Are you a rebel at heart? Have you been keeping the real you bottled-up at work thinking that fitting was your best strategy? If this sounds anything like you I have good news – it’s time to let your internal rebel out. It’s time to forget about trying to fit in. It’s time to be the authentic version of you and really stand out.
It seems that businesses everywhere have finally realized that they need more rebels to be truly successful. They now understand that without rebel’s things will never change to the degree they need to in order to stay competitive and relevant. For this reason employers are now actively seeking out rebels and putting processes in place to nurture and encourage them.
If you have a rebellious side, this trend presents a great opportunity to catapult your career to a whole new level. If you’re not naturally a rebel, that’s okay, because I believe there’s a rebel in each of us that’s just dying to get out. To nurture your inner rebel all you need to do is feed it a little, and then watch it grow. We’ll talk about how you can do that a little later.
Before you decide to let your inner rebel loose it’s important to understand that there’s a fine line between being a rebel and being a discontent or troublemaker. The differences are as follows;
- A discontent focuses on problems and offers no solutions. A rebel focuses on the possibilities.
- A discontent’s primary concern is about how things affect them. A rebel is focused on the bigger picture- the overall mission.
- By nature, a discontent is always negative and pessimistic. A rebel is a positive force driven by the vision of an exciting new future
- A rebel is energetic. Their passion is infectious. A troublemaker is a negative dark force.
In essence, being a rebel is about being a champion for constant innovation and change and just doing things better, day in and day out. It’s about standing up for what’s right; it’s about taking some risks; it’s about overcoming the forces within every organization that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Being a rebel is also about being ready for and embracing conflict, because real change; the kind of change that alters people’s lives really isn’t possible without some degree of conflict. This is especially true if your goal is to right a wrong, correct an injustice, or to stand up for something that you’re truly passionate about. In fact it’s safe to say that the greater the change you’re trying to make, the greater the level of opposition you will encounter. So if you your goal is to really make a difference in this world, you had better be ready to embrace conflict, to upset a few people, and yes, even create a few enemies.
“A person with no enemies is a person with no character”
Please understand that being a rebel doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily create enemies, but don’t be surprised if you do. It’s one of the hazards of the role. Everyone knows that the ideal way to implement innovation and change is through collaboration and teamwork, but in many situations this approach simply doesn’t work. When it doesn’t, someone has to step up and say “enough is enough”, and push things through. That person is the real leader of the group. That person should be you – the rebel.
I mentioned earlier that if you’re not a rebel by nature that it’s possible to become one by feeding and nurturing the rebel that I believe lies within each of us. For reasons described above, it’s important to your career that you find and feed this inner rebel, because people with a rebellious nature will be the ones who are leading the change. Everyone else will be following, and that’s not where you want to be.
The following are a few suggestions on how you can take a few small steps towards awaken your inner rebel.
1.Stand up for something.
There has to be something that’s bugging you! Something has to be getting under your skin. Whatever it is, decide to do something about it by either bringing it to the attention of someone who can effect change, or deal with it yourself. It could be a simple as finally cleaning out the office fridge, or more challenging, like standing up to the office bully. Whatever it is, stand up and be noticed.
2. Stop doing something
Is there some task, report or update that you’ve been doing for years and you’ve been wondering why? Would anyone really notice if you didn’t do it, or more importantly, would they notice if you replaced it with something more relevant?
Nothing says “rebel” and “I mean business” like taking the initiative and preparing a report or presentation that draws people’s attention to a real issues; the ones that have the potential to positively affect change for everyone.
3. Adopt a problem
Every business has a few problems that no one wants to take ownership of. In most cases these problems are small, but that doesn’t stop people from complaining about them.
Find a problem in your office that no one owns and adopt it. That means you take responsibility for getting it fixed, either directly or indirectly.
4. Change your routine
If you really want to send a message to everyone that you have a new attitude and sense of purpose, trying changing something about your daily routine. For example, start coming in early so you can get your work done sooner and use your extra time to connect and talk with people about issues facing your business. In these conversations make it known that you’re open to new challenges and projects. Try eating lunch with someone different everyday or have coffee with people who can help expand your knowledge. Trust me, if you do any of these things, people will notice and they’ll think you’re up to something. Are you?