Black Sheep Syndrome

Finding your place in society and the world of work when you feel atypical, inadequate and out of place (Black Sheep Syndrome)

“I feel inadequate and misunderstood in the working world! They don’t understand my profile and resume…”

“Too often I feel out of step and can feel lonely even when surrounded by lots of people.”

“I have trouble finding a model that suits me and finding a place for it without getting bored or ending up needing change, renewal…”

Here are the comments I often receive from the multipotentialists and other atypicals who follow me…

And I can tell you that it’s the biggest problem in my life! Ever since I was a child, I’ve always felt like an outsider and a complete social and professional misfit.

I’ve also often found it difficult to do things the way others do them, or the way they should be done…

Over time, I’ve managed to find a balance without setting myself up against “the world”, feeling rejected or downright losing confidence in myself. It wasn’t easy, it took two decades from realization to actually building a life with self-esteem and self-confidence where I feel really good, and even then, it’s a balance that has to be maintained on a daily basis!

The worst position is to spend our lives telling ourselves that “the system” isn’t for us anyway. The reason is that we only have one life, and it would be a shame to suffer something we have no control over, and miss out completely on our own happiness and fulfillment.

The good news is that you don’t have to find your place or fit into a box…

The Black Sheep Syndrome: If you can’t find a model that suits you

🐑 To all the “black sheep” who :

Are unable to do as others do

Do not respect the status quo

Weird” and “unsuited” to the rules

Who have trouble finding their way, their place, their model…

Here’s a sentence that helped me and changed my life 12 years ago:

“If you can’t find a model or path that suits you, it’s because you need to create a new one!”

That’s all I did for the next 12 years, and I’ve never been so fulfilled.

Johann Yang-Ting

Don’t try to fit into a box! Create your own model!

Start by observing what really makes you happy and what’s “easy” for you in terms of progress and execution.

In fact, we’re often most fulfilled not in what we’re passionate about, but in what we’re progressing in.

Who are the people you admire? You don’t have to copy their model, but you can model a character, situations, processes… and adapt them for yourself!

Start with yourself

Instead of looking for a mould or a box, start from you, really :

  • Your assets
  • Your aspirations (not those of others or of society)
  • Your values

My best-known example:

I’m a very quick learner, I’ve always been very good at passing on knowledge and I love solving problems (I was very good at maths and logical reasoning). It was obvious that I was heading for a career in the transmission of knowledge as a teacher, trainer or consultant.

I love freedom, traveling, and I’m very curious… So I need movement and an activity that allows me this geographical, time and creative freedom.

Today, I write books, give talks, train, and have created a business model that allows me to travel and spend my time as I wish.

I created this craft in the early 2010s, when there were no similar models, just by experimenting and modeling “bits” I saw and assembling them in my own way.

I didn’t find this path, or this model, easily… It’s a whole process of experimenting, testing, learning, exploring, failing

I was originally a scientist/computer scientist/mathematician, a long way from literature… But I ended up becoming an author and lecturer. Nothing is set in stone, nothing is said, you have to set yourself in motion and experience what calls to you.

And my model is still evolving: in my twenties I favored lifestyle and experimentation, in my thirties I favored stability and investment in the future.

That’s why seeking your own path is precisely the wrong path…

Stop looking for your path, find your FLOW!

Finding your way implies a clear path, but the only clear path is behind you!

Your place is not set in stone.

Your path is not definitive.

You’re on the move.

You’re where you belong, right now, exactly where you need to be, and you’re evolving in your flow.

I develop the whole concept and philosophy of Flow in my book Flowtasking

Flow implies that you are positively evolving in the balance of your skills and challenges. This prevents boredom and stress. As your skills evolve, so do your challenges.

That’s why you need progress or a new project to recapture the excitement of the feeling of evolution.

Adopting this Flow philosophy allows us to see ourselves as constantly evolving, rather than looking for a specific place or path.

Surf your cycles and “seasons

Flow means cycles and rhythms.

You certainly have patterns that repeat themselves, for example the need for change after 3 years in multipotential people.

You also have seasonal “shape” levels, daily energy level cycles… The more aware you are of your patterns and their signs, the more you can anticipate and adapt a model that respects them, rather than staying in a forced state or going against your nature.

I know, for example, that as soon as I start to feel weary, lose motivation too often or feel I’m acting more out of obligation than expansion, it’s time to change.

Especially since my career changes quite significantly every 3 years: positioning, project, pace, model… And sometimes location!

I also adapt my rhythm of projects by season, and my productivity according to my daily energy cycles.

I do a lot to help my clients become aware of these cycles in order to get out of exhaustion or apathy.

Your model is created from you, and your rhythm must take this into account.

But yes, I know, we are subject to the challenge of our relationship with others and our world…

How to stop feeling socially awkward?

I let go! I no longer seek to be understood, accepted, loved…

I recommend the excellent The Courage to Be Disliked”

Now, wherever I go, I tell myself I won’t force myself, I’ll have a good time and I’ll be curious.

I ask questions, I observe, I listen, I’m an introvert… And I stop thinking I’m “weird”! I’m just present and myself, without worrying about how others see me.

If I don’t feel well, I move!

Since I’ve adopted this posture, things are much simpler.

If you’re an introvert: here are The best influence hacks I use as an introvert

Self-confidence starts with self-knowledge – that’s the most important thing! The rest is learning to respect yourself.

Don’t wait for permission, go up a level!

I know it sounds difficult:

Are we not opening doors or professional opportunities for you?

Take your standards to the next level!

If it can inspire and encourage you to understand this message :

I couldn’t find a job after my long studies… Deep down, I didn’t want to (I was already an entrepreneur, but I did it under pressure from my friends and family, who were reassured that I’d find a permanent job while my business was running).

Employers thought my profile was too “international” (a true story, since I did a lot of internships in North America) and not consistent with my varied internship experience and my studies in the style of a DUT in computer science and then a business school, which were too intriguing… It scared them!

Well, I gave up the business and continued working full time on my company! I’ve been a contractor ever since…

Later on, I had trouble finding consulting contract opportunities with larger companies. I launched my Youtube channel and a Podcast in 2012, which quickly became successful. Then people came looking for me because I had visibility.

I dreamed of giving talks, but I was never invited to speak at events… I organized my own event in one of the most beautiful venues in Paris: Le Gamentrepreneur Live, which caused quite a stir in the ecosystem of French-speaking content creators. Some partners didn’t follow me, and few trusted me for this event… After the success of the event, I was approached several times!

Doors closing? We’re creating a building across the street!

No opportunity?

Create the opportunity! Become the opportunity!

Don’t wait for authorization or a red carpet… Make your own way!

That’s the best message I can give you.

You’re here for a reason, don’t wait to find it. Experiment, follow what vibrates deep inside you, persevere, model what corresponds to you, create the rest… And keep moving!

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