The beauty of being a misfit

In one of the most highly-rated TED Talks of all time, author Lidia Yuknavitch tells the audience that “misfit” is one of her favorite words “because it’s so literal. I mean, it’s a person who sort of missed fitting in. Or a person who fits in badly. Or this: ‘a person who is poorly adapted to new situations and environments.’ I’m a card-carrying misfit, and I’m here for the other misfits in the room, because I’m never the only one…”

Lidia goes on to tell stories about dropping out of college, two failed marriages, a short “staycation” in jail…the list goes on. But she also tells us:

“There’s a myth in most cultures about following your dreams. It’s called the hero’s journey. But I prefer a different myth, that’s slightly to the side of that or underneath it. It’s called the misfit’s myth. And it goes like this…”

“…even at the moment of your failure, right then, you are beautiful. You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.”


Are you a card-carrying misfit?

Can you see how it makes you beautiful?

Post your story on social media today with the hashtag #MisfitsManifesto and tag @vivainstitute. You’ll be entered in Viva Institute’s drawing to receive a free copy of The Misfit’s Manifesto, released at Simon and Schuster today. (Drawing at 8 pm EST)