The misfit advantage: 11 reasons being different is your greatest strength

Have you ever felt like a misfit? Like you don’t quite fit in with the rest of the crowd? Well, I’ve got some fantastic news for you. Being different can actually be a huge advantage! 

That’s right, there’s a thing called the misfit advantage, and it can help you in all areas of life.

Being labeled a misfit can feel so isolating, like you’re a freak who doesn’t belong anywhere.  I know, I’ve been there. 

But you know what? Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’ve found that making my own weird way in the world just makes me so much happier than having social approval. 

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here are 11 ways being different can be a strength:

1. You have a unique identity 

Too often, we try to fit into the molds that society has created for us. We are constantly pressured to conform to certain standards. But the truth is that our differences make us who we are. 

It’s important to embrace our unique identities because it allows us to bring something fresh and exciting to the table. It’s okay to stand out and be different. In fact, it can be a superpower! After all, who wants to be called “basic”?

So, that weird thing you do that everyone else thinks is strange? Embrace it! It’s what makes you special, and it could be your biggest strength.

2. You are a critical thinker 

Embracing your unique identity brings me to this next point – you can think for yourself. 

Misfits often have a different perspective on things – they are more often than not critical thinkers.

So, that means you won’t auto-accept what you hear or what’s presented in the media. 

That’s already a strength! You see, most people form their opinions based on mainstream thinking. On groupthink, to be more specific. This is what often happens when we try to fit in.

But because you’re a misfit, you tend to challenge this rather than accept it. So don’t be afraid to share your ideas. You might just come up with something no one else has thought of!

3. You think outside the box

The great thing about being a critical thinker is that it also makes you more creative. Because you have your own unique perspective on things, you can come up with brilliant solutions to problems!

Just look at Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. Both were considered misfits in their own ways, and both went on to change the world with their groundbreaking ideas.

So you see, being a misfit gives you the ability to challenge the status quo and seek out new and better ways of doing things!

This leads me to my next point…

4. You take risks

As someone who colors outside the lines, a misfit certainly has a stronger stomach for risks than most people. 

Think of it this way: When you already aren’t conforming to the norm, you’re already being brave in a way that many people aren’t. You’ve already conquered the fear of being judged. 

That alone opens you up and makes you more willing to take risks. When you aren’t hampered by society’s limited norms, leaping into the unknown becomes much easier.

And because you take risks…

5. You embrace failure 

Let’s face it – risk-taking does come with a huge possibility of failure. But misfits know that failure is just a part of the process. 

As I mentioned above, being a misfit means you’ve already taken the risk of being different from the norm. That means you understand that failure isn’t something to be afraid of; it’s something to learn from and help you grow. 

6. You are more resilient

Here’s another superpower that comes from being able to embrace failure: you have no problem bouncing back from it!

Isn’t that amazing? People think that misfits are unsuccessful just because they’re different. But that’s not true at all. 

In fact, in many fields, you’ll find lots of misfits who have gone on to achieve great success. 

You know why? Because they have a distinct edge over the “normal” ones – they know how to deal with ridicule, rejection, and failure, and that has only made them more resilient

7. You are more persistent

Speaking of ridicule and rejection, here’s another thing that makes misfits stronger – they are used to being told no. 

Because people tend to judge or criticize them more harshly for not fitting in, they’ve developed a greater tolerance for discomfort. 

So if they need to do something difficult? That’s not a problem – they’ve developed the resilience and determination to overcome them. 

This attitude makes them more persistent in the pursuit of their goals, as they are less likely to give up in the face of adversity.

8. You are less prone to depression

You would think that with all the judgment and ridicule they’ve received throughout their lives, misfits would be greatly unhappy people. 

That couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Here’s the deal: misfits have cracked the code to authentic living

Because they’re unafraid to be themselves and don’t feel the need to people-please, they live a much happier, freer life. 

Of course, it’s difficult to generalize, but studies do suggest that trying to fit into a group puts us at a huge risk of depression. 

Another thing to note here is that misfits have more self-respect, so they don’t feel as much pressure to fit in. 

9. You have great empathy

All of the above points – having to deal with rejection and criticism – have given misfits another superpower: empathy

You see, when you know how bad it feels to be ridiculed for being different, when you know what it’s like to be marginalized and misunderstood, you just instinctively become more attuned to the struggles of others.

When you’re a misfit, you know how to navigate complex social situations and negotiate multiple identities. 

You become more open-minded and accepting of diversity. You know not to make assumptions or stereotypes about others since you’ve been a victim of that yourself. 

10. You have more meaningful relationships

A natural result of misfits having lots of empathy is that they make more meaningful connections. 

As people who live on the fringes of society, so to speak, misfits often find it hard to belong in mainstream social circles. 

Sure, that sounds a bit sad, but the upside of that is that they seek out friendship elsewhere – in communities or with people (likely other misfits) who share their values and interests. And that certainly makes for a stronger connection!

Compare that to those who conform to societal norms – these are the people who tend to form relationships based on superficial factors like social status or outward appearance. 

Yeah, it might feel good to belong to those circles at first. But in the long run, you’ll probably find that they lack depth and authenticity. 

The truth is, when you choose to be yourself and stick out, you’ll attract friends who are like you. The real you. And you’ll be friends with them for life because you’ll like all of the same things and have all of the same goals.

As actor Chris Pine says, “When you feel like an oddball, it never really leaves you. Even now, I’m better around people who are uncomfortable with themselves – the misfits.”

11. You’re more likely to achieve your potential

All of these add up to the biggest benefit of being different – you’re more likely to succeed! 

That really shuts down those misconceptions that misfits are losers and loners, doesn’t it? 

See, misfits are strong-willed people often driven by a strong sense of purpose and a desire to prove themselves in the face of adversity.

Many of the successful people I know have felt like the “odd one out” in life. But rather than try to fit in and be liked by others, they decided to go it alone. 

They felt more fulfilled knowing that they were following their hearts and doing something profoundly meaningful to them. 

In the end, they found that all of the challenges they hurdled, all the labels they got from people…it all only made them stronger and more determined. 

So, take that as a sign that it’s time to stop people-pleasing and trying to fit in! 

Final thoughts

And there you have it – 11 ways being different can be a strength!

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but I hope it’s enough to make you see how your misfit-ness actually gives you an edge in this competitive world. 

So, embrace your uniqueness and use it to your advantage. Remember, you can’t be your best self if you’re trying to be like everyone else!   

 

How to know you’re a compassionate person: 10 obvious signs

12 hidden signs you’re eco-friendly and care deeply about the environment