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A row of grey pencils with a rogue red one.

According to dictionary.com, mainstream is defined as:

‘the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional.’

In our world there is a dominant mainstream perspective which we can’t help but measure ourselves against. Demographically, if this mainstream was a person it would be a white, male, educated, heterosexual, right-handed and able-bodied person.

The more of these demographics you belong to, the better the conventional world works for you. I’m speaking generally not individually here. It’s completely possible to tick all of those boxes and still find life very challenging, but generally speaking there are many things working in your favour whether you’re aware of it or not. 


Outside of the mainstream

Now I’m not a mainstream kind of chick, I never have been. I thought I should be for most of my life since there is a very real gravitational pull towards it. But being real, it’s just not me. Some people are authentically more mainstream in their ideals than most and that’s totally ok. You can spot these people because they don’t have a problem with society evolving to make room for people who aren’t like them.

The reverse is also true, the less of these boxes you can tick, the less the conventional world works for you. It simply wasn’t designed to for you.  Again, I’m speaking generally not individually here; it’s totally possible to thrive outside of these categories too and many people do.

There are many (usually heated) conversations being had about this, but what we hear about less is that there is also a mainstream WITHIN each demographic. Each demographic group has shared ideas and attitudes within it, that are regarded as conventional.  And there are a lot of people who are not only shut out of the wider mainstream but also out of the groups they are actually part of too. Some people are viewed as not black enough or a coconut (white on the inside), too masculine, too feminine, selling out if they marry outside their race or religion etc.

So what do you do when you don’t fit in to the mainstreams?

You create your own lane!

One of the reasons that people don’t live authentically is fear of not belonging. It’s a biological, survival thing which is why the drive to fit in and belong is so intense. Back in the day, you wouldn’t have survived if you were rejected by your tribe and kicked out to fend for yourself. You had to fit into the tribe rules to survive. But things are different now….

As much as there’s a biological drive to survive fuelled by fear, thankfully that’s not the only drive or urge we have. There’s a much more powerful force within us, a more spiritual force that comes from our soul: love. This force compels us to follow our heart’s desires in spite of what the mainstream says.

I’m not a mainstream member of any of the groups I belong to – I’m not a mainstream woman, black person, black woman, coach or Mother. I am still a woman, black person, black woman, coach and Mother, just not in the conventional sense. I feel fine with who I am but the rules of the mainstream say I’m not fine and I should be different.

I don’t prescribe to many of the beliefs and behaviours expected of these groups, it’s just not who I am. It has been a lifelong and ongoing journey to be able to be who I really am, grounded in my authenticity exactly as I am. Unapologetically doing things my way.  It’s been extremely challenging at times, but it’s 100% worth it to be myself and live my life on my terms.

Truth is, I’ve never really fitted in, I just got really good at pretending. I internalised the rules of the mainstream like a good girl and got so good at pretending that I even fooled myself. It was a great strategy, my mission was accomplished but I felt empty inside as I denied myself my authentic expression.

For most of my life I had one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake, scared to show up as me because I didn’t fit into any of the boxes prescribed to me. What I came to see is that not many people do fit into these boxes. It’s like these boxes were created for us and then we contort ourselves into all kinds of shapes until we fit inside. measuring ourselves against these external things.

 

You don’t need society’s validation to exist as you are; society needs to expand to make room to include you. You’re not the problem, society is! By being different you have a unique and special value, you bring fresh thinking and progress to the group just by being you. You’re an outlier and key to the evolution of our species. Evolution requires difference, things don’t evolve with sameness, they evolve through diversity. The world needs the difference you bring to evolve and thrive.

We live in a world that is heaving at the seams with the symptoms stemming from people being disconnected to themselves and therefore not living authentically. A lot of this disconnection comes from simply adopting the mainstream’s ideas and attitudes unquestioningly and not bothering to develop your own. I bet the area of your life you struggle with has a load of beliefs that aren’t even yours but have been absorbed from the mainstream running the show.

This is why I work in the area of authentic leadership. I know what it is to stand confidently in my authenticity even if it’s not part of the mainstream way of thinking. I know how important it is for your emotional, mental and physical health to lead, love and live authentically. I also know it’s an important part of owning your power and doing what you came here to do. No authenticity, no impact!

Ready to Create Your Own Lane?

Are you done living for everyone else and ready to start living your life for you now? If you’d like help to create your own lane, book a free consultation with me and let’s chat about what you need and how I can help you.

You deserve it sweetie. 💜


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1 Comment

  1. How To Create Your Own Lane - Boss Ass Living on March 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    […] on from my last blog post about creating your own lane, this week I share some practical tips on how to do just […]



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