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Why it's Cool to be Different

Standing out shouldn’t be something we fear, but we often do. The desire to blend in starts with peer pressure. We attempt to become copies of whoever we admire—dressing like them and pretending to like all the same things. We start to fear anything that makes us stand out.

You man with Goldenar syndrome holding a guitar with a motivational quote, "Have the courage to be an outlier."

The irony is that we are all unique. People living with a physical difference realize this much sooner than others, and they’re forced to choose how to view it. You can’t control what others think about you. The only thing you can control is your reaction and your attitude.

It took time and courage, but Peter learned to embrace his differences. He’s very open to talking about them, and he likes to use humor to connect and educate others. Not everyone with a physical difference feels the same, but this is what works for him. This is how he chooses to live his life.

Young man with microtia (missing left ear) laughing, wearing a bone-anchored hearing aid, crooked sunglasses, and holding a prosthetic ear in his left hand. Motivational quote says, "Different is cool."

Having a positive attitude gives Peter confidence and resiliency. It doesn’t stop the staring or rude comments. He chooses this approach for himself, not for the benefit of others. Why should he value what a stranger thinks about him? He knows he’s more than what others see on the outside. He chooses to be the hero of his own story.

Striving to be “normal” means your goal is to be average. If you want to rock your life, you must have the courage to be exceptional.

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