"You are unique and special, like an individual snowflake with an intricate design. Simply by existing, you have stunned the world with your majesty. You are a gift to the universe."
Let’s pause for a quick quiz:
Is this quote...
A. A line from a Hallmark greeting card
B. A motivational poster
C. A poem written by a teenager with a mediocre grasp of similes
D. A popular mantra perpetuated by society
If you guessed D...
Bing bing bing!
Thanks to affirmations like the one above, many people seem to believe that they are in fact beautiful and rare, like said magical snowflake.
Enter, Special Snowflake Syndrome, or in other words, the belief that you––unlike all the other zombie trolls out there––have been gifted with a magic essence that makes you different. That somehow you are, by virtue of being alive, a unicorn of a person––majestic and rare.
But what does it really take to be remarkable?
Is it this imaginary bubble ideology?
Hold on, let me get my pin. Brace yourself for the news.
"You are not a special snowflake."
That is correct. I don’t care what your [insert guardian, family member, sports team coach, motivational speaker, best friend, therapist, or tarot card reader] said.
You are not a special snowflake.
You are a human being.
Which means that purely by existing, you have value and are worthy of love and respect.
The snowflake fantasy needs to end. It leaves its believers wholly unequipped to deal with challenge or failure. It turns people into the worst kinds of narcissists––ones that have done nothing to warrant it.
Now, before everyone gets all huffy… does this mean we should abandon all of our efforts to promote positive self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence… self-ies?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. (Well, maybe the last one.)
There is a huge difference between believing that you are a human being with inherent value, and one with inherent awesomeness.
To be awesome, you must do awesome things in the world.
Those awesome things can be many and varied.
Yes, they can be performing well academically in school or college.
Or working in a respected field.
Or getting married and raising children.
Or achieving personal, professional, or financial success through traditional means.
But they can also be a million other things.
Personal creative projects. Nonprofit initiatives. Mini-businesses. YouTube channels.
Creating art. Writing a novel. Fixing cars. Protesting injustices. Working two jobs.
Supporting your family. Doing good deeds. Running for political office.
Anything that contributes positively to society, really.
But what makes the difference?
I think Rihanna said it best…
Call it the gringo altar of worship,
call it my personal upbringing,
call it the current world culture.
But work is what makes the difference between people who want to be remarkable and people who want to be seen as remarkable.
Work separates the entrepreneurs from the wantrapreneurs.
The problem solvers from the whiners.
The dreamers from the go-getters.
The outside of the bubble versus the inside.
Imagination versus reality.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how sparkling or radiant you believe you are… the effort you give sets you apart.
Snowflake status doesn’t actually give you anything, but not being special does.
Not being special gives you opportunity. It gives you the chance to prove to the world that you can become someone or something remarkable because you chose to make it so, not because someone told you that you already were.
Not being special gives you the freedom to fail. It understands that you are inherently flawed and imperfect, and offers you the space and time to improve.
Not being special gives you power, courage, and autonomy. It gives you choice –– you can dare to be great, or you cannot. It is up to you to decide.
You are not a special snowflake –– and that’s a good thing.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.