Ever heard that you’re unique? That only you are exactly like you, so you should be what you are and not let anybody else tell you different. That. You’ve heard that, right?

So you listen to the advice and you decide that you are you, and that’s great.

But now that you’re all unique, you start noticing exactly how you’re different. You start comparing yourself to every person you pass on the street, every person in your Instagram feed.

He’s got better posture than me. She looks confident, I wonder what she does for a living. They probably have it all figured out. Wow, it would be nice to go on a vacation like that.

And you realize that this thing about being unique is not so good after all. Because you’d rather be like them. It just looks…easier.

READ: 5 Lessons from a Personal Finance Nerd

Losing Control

Distancing yourself from other people is dangerous. It could go two ways:

You think you’re better than everyone else. Maybe you’ve spent the last couple of months waking up 5 am, going to the gym, working on your business, reading 15 books a day, and so on. It’s hard to sympathize with normal people then, isn’t? Because you are so much better, aren’t you?

You think everyone else is better than you. Maybe you haven’t done anything of that, but you keep seeing everyone on Instagram, and hearing about these amazing Podcast people, that check of feat after feat on their bucket list, whilst you’re just sitting there with your bucket of Ben & Jerry’s watching the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. How could you ever be like them?

Both ways are equally bad. In either case, you lose the ability to connect with your fellow human beings. And in both cases you end up feeling left out, feeling that nobody understands you. And this leads to feelings of loneliness and insecurity.

READ: You are not perfect

Good News

The good news is, nothing of this is true.

In reality, you are not unique. Well, maybe nobody is exactly like you, but they sure are pretty close.

We’re all made from the same stuff. We have the same body parts (mostly), we have the same chemicals flowing through our bodies, making us react to things. And we live in the same world, at the same point in time.

Everyone you meet on the street has probably had a surprisingly similar day to you, and they probably have the same problems running through their minds, and they have the same anxiety about passing you on the street.

They are you.

My Realization

I felt odd when I started changing my behavior in extreme ways to get ahead in life. I listened to podcasts and modeled myself after the people I listened to. After a while, I could not recognize myself in my friends anymore. We’d grown apart so much, and I started thinking that it was me who was strange. I thought about giving it all up and go back to behaving like everybody else.

But then I realized there were people like me everywhere. At one of my morning walks at 5 am, I passed a guy with a focused walk. He wore headphones, and the same minimalist outfit as me (that I’d changed after reading books about Minimalism like this one, and getting rid of 90% of my clothes). He wore a pair of shoes that had been advertised in one of the podcasts I’ve listened to.

This could not be a coincidence, I thought.

Then I realized that all these podcasts I listen to, they all have thousands of listeners. And some of the books I read are best sellers. Just because I haven’t got these people close to me, there are probably millions being fed the exact same information as me every day, and being molded accordingly.

And how can they have stumbled upon this exact same path as me? Because they are made of the same stuff, and they live in the same world, at the same time.

They are just a version of me.

You are safe

What would a world be like with a billion versions of you? I know what my answer to that question is: not scary at all.

  • I don’t wish anyone active harm.
  • I’m mostly shy, and would only be happy if someone said hello to me at any point.
  • I would answer questions about everything.
  • I would love to talk about my dearest interests for hours.
  • And I would smile back if you smiled at me in passing.
  • Most of all, I would not judge you or laugh at you behind your back if you do anything strange.

I would love to think that I’m just an amazing human being for sticking to the above mentioned values. But I know I’m not; I know that most people think like this. The values might not always be 100% easy to act in accordance with due to a tough day at work or another exhausting life situation. But the values are there and I believe the majority of people think like this.

Next time you meet you

So the next time you meet that version of yourself on the street, just smile and be confident and happy and act however you like. The people you meet are the same as you, and they are most likely good. And they probably don’t care that much anyway, they’re too anxious about meeting you.

This article was originally posted on www.stillstupid.blog

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