciously – had changed as he soaked up this new layer of information.
For some reason the words “who are you?” popped into my mind as I drove to my tennis lesson. Given those words often form a chant which suggests insignificance, it’s interesting that the first word that popped into my head was uniqueness. I am unique. Perhaps because I’d written a guest blog about identity and being unique recently. I’d love to share a paragraph of that previous post with you here….
“Our uniqueness isn’t defined by what we do or the roles we play – just as our identity isn’t our label, or the box we put ourselves in. Nor should we confuse identity with image. Our identity is all of the things that are uniquely ours – the things that make us complete. It’s those things that go through our very core, like when you look at the words that go through a stick of rock. It’s what we can’t escape. We can’t not be unique!”
What I love when I consider identity and my uniqueness is that no-one else in the world can be exactly like me. How amazing is that?! No-one else can do what I uniquely do in the way that I uniquely do it! This is why authenticity is such an important part of the Art of Personal Effectiveness Framework that I use in working with clients who want to be unstoppable. Being real is a hugely important part of being unstoppable for all sorts of reasons. I’m sure we’ll talk about some of those in another post.
I guess the risk in sharing a story with you, is that it’s all about me! So….. I’d love to know – what makes you unique? What is your unique contribution in the world – the thing that only you can do in the way that you do it? Leave me a message and let me know.
Until next time… be bold, be brave and be brilliant.
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