14 Ways to Embrace Your Eccentric Side

We all have our quirks.

Maybe you collect snow globes or love to recite Zen Koans. Whatever they are, you can learn to unleash more freedom by accepting yourself and the idiosyncrasies that make you special.

Benefits of Embracing Your Eccentric Side

1. Live authentically. You can make your own decisions instead of going along with the crowd. Spend time on activities that are meaningful for you, regardless if they’re viewed as quirky. Let your genuine nature shine through. You’ll attract friends who appreciate your true personality.

2. Boost your confidence. Feel comfortable with yourself. Take pleasure in who you are and what you do. Be driven by your passions regardless of whether they match the current trends. For example, actress Nicole Kidman, for all her success, has a terrible fear of butterflies. She even once visited the American Museum of Natural History specifically to try to overcome her fear. Imagine if she channeled all that energy into making a movie about the secret life of butterflies.

3. Develop your skills. Your quirks may be trying to tell you something. Use them to identify your natural talents. Maybe you have a flair for needle work or electronics.

4. Become more tolerant. Coming to terms with your own peculiarities can help you to be more open-minded about those around you. Show your support for a coworker who is learning to play the kazoo or training for a hula hoop competition.

5. Enjoy free entertainment. Your quirks can provide more amusement than cable TV. Feel free to laugh at yourself. Invite your friends to join you.

6. Manage stress. Your odd habits may also offer clues about constructive ways for you to relieve the stresses of daily life. Do you find yourself turning to music or cooking when you feel anxious?

How to Embrace Your Quirky Side

7. Examine your eccentricities. Distinguish between strange habits that are harmless and those that may be creating difficulties for yourself and others. For example, binge drinking may require professional intervention. On the other hand, repairing clocks is a rewarding hobby.

8. Accommodate others. Even if your quirks are innocent in themselves, you may need to limit the exposure for others. Your spouse will thank you for whistling in the shower instead of at the dinner table.

9. Turn down the volume. Quiet time and solitude will help you get in touch with your quirky side. Find out what you like to do when no one is watching. Observe how you tackle challenges or organize a complex task.

10. Look back in time. Thinking back to your childhood can also be revealing. You may find that you have hidden interests that go beyond your professional or family life. Have you always loved tropical fish or been fascinated by Lego?

11. Question conventional wisdom. Independent thinking triggers all kinds of breakthroughs. Your innovative approach to a project at work could create a better customer experience or reduce processing time. Your friends may be inspired by the novel way you wear your tie or how you clean your bathroom.

12. Broaden your experiences. Having the courage to be original can lead to adventures. As you try new things, you’ll increase your knowledge about yourself and your surroundings. Your personality will grow richer.

13. Develop informed opinions. Keep in mind that some opinions are more valuable than others. Elaborate reasons for why you prefer red cabbage over green is probably unnecessary. On the other hand, be prepared with facts if you want to persuade your boss to try your unusual filing system for monthly invoices.

14. Lighten up. Most of all, relax and let go of rigid expectations. There are many ways to be an outstanding parent, friend, or neighbor. Follow your quirks to design the path that best suits your unique abilities.

Eccentricities make you more interesting and accomplished.

Celebrate them.

Independent thinking opens up more opportunities for you. So use those quirks to expand your future.

Photo: Frédéric BISSON

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