It’s now been four months since I got my first tattoo. I look at it every day as it serves as a reminder to never stop living my life boldly. It was, of course, a bold move to put my first tattoo on my forearm. After all, I’ve always believed there are lots of stereotypes associated with people who have tattoos.
For years, I’ve admired tattoos from a safe distance. The safety was simply to not have them on my body, as I was too worried about what people might think of me given the stereotypes I held. I was so worried about the stereotypes I didn’t even share that I liked tattoos with my wife Rosie.
I was also worried about the impact on of having a tattoo would have on my professional life. Up until fairly recently, I was fairly careful about my professional image. I thought people would be more likely to hire me if I looked professional, and having a tattoo would certainly be unprofessional, wouldn’t it?
My whole attitude about the importance of image changed after I got my first tattoo. All those stories I’ve been telling myself for 50 years turned out to be wrong (go figure!) To my knowledge, having a tattoo has had zero impact in my life and work.
Today, I am living my life freely, boldly and at choice! I do not hide my tattoo, at least not on purpose. Regardless of who I’m going to meet with I don’t wear clothes based on something I think they expect of me.
Very often you will find me wearing jeans and a golf shirt because that’s who I am. I love being comfortable and casual while doing bold things in the world.
I now know how all my stories around stereotypes were so wrong. So if you’re going to judge me based on some stereotype of people with tattoos, or who wear jeans all the time … well … who’s problem is that anyways?
This week’s thought:
It’s my belief many of the world’s problems are caused by stereotypes and stories. Stories about people of another religion, race, gender orientation, skin colour, nationality and more. Stories and stereotypes largely based on the simple fact someone else is different.
I wonder … what might be different in this world if we would let go of the stereotypes we look at the world through? What if we look at everyone as an equal capable of all the love and living we’re capable of ourselves?
What if you could change the world by dropping just one of the stereotypes you’re holding on to? Would you do it? Would you drop the stereotype and look at the world with clear lenses?
The good news is you CAN change the world by dropping what you believe around a stereotype. I know this because the change happens in you, as your heart and world will become a little bit brighter. So please join me and make the world a little bit better than it was yesterday.