I’ve always been a good girl. When I was in high school, my parents let me take the Volvo station wagon out at night, but I was under strict instructions not to let anyone drink in the car. We’d go from house to house in a caravan of cars, all of them packed to the brim with teenagers. Then there was me, pulling up the back all by my lonesome in a huge station wagon. I was not a rebel.

That’s not always a good thing. Sometimes, you have to do the unexpected, and shake things up. Embracing discomfort and breaking established norms are sometimes the only way to get things done. And they’re often the best way to get things done. Francesca Gino has written an entire book on the topic, Rebel Talent, and in it she makes the case for being a rebel. On page 20 of her book, she discusses a study that shows we perceive people who interrupt others as more assertive than those who don’t interrupt, and those who express anger as mightier than those who express sadness. Perhaps you have to lose the halo. It gets heavy, it hurts your neck, and sometimes people see angels as boring. As one of my friends has often said, perfection isn’t sexy.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO REBEL. Be willing to question authority, especially if that authority is your pesky inner voice. Be willing to have disagreements, and to stand apart. Maybe even be willing to get in trouble, if that trouble is worth it.

How will you rebel today? What does rebellion even look like to you? Share your take on rebellion, and be sure to share the challenge as well. The entire challenge, every day (so far), is up on my website so it is never to late for someone to join. The more people discussing these ideas, the better. See you tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “TRIAL DAY 20-REBEL

  1. I was a good girl, too. However, I was a bit different. I didn’t know this, but I did know that people didn’t necessarily want to talk to me. My HS girlfriend told me that she was the last one standing. It was 40 years later that I found this out! She wondered if I ever noticed that everyone had disappeared except for her. She said that the others didn’t know what I was talking about, so they left. She did know, so she stayed.

    Now everything is in perspective, but those years were painful.

    Nowadays I’m hired BECAUSE I’m different. People WANT a different perspective and they pay for it, but it took this long. Until now, I had only known about trying to conform and it never working. I’ve been fired plenty of times for being different.

    I don’t know if I qualify as a rebel. Maybe from the outside, I looked like a rebel. If so, I can’t say being a rebel was that good. I haven’t read the Rebel book.
    Maybe being a rebel today is good, but I don’t think it’s seen that way by very many people. I can verify that compared to me, most people are straight-laced and logical. They easily misunderstand me. They draw false conclusions and disregard me without considering nuance.

    I can’t help being a natural rebel. It, but it is not accepted by the general public. Being different is not a barrel of laughs. It requires tremendous clarity, resourcefulness, discipline, and resolve. However, never think it excludes being very funny along with my few colleagues. I have a wonderful life and really good friends. The work I land is imaginative, ambiguous, wacky, and challenging. It demands courage, patience, and humility, all of which are hard-learned traits after decades of serious missteps.

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