When we go after acceptance we lose ourselves, when we go after respect we find ourselves. Every time I have made decisions so I could be accepted by the world around me I lost who I was. I got to a place where I was depressed and empty. But whenever I made decisions that made me stand out and ultimately earned peoples respect I found myself. John Maxwell says that respect is earned on difficult ground. People respect people who choose to stand out and make difficult decisions that are not popular. We all admire the person that gives up everything to chase their dream. We all love to watch the inspirational movie of the story of someone who decides to stand out, make a tough decision, stand up for what they believe in, and chase their dreams. We all respect that person immensely.
After quitting my job to chase my dream, I have had so people say, I respect you and I admire your courage. I could have chosen to do what the world was saying around me, keep your good job, make a good income, work that 9-5, be “accepted” by the world around you. Instead I chose to stand out, stand up for my dreams, and because of that people will ultimately respect me. Since making that decision I have come to know who I am more. I have come to find myself more. I have started to believe in myself more. I always say that standing out requires you to stand alone, but its in the standing alone that you find yourself. Its also in the standing alone that you earn respect from people.
Its just a plain fact that you don’t earn respect when you try to fit in. I remember a specific time in my life when a co-worker said something sexual about a co-worker and I told him that if he could say that to me then he should go say it to her face. I chose to stand out in that moment, which required me to stand alone, but I will tell you my co-workers respected me. I wasn’t after acceptance in that moment, I was after what was right. What is right will force you to stand out and stand alone. What is right is that you follow your hearts desires and you chase after your dreams with everything you have. I guarantee you won’t fit in but you will be respected. People will make fun of you, they will call you crazy, but even if they don’t say it, they deep down respect and admire you. You should never go for acceptance. You should always go for respect.
-The Professional Encourager and Uplifter