Inspiring Life Lessons on the Art of Individuality

Written by on October 24, 2015 in Life by Design with 40 Comments

The Art of IndividualityHave you ever thought about what makes you unique? Individuality is not about egotism or setting yourself above those around you, it’s about understanding and truly valuing what makes you – you.

No two people are alike; in fact there will never be another person exactly like you – ever. Wow!

When we lose sight of our uniqueness in favor of conforming to the crowd we relinquish the opportunity to fulfill our greatest potential.

What’s really exciting – and a little scary – is that it is within your power to make the choices that will enable you to fully evolve and bring forth the truly unique and special person that you are.

That’s an awesome responsibility!

Following is a collection of mini life lessons to inspire you celebrate and make the most of your individuality.

Celebrating the Art of Individuality

  • I often warn people: ‘Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an ‘I’ in independence, individuality and integrity. ~George Carlin
  • Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty’ … it’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism’ … it’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success. ~Bobbe Sommer
  • If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are a one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated. ~Victoria Moran
  • The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. ~Jim Morrison
  • I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. ~Rita Mae Brown
  • The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. ~Johnny Depp
  • If I start giving people what they like I’ll turn into one of them and I don’t want to be one of them I want to be one of me. ~Craig Ferguson
  • If you truly expect to realize your dreams, abandon the need for blanket approval. If conforming to every one’s expectations is the number one goal, you have sacrificed your uniqueness, and therefore your excellence. ~Hope Solo
  • Do not underestimate who and what you are by comparing yourself to others. It’s our differences that make us unique and beautiful. ~Author Unknown
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~Mark Twain
  • You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
  • About all you can do in life is to be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all no matter what you do ~Rita Mae Brown
  • There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person. ~Anaïs Nin
  • I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely and completely – or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. It’s up to you to choose! ~Oscar Wilde
  • There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. ~Dr. Steve Maraboli

Did any of these quotations resonate with you? How are you honoring your individuality?

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.

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  1. I like alot of them but my favourite is Oscar Wilde.

    Love Oscar Wilde. The quotation below says it all. Nothing more to add.

    ‘I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely and completely – or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. It’s up to you to choose! ~Oscar Wilde

    Thank you Marquita X

  2. Kimba
    Twitter:
    says:

    I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. ~Rita Mae Brown

    Loves me some Rita Mae – just put this up on the bulletin board.
    Kimba recently posted…The Cat’s Away, Wanna Play?My Profile

  3. Embracing our individuality is freeing. My mother had an expression, “keep the focus on yourself”. Using other peoples life’s to set our own bar levels who we are gets blurry.We start striving and never arriving. I love Oscar Willde!
    pamela chollet recently posted…Moral Development: Raising Caring ChildrenMy Profile

  4. Sabrina Quairoli
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love this! Thanks for sharing. I love George Carlin’s quote “I often warn people: ‘Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an ‘I’ in independence, individuality and integrity.” I don’t believe we should be the same. Life would be boring if we all do the same thing and are alike. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Herbed Artichoke Chicken Thighs RecipeMy Profile

  5. Mark
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a truly inspiring post for getting extremely comfortable with our very own imperfect individuality M!

    And I love all of the quotes, but especially the one by Bobbe Sommer!

    And the late great George Carlin’s quote totally works for me as well!

    And I also like the way you expressed it in your opening paragraph, “Individuality is not about egotism or setting yourself above those around you, it’s about understanding and truly valuing what makes you – you.”

    That so puts the cheese on the cracker for M!LOL!

    Thanks for sharing yet another totally awesome post!

    I can’t wait to share it!
    Mark recently posted…How To Build Instant Rock Star Like Credibility Even If You Only Have A Shoestring Marketing Budget!Part ThreeMy Profile

  6. Although all the quotes hit home on one level or another, Oscar really nailed it for me today, “…there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely and completely…” Being at a specific juncture in my life, this is a thought to ponder. As usual, you are inspiring me to look at things just a bit differently, Marquita! Thank you!
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…Newly Unemployed – What to do?My Profile

  7. I was inspired and motivated. I found myself contemplating while reading the life lessons. Thank you for the reminder.
    Mahal Hudson recently posted…Good life…does it exist?My Profile

  8. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love the quote from Jim Morrison (but then again, I’ve always loved Jim Morrison). One of the main centering aspects of my life has always been, I am who I am. Take me or leave me. That matters so much, though that’s not to say I’ve not worn my fair share of masks. We all have. But I know for sure I am more happy when I do away with them and all of that pretense.
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Jason SmithMy Profile

    • I’m also a “take me as I am” kinda gal Jeri so I understand what you’re saying. I will also admit that as an extreme introvert that I definitely have my public persona and private personas that have been fined tuned over the years. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Donna Janke
    Twitter:
    says:

    All of the quotes resonated in one way or another. As we are growing up, there are so many times where we are pressured to conform. Like Dana, I think I wasted too much time trying to be like others. We need to encourage our children to be themselves and trust their uniqueness at the same time we teach them the coping skills they need to live in this world.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Bankside River WalkMy Profile

    • I hear you Donna and the pressure to confirm is something we can all relate to, and not everyone finds the inner strength to rise above it. Thanks for contributing to the conversation. :-)

  10. Dana
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Marquita,

    I think back to how much time I wasted wishing I could be more like others when I was younger, and as a result, I created an inner-war and resisted my own unique gifts.

