The Unicorn Syndrome

Imagine what our world would be like if everyone loved themselves so much that they weren’t threatened by other people’s opinions or skin colors or sexual preferences or talents or education or possessions or lack of possessions or religious beliefs or customs or their general tendency to just be whoever the hell they are.

~ Jen Sincero

The legend of the unicorn transcends time and cultures. The earliest reference to this mythical creature can be traced back to antiquity and is generally depicted as a beast like creature with a single horn on its head. Although different cultures have different views of the symbolic nature of the Unicorn, there is commonality in what it represents: strength, positive energy, magic and uniqueness.

Whether real, or myth, the symbol of the Unicorn has persisted throughout centuries. Throughout the years the belief modified to fit modern society, but ultimately it still represents the same thing: Hope, uniqueness, magic.

The advent of technology, more specifically social media platforms like Instagram and Snap Chat have had a negative affect on how we view our own self worth. There are far more people posting their perfectly digitally modified life than the actual reality they are living (which, BTW isn’t as awesome!) In a society that is strongly influenced by visual mediums, these platforms and the people we follow can greatly impact how we feel about ourselves.  And in most cases, it creates feelings of unworthiness, inability to believe in ourselves and creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that we forget who we really are, and what makes us unique.

Today, the almighty unicorn is also referenced frequently in North American corporate culture. In my experience, the word “unicorn” is used to describe the perfect candidate for a role – this person scores 100/100 in the job requirements, team fit and organizational fit.

Not surprisingly, corporate cultures have skewed the symbolic meaning of this mythical creature to fit a mold. We have been conditioned to believe that if we don’t fit that mold that exact way, we’re not good enough for that job, or employer, or opportunity.  It’s no wonder that over 70% of employee’s in Canada are actively or passively seeking new employment opportunities.  

Perhaps the subconscious brainwashing that to be successful we need to be a unicorn that corporate cultures and social media platforms have been drilling into our heads for the last decade has something to do with the fact that 1 in 5 Canadians face depression, and that 300M people globally suffer from the same mental health disease.

With employers telling us we need to fit a mold, social media showing us the kind of life we should all be aspiring too, our addiction to technology, and our constant chase to become the unicorn, it’s no wonder we forget to actually live our best lives and lose ourselves in the process.

We seem to forget that we are truly unique.

Think about it… there is only one version of you. You are the only person that thinks the way you do, that laughs and cries the way you do, that pushes through challenging times the way you do, that has you’re your hopes and dreams, that has had your life experiences.

You are the only version of you on a planet of 7.3 billion people that magically rotates on an axis in outer space. We forget how special we are because we’re trying to be someone else’s version of the unicorn.

Imagine what would happen if we stopped chasing the idea of who we should be and actually embrace who we truly are. Because ultimately: WE ARE ALL UNICORNS.  

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