You have to fly your flag so all us other freaks can find you.
Are you asking yourself, “I don’t even know what a freak flag is???”
Well, typically you first have to STOP hiding behind that cardboard cutout of what you think you should be!
Think back to your childhood, what were the things adults said were wrong about you?
Did you talk too much?
Did you get distracted by a particular topic?
Were you like me and found off wandering in a wildflower meadow or a corn field?
From a young age, many of us have been discouraged from letting our freak flag fly, even though that’s what makes us special.
You know, if you’ve been told that you’re too much of something, I guarantee you were made that way so that you could do something exceptional.
Everything that is “different” or “wrong with you” is actually your super power! Think about it…it’s what makes you shine, stand out, what others see as amazing!
So stop covering up your greatest assets, which are all the quirky things that make you, you.
And start looking at the things that you have been shamed for, scolded for, told to stop doing. Those might be your clues to your superpower.
Still having trouble coming up with them?
Think about these questions …
What gets you really energized?
Or what in the past, would you call your secret passion?
What are the things you get so engrossed in that time seems to fly?
I’ve always been told that I’m too bossy, too passionate or too controversial.
If there was a project, a team, a club, anything that needed a leader…I raise my hand every time!
If I got an assignment to “be creative,”I would/will try to shake up my teachers with something that would make them react, “Oh holy hot damn, what’s this kid up to?”
Tuck money in my socks so my track teammates and I could make a run through the local Dairy Queen when we were suppose to be on a 5 mile run.
When my college volleyball coach got super pissed and made everyone on the team write a letter justifying why they should be allowed to play at Nationals (because she felt like we were slacking and the budget was tight). And, I wrote her damn letter assignment saying that a true leader would put her team and teammates first and so I volunteered to stay behind.
BUT, that hasn’t always been the case. When I started listening to the messages that:
“To survive in healthcare you just need to agree and move on.”
“Build a good CV but don’t do anything too off track.”
“I can’t do X because that’s not what a physician does.”
“I shouldn’t be seen here because what would “people” think?!?”
“I must act/dress/speak in a particular way if I want to get ahead.”
“Errin, sometimes you come across as too intense.”
(Then I tampered myself back and next I got,) “Errin you don’t seem as confident. You need to work on that.”
In 2014, I decided enough was ENOUGH. I can’t be everything to everybody. I could no longer be super mom, super doctor, super community leader, super model size 2, super all of it.
It was time to be me.
Now…it took awhile to uncovering myself from under all the labels I had attached to myself consciously and subconsciously. But I can say now, I’m living as me. I’ve moved through and out of burnout. Always revolving, improving and going a step further in this human journey.
So I encourage you…Stop doing those roles or jobs or assignments that you feel like you “have to do” and start leaning into your joy, your passion and what makes you feel alive by flying your freak flag.
My personal example of flying my own freak flag:
I wanted a way to connect with other female physicians who felt like I did, who had figured life & practice out differently and who really wanted to talk. So I created the “Doctor Me First” podcast and I was super nervous about launching my voice out into the world.
“What if people don’t like what I sound like?”
“What if I don’t talk about important enough things and my colleagues shun me?”
“What if my patients find out?”
What if…what if…what if…
But I decided I would give it a try.
Now 124 episodes later and over 25,000 downloads, I can’t even imagine what life would be like if I had let the what ifs stop me and I didn’t fly my freak flag.
Because, I have found my people and I’m helping those who want to be helped.
Do I make connections with everyone through Doctor Me First? Of course not…I get one star reviews ALL. THE. TIME.
But what IS happening is my people are finding me, they are learning they aren’t alone and that help is available.
It’s a pretty awesome thing when you find your people!