    It was a painful lesson to learn, but I’m glad I figured it out.

    We are all here to express something different. The world would be a boring place otherwise.

    And as you mentioned – it isn’t about ego. It’s about self-love. A true appreciation for your own role in the world – and it’s a place where you want to give your life away, which is why I feel we’re here in the first place.
    Dana recently posted…How I Changed My Crappy Eating Habits For GoodMy Profile

    • Oh I can SO relate Dana! I recall going through a period when I just hated having red hair because it made me stand out and it was worse back then because it used to be more of a copper color than the auburn it is now. So one day I died my hair dark brown … and I absolutely hated it. It took me months to recover from that little move as the dark hair faded and eventually my own color grew back. What a lesson! Thanks for contributing to the conversation. :-)

  11. Dave
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am always impressed when a minimum number of words can be used to convey such a powerful message. I think that’s why the quote by Rita Mae Brown really resonated with me.

    “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

    I feel like I’ve always been the salmon swimming upstream against the current. I don’t do it on purpose or to make a point. It’s just who I am. The choices that seem “right” to me may seem quirky to others, but I try to stick to them in the name of personal integrity.

    The irony of the “reward” in this quote coming from the external world instead of our internal compass is powerful to me. As long as I am marching to the beat of my drum, whatever rhythm it may be, there is harmony in the music I create.

    Thanks for the wonderful quotes Marty. It’s refreshing to remember that being our own self, whatever form that takes, is the path to a personal revolution that can at the very least change our world, and maybe those around us if we have the courage to pursue it.
    Dave recently posted…BewitchedMy Profile

  12. Meredith
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love the Bobbe Summer quote! I find it hard to strike that balance between confidence in my uniqueness and reality about my limitations. But you are right, if we don’t see ourselves as having something to offer, then no one else will either.
    Meredith recently posted…Surviving Creativity: Finding FulfillmentMy Profile

    • So glad you like the article and quotations Meredith. I believe the reality of just how unique we each are is a very powerful notion if we can just learn to value and embrace it. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Kathy Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is a fantastic list. I think I liked Johnny Depp’s best. Starting with everyone is weird kind of had me at the get go:-)Individuality is part of the spice of life. I always think of conformity as repressive.
    Kathy Andrew recently posted…How Can You Better Manage Change?My Profile

  14. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Marquita,

    I love it when you give us a list of hand picked quotes. My favorite one here is

    “Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty’ … it’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism’ … it’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success”. ~Bobbe Sommer

    When I seen this I immediately thought of my mom. It describes her so well and even at a ripe young age of 84, there is always time for her to learn. So I wrote this one down and put it up on the refrigerator. She lives with us so maybe if she sees this often enough, it will get into her subconscious.

    Thanks again for these gems,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…The Bloggers GraveMy Profile

  15. William Rusho
    Twitter:
    says:

    Two quotes strike me when I read this. One was the “There is no I in team” the response is “There is no I in YOU either.”
    Also, about the right way. We learned in the military, “There is the Right Way, The Wrong Way, and then there is the Army Way.”
    It means if it is wrong, it is still the way you are going to do it.
    Thank you for sharing this great post on being unique.

    • My father and a former finance were in the army so I’m very familiar with the motto you referred to and I have no doubt that had I been tempted to join up I would have spent most of my time in the brig! Thanks for sharing William. :-)

  16. KRYSTLE COOK
    Twitter:
    says:

    All of these quote were very inspirational to me. I often think low of myself and need to stop that. Thanks!

  17. Beth Niebuhr
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love so many of the quotes but this one struck me especially:
    If I start giving people what they like I’ll turn into one of them and I don’t want to be one of them I want to be one of me. ~Craig Ferguson
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…3 Tips for Writing Inviting Blog PostsMy Profile

  18. Erica says:

    I like a lot of them but I really gravitate to the last one about women being unapologetically themselves. Because, I think so many women constantly feel that they have to explain or apologize for who they are. I think there is a pressure that starts in middle school that can follow us our entire lives to conform. And the older I get, the more I realize that is definitely not the way to go.
    Erica recently posted…Brain Fog: Does Your Brain Need a Tune-up?My Profile

    • You are so right Erica and that’s one of my favorite quotations as well. When I was coaching many of my clients were women working to start their first business and for most of them the biggest challenge they had to overcome wasn’t the technical or management side of things, but building confidence in themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    We owe it to our ourselves to love and appreciate who we are today whilst working on our flaws.
    Phoenicia recently posted…The dangers of prideMy Profile

  20. sherill
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi, this is one beautifully written post. I loved reading it, very inspiring and motivating. This one made my day ” Do not underestimate who and what you are by comparing yourself to others. It’s our differences that make us unique and beautiful”. Thanks so much for sharing. Great Read.
    sherill recently posted…The #1 Thing They Didn’t Tell You About The Law of AttractionMy Profile

  21. The “I” in team thing struck me, because of my experience in the corporate world and how individuality used to be a no-no. Always the pull, especially where issues of integrity are involved.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

    • Hey Jacqueline, didn’t expect to see you for awhile. Hope the writing is going well. Yes I like that quotation myself, in fact I always felt that buried under all the crazy humor and 4-letter words Carlin was a very smart guy. Sadly, the one and only time I had an opportunity to see him in person the guy was so loaded on something he could barely complete a sentence. Life in the fast lane I suppose. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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