"People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities."
~ Linda Ellerbee
With so much in our feeds and on our minds about what differences we have and how our differences enhance our learning and growth, we may be missing something in that truth, and that is that there is a lot of sameness in us all.
Talking with a dear friend, client, and people leader on a recent trip, we were sharing our ideas about this sameness subject...leading to this article.
Please know she and I both agree that in our differences we find collaborative strength, so this is not a counterpoint to the concept of that, heck, one of my first LUNDBERGisms was/is "Like seeks like and opposites complement", so this is, instead, encouragement to allow yourself, and others, to remember and embrace both sameness and differentness.
How are we the same, or similar, as that is a word I prefer? We are humans. We want to be safe. We want to be seen and heard as the person we are and not simply the role we are in. We want to have a positive impact. We want to be paid, minimally fairly, for the work we do. We want to have grace and be given grace. We love and want to be loved.
Those may seem obvious at times and foreign at others. What makes the sameness fade in our attempt to grow or succeed?
In my work, living, and overall observations, there are a few reasons, including the desire to be accepted, insecurities, fear, and desire.
Perhaps it is our perceived constant desire to stand out, be recognized, when really, it may be that "please see me for me" coming on strong since the sameness kept us from appreciating it.
Rarely do I meet, have as a client, or interview on our podcast someone who tells me they are too appreciated. They don't complain that there are too many kudos and accolades getting in their way of accomplishing their daily desired outcomes! Go figure!
Another thought to keep us grounded is that we all have succeeded and we all have failed, and people take those successes and failures differently, As a matter of fact, I prefer we use misses and hits, mistakes, and successes, failures and fabulosity, instead of only success and failure because we hang so much emotional baggage, good and bad, on those words/concepts. That is what is meant by insecurities impacting us all. We don't exactly know how to handle when things don't go as anticipated, and even worse, we wonder what others will think!
Somewhat similar is fear. Fear means most of us have played not to lose. We have not spoken up for fear of being shut down, or not even doing something so that we couldn't be wrong or seen as incapable. When fear leads, nobody wins, only some get further away from growth.
Desire is the final similarity or sameness in all of us. We are driven by things, just not the exact same as everyone else, so the desire gets judged. Learning what people desire can assist us all in working together.
So while you are to celebrate and embrace your differences and those of others, let's be thankful for our sameness, for that sameness may lead to the saneness of really connecting first and moving forward with a genuine interest in learning more!
#YouAreStrong #ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #KIND