Lately the red thin line in many discussions with
clients is about fitting in or being true to yourself. It seems like people feel they need to choose between being entirely themselves and between blending in the society/work environment/friend groups/neighbourhoods, etc. While in reality one does not exclude the other.
My entire life I felt like something was not quite right with my existence on this planet. In the beginning I thought that maybe I somehow was placed in a wrong family (accidentally swapped in the hospital just after my birth). Then I thought that maybe the timing was not right, I was probably born either too early or way too late (Renaissance was one of the options). At school it was a bit better but then again, in my eyes, many people acted like children, going through life without even looking for any deeper meaning (maybe because that’s what children do?). University was much better though, and time after that as well although there always “but” or “ however”. During my entire life journey I felt more like black sheep rather than the white one. But that per se did not mean that I was destined to live a miserable life or so. On the contrary, that helped me to know myself better and (eventually) live my happy life.
Hence, what’s this all about? What is hiding behind this “fitting in” question? Is it about having sufficient like-minded people surrounding us? Is it about minimizing effort to find friends? Or is it about the willingness for everyone to like us? I guess the latter adds the most adrenaline to it. We often modify our behaviour to become a part of certain groups or circles. To be around the “cool ones” because then, naturally, we are considered to be cool ones as well. It’s like having a tag. People can look at it and easily see whether we are “spiritual” or “super fit”, “creative” or “hipster”, “vegan” or “climate change activists”, “artists” or “enlightened ones”. The better or more hip the tag is, the more likeable we should be. Life should be constant sunshine and numbers of “likes” on our Facebook or Instagram should assure it every day.
However, do we notice how many of these “tags” make our own heart really sing? In how many of the groups or circles we are natural selves and which ones cause us enormous effort? Do you declare being vegetarian because you love animals so much or because most of your friends do so? Because if your Instagram is full of healthy green stuff but every single night you dream about the juicy stake, boy, you’ll feel miserable… Let me ask you – will the happiness of fitting in cover for the loss of being yourself?
Often it’s like a rat race, we are so concentrated on getting confirmations on who we are from the outside that we often forget to look inside… When we are not completely happy with ourselves we start looking outside for someone to tell us that we’re good/cool/lovely/smart/you name it. And when that confirmation is not there, it’s just heartbreaking. Eventually we call it depression, melancholy, chronic sadness…
But even worse happens when we get it… behaving like not our true selves. Then we very quickly learn to fit in! To be “less expressive”, “more convenient”, “less dramatic”, “more positive”, in other words – more suitable for the society. And it works! Oh yes, for a while it really works and we finally believe that we found our true happiness. Then we relax and our essence wakes up, saying “hey there, what do you think you’re doing?”. And then we have the same story – depression, melancholy, chronic sadness, suicide… Our learned behaviour that lead us to happiness starts killing us from inside.
I will not start talking about acceptance and self love here, you’ve all read and heard about it just too many times. What I’m about to say is this: start feeling yourself. Yes, you read it right, “feeling”. Stop thinking what should make you happy, but feeling it with your guts. Have you ever had the situation when a friend offered you to go to this super cool concert and you instinctively feel “no” but then you start thinking “oh but this is once in a life time opportunity, it should be fun, he/she is such a good friend” and many other smart reasons to go and this way overrule your true feeling? So yeah, stop doing that 🙂 Be brave to say “No” to the the things that do not make you happy you things that you don’t feel like at that moment. Dare to say “Goodbye” to the friend who is constantly hurting you. Dare be alone rather in a relationship based on dependency. Life’s not about us fitting in, it’s about us choosing what fits us! Yes, it’s completely vice versa! Take the initiative and start making choices that fit you!
You and only you define what’s your “cool” and where you want to (effortlessly) “fit in”. There’s no need for anybody else to confirm that. Yes, it’s definitely easier when there is someone who understands and supports. Enjoy it when it’s there but don’t hang on it. Make it your responsibility, not somebody else’s! Eliminate the dependency to receive it from outside and make it truly yours.
I know, it’s easier said than done, and there is no need for overnight revolution. Just do yourself a favour – be aware of it. Choose the things that make you happy risking that you might be the only one like that in the entire universe and remembering that happiness attracts the same 🙂