Updated: Mar 30, 2018
Redefining your beliefs about normal can make you exceptional.
Yes, it is likely that every blog title is likely to be a question. Why? Because questions are the answer. They are how we uncover our truth, refine our beliefs, understand our motives and behaviors, understand others motives and behaviors, understand our world, or at least attempt to. As Tony Robbins says "Ask a better questions, get a better answer". The more we refine our questions the closer we get to the heart of the matter.
A resounding NO! would be my answer to the title of this post. As was so eloquently stated by the Beauty Demands Network in their 2016 Beauty Demands Briefing, "'Normal' is a value judgement not a neutral or descriptive term". By definition ...
the word normal is very non-descript or at the very least up for opinion. One might ask who is defining the norm, making the rule or assigning the principle? Notice how just bringing a little awareness to the word normal influences your perceptions. Now as every good teacher would say, “let’s use ‘normal’ in a sentence” and see what surfaces.
Hopefully, reading these statements caused you to take pause and ask, “what exactly is a “normal” childhood, setback, size, life, baby or reaction?” If you are having trouble coming up with your own answer use the thesaurus entry below to trade out normal.
Those substitutions don’t speak highly of what it is to be normal, but I think the bigger problem may lie in all the synonyms society has attached to normal such as acceptable, unavoidable, satisfactory or even the aspiration. Especially when you consider what is by true definition touted as normal (average, common, frequent, expected, etc.) for our health, relationships, society, behavior, etc. Studies and statistics tell you it is normal to be stressed out, overweight/obese, and chronically sick. News reports, publications, and media suggest that failing relationships, depression and isolation are par for the course. But messages of what is normal don’t stop there. You receive(d) them from your family, culture, education system, and medical professionals. You may find yelling, avoidance, or lack of affection "normal". That hitch in your giddy-up may have been explained as "typical aging". You even receive them from yourself when you wish to “normalize” a behavior or experience so that you do not have to feel its true implications. You many need to rethink or rather re-feel whether that teenage rebellion or decline in your sex life really is normal. Replace normal in the context of these messages with the synonyms and ask yourself are these things really insignificant, unremarkable, trivial and unimportant.
Although there is a small percentage of people who do not take on messages of normal, most of you have them lurking somewhere and they can be poisonous. Normal gives you permission not to take action, accept things that are simply unacceptable, strive for things which really are unimportant, trivialize issues which are truly impacting you, expect less for/from yourself and from others, etc. Change begins when you decide you are not “normal” and you do the work of investigating all the messages you have incorporated into your belief system which secretly keep you stuck, unmotivated, defeated, and depleted.
Start by making a list of anything you have accepted or defined as normal. Then do the synonym test. If it truly is insignificant, unremarkable, trivial or unimportant – LET IT GO. If it is meaningful or impacting your life and your health, ask yourself the following: Can I accept if this is “normal”? Do I really believe this is normal?, Do I know people who are not “normal”?, What makes them an outlier? Is it in my control to be an outlier or to at least try? Am I ready to do what it takes to be an outlier?
You cannot let your freak flag fly if you are normal. It’s time to LET NORMAL GO and embrace your AWEsome.