Stereotypes are all around us. You know what I'm talking about. We see it in the news, read about them, they get brought up in conversations, and they penetrate our thoughts.
So why do I think stereotypes are a secret ingredient? It sounds terrible - like adding tabasco to a perfectly made Cinnabon. I know, gross, right? But what if the stereotype you fall into actually ignites a shift and change? Like my 10-80-10 rule - 10% is what you want to do - your ideas, desires and dreams, 80% is what you DO and how you take action and the last 10% is what you WANT your reality to be. If you want something to change then change it. Take your 80% and do something to not be the stereotype.
I'm a blonde, happy-go-lucky, look at the bright side person - which in some people's minds comes across as unintelligent. I am also a millennial, which we all know the stereotypes around that.
I let the stereotypes I fall into light a fire inside me. It's the fire that Alicia Keys and Beyoncé sing about and the power that Oprah talks about. I don't want to be thought of as "the dumb blonde" or the "entitled millennial". I want to be known for making great change in our world and being a leader in our generation. I am willing to put in the work to get to my 10% reality. I am in my 80% right now. I am taking charge of my future and helping the future of others.
Whatever stereotype you are in, let it ignite you and fire you up. Prove society wrong and don't play into it. If you don't want to be part of the stereotype then don't be. Step outside of the stereotype and into what you want to be seen for.
Think about it this way. When walking down the street all you can see is the outside of a person: hair, clothes, the way they carry themselves, hygiene, etc. We can only judge by what we see until we get to know that person. No matter how many times you tell yourself your not judgmental, or that you never judge a person, really think about it. Because my guess is, if you see someone who looks like they're on drugs, dangerous and unpredictable, then you'll probably cross the street and avoid making eye contact.
If you don't want to be seen as a selfish person, be more selfless in your actions. If you want to be taken seriously, don't act irresponsible or uncommitted.
We can't change people but we can change how we're judged. Let stereotypes be the secret ingredient to fuel you to better yourself.