You are currently viewing Being a misfit requires a special skill set

Being a misfit requires a special skill set

Being a misfit, or outlier as Macolm Gladwell calls us, requires a special skill set to flourish.
While some people are groomed for pivotal moments in their lives, the rest of us aren’t.

As misfits, rebels and underdogs we’ve spent most of our lives on the outside looking in. Even if it’s our choice to be on the outer edges, when the chance to connect to people in positions of power and influence shows up, it can feel overwhelming.

What you need in this moment is resilience.

What thoughts popped in your head just now when I say the word resilience? Strong minded with a never give up attitude? Say yes to everything approach to life? Adopt an “it’s not me, it’s you” method of dealing with rejection? Ok, sure, that’s part of it, but it’s only part of it.

Resilience is a combination of:

  • Self awareness – Ability to be aware of what motivates your actions, what your strengths and weaknesses are
  • Self regulation – Ability to choose feelings and actions as well as goal setting
  • Mental agility – Ability to see all angles and pivot
  • Self efficacy – Belief you can master your environment
  • Attachment style and having support in your life – What meaning do you attached to events and circumstances in your life? Not everyone has the luxury of support and we’ll talk about this in a later post
  • Positive daily environment – This can be internally in your mind or externally in your environment. Ideally it will be both
  • Forgiveness – Of yourself and others for failing you and themselves
  • Optimism – Realistic optimism is the key. Read Martin Seligman for more life changing information on this

Where’s a person even supposed to start with a list like that? Where am I supposed to start when writing a post about it? I can’t and neither should you. This is a step by step project that starts where you are and is developed over time.

Personally, in the past I suffered from a dysfunctional attachment style and a lack of emotional self-regulation in the past. This not only kept me from taking advantage of opportunities but also from enjoying the fruits of my labour.

Honestly, it was such a waste of effort on my part to work so hard to achieve what I wanted and then lose what I had worked so hard to get because I wasn’t mentally ready for it.

I once worked at a tv station and, even though I was working in a very behind the scenes technical job, I got to know the station manager pretty well. Every time we spoke, I had the chance to pitch an idea for a show but I choked because I didn’t have the mental strength in me to meet the challenge.

There’s not much I can do about that now but I have since learned that no matter where you are in life, exercising your resilience muscle will open up paths you never thought possible for yourself.

It will also help you make hard decisions to leave somewhere you know in your heart, you don’t belong. There isn’t a brave person alive today today that isn’t resilient.

Don’t know where to start? Go back to the list at the beginning of the post and see which one resonates with you the most. Trust your intuition that you know where to begin. 


There is no wrong answer.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can develop your own resilience, stay tuned for more posts that are designed to help you be ready for that opportunity when it arrives.

If you don’t want to wait that long, send me a quick email and we’ll set up a free 30 minute consult to get you started.