Full Time You: How To Discover What Makes You Unique

Meg Lewis is all about making the world a happier place.

As a value-based designer, Lewis helps cultivate positive emotional connections between companies and their communities. She coaches brands on becoming happy companies, as well as individuals on how they can profit off of simply being themselves. Whether she’s working with brands or individuals, she helps them discover what makes them unique and how they can succeed in the world just being themselves.

Currently, Lewis, who most recently taught at Adobe’s 99U Conference, is a CreativeLive instructor, and part of the Ghostly Ferns collective is teaching creatives like you how to carve out a creative identity and brand that is unique to you. She does this by explaining how to identify and integrate your distinct traits into a career and figure out your life’s purpose – which will drive your personal and career decisions.

These kinds of skills are extremely helpful in a time when only 14% of American workers think they have the perfect job, while the rest of us are looking to change careers.

“We are taught [from] childhood to not be ourselves,” said Lewis. “We’re taught to be the perfect vision, the perfect human, look like ‘X,’ how to speak, what our job should be and what our hair should be. It’s important to find out who we are because we’re constantly being told who we are is wrong.”

Photo by Ryan Muir for 99U

Lewis knows what it’s like to not feel special. When she was a kid, she was made fun of as many of us were. At 18 years old, she set out on a journey of fulfillment by leaving her hometown and eventually moving to New York City, where she started to discover her true self. Now that she knows who she is and what purpose she brings to the world, she wants to help others feel the same.

“I think the self-confidence boost of just knowing, or figuring out something that you can provide the world that no one else can, is extremely empowering. Most of the time our brains are telling us ‘No, I can’t do this,’ ‘No one will care,’ ‘I’m an idiot’ ‘or ‘I have nothing to offer to the world’” she said. “Take the time to empower yourself and give [yourself] a little pep talk. ‘No, this is something that I need to do. Because if I don’t do it right now, someone else might. Someone else is going to do it. And that’s what fuels my decision-making. I could do this so well if I just put my head down and do it.’”

The first step to just “doing it” may be to enroll in Lewis’ class, which is a series of helpful tips and pep talks on topics like discovering your unique differences, defining your strengths, crafting your new career mission. Learn More.

For instance, your differences are your superpowers, and she encourages students to use these differences to their advantage. If you have trouble determining what makes you unique, she recommends reaching out to loved ones for insight.

“So many times our brains are such a skewed version of reality and we can’t see ourselves for who we really are, so it’s so helpful to ask friends and family ‘What makes me special? What makes me be amazing?’ and allow them to answer,” she said. “Because that is helpful for people that are self-conscious.”

Download the full bonus material workbook in Lewis’ online class.

“A life’s purpose should be tailored just for you,” says Lewis. “We shouldn’t all have the same purpose. It shouldn’t be as easy as my children, or my family or my friends. It should be something that’s made specifically for you, for your unique personality, what your skills are and all that.”

A life’s purpose doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be one or two sentences and should be easy for you to fulfill. Lewis’ life purpose, for example, is to make the world a happier place. To find your life purpose, write down three things you value at your core, three activities you like to do and what you can offer to the world that other people cannot.

Meg Lewis: A Self-Discovery and Career Mission Workshop
Download the full bonus material workbook in Lewis’ online class.

In her work, Lewis stresses the importance of finding like-minded people. “I think it’s helpful, especially as a freelancer, to have other people to bounce ideas off of and get advice [from]. I love the creative community because they’re so open to sharing. Because we are all emotional beings. It’s a very collaborative and forgiving industry.”

With her teaching, Lewis wants her students to feel self-confident, listen to themselves and trust that they are making the right decision. That is the key to leading a happy life and having a meaningful career.

“What my work is trying to do is to help people figure out how to make a career for themselves that’s a fulfilling reflection of what they have to offer as a unique human,” said Lewis. “[I’m also trying to help them] create a career that’s made just for them that’s completely fulfilling them and making them whole because it’s utilizing everything they specifically have to offer. So that way, when they go back home at the end of the day, they feel fulfilled.”

Discover more highlights from Adobe’s 99U Conference here.

Kylie Ora Lobell FOLLOW >

Kylie Ora Lobell writes for brands, blogs, and print publications. She covers content marketing, digital marketing, and runs Kylie's Tips for Writers, a blog about writing.