Thursday, September 19, 2019

How to Stand Out from the Crowd

The State of Black Girls Networking Event

Nowadays, it seems like we are living in a society of people doing and wearing whatever—and being whomever—they want. Despite this group of brave people “doing them”, there is a larger number of people who are under pressure to adopt a predetermined set of social norms to be accepted.

Don’t go against the grain. Go with the flow. Don’t rock the boat. These are just a few phrases I can hear in my head right now.

Have you ever felt like that in life?

Has anyone ever said those words to you?

At the risk of sounding like a high school valedictorian, I say, that your particular presence on this earth cannot be duplicated or replaced. Each one of us is uniquely created and has specific gifts and talents to bring to the table. Your voice matters and it is needed. *drops mic and descends proverbial soapbox*

But, what can you do to stand apart from the crowd of conformity? I’ve put together a “Be” list of behaviors to help you show up and stand out; it looks like making the “Be” list isn’t such a bad thing. See what I did there? lol

How to stand out in a crowd


How many of you knew this would be number one? Being confident is vital to helping you stand out because you set the tone of the interaction or situation before anyone else. When you walk into a room, your confidence tells people I’m resourceful, I’m funny, or I’m smart. But how do you do that exactly? Walk [or sit] upright, lift your head, make eye contact with others, initiate greetings or introductions. These behaviors prove that you’re not afraid to be seen and your excited to share who you are with others.


I love this one because the best thing about being you is that you’re the only one! Even identical twins who mirror features can turn out to be totally different people. Don’t be so willing to dumb yourself down or give away your individuality to fit in. Embrace who you are. Not in pretense, but with a self-awareness that identifies your strengths, your weakness, your quirks, and says I’m different because…and own it!


Positive people are infectious, they are inspiring, they draw others near them, and they can flip the script—turning negatives into…well...positives. Being positive can help lift others out of depression and difficult situations, and can help you stand out as a beacon of light. No one wants to be around negative people, except other negative people! If you are overly critical, only see the bad in situations and people, or can’t smile you might stand out, but not in a good way.


Possibly one of the worst things you can do is go into any situation unprepared—literally or metaphorically. Standing out means putting yourself out there to be noticed, vulnerable, judged and, yes, criticized. Be prepared that not everyone will buy what you sell. Some may be jealous, some may be indifferent, and some may not understand you at all. But even if you experience rejection, don’t internalize it. Don’t turn mutinous and put yourself down by discounting all the things we just agreed will make you stand out.

Finally, BE READY for what happens next. Now that you have everyone’s attention, what are you prepared to do with the opportunity?

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