Many women, especially in their early teens and twenties, work hard at fitting in. Finding the right clothes to wear and trying to always say the right things. God forbid we do or say something that gets us a dirty stare from someone in the “cool group”.
However, as we get older, we understand that working hard to impress others just isn’t what life is all about. We start to look for friends and social circles that accept us for who we truly are and we finally begin to feel like we belong vs. trying to make ourselves out to be something we never truly were.
The problem is, fitting in forces us to become someone different, someone we might not like very much. Sometimes this is easier than being vulnerable and worrying if someone will like you for you. After all, if they don’t like you, then what’s wrong with you?
Our need to fit in harks back to our caveman days when, if we weren’t accepted into the group, we were literally left out in the cold. The fear of being kicked out of the cave to fend for ourselves is ingrained in our brains. And so, our subconscious works hard to make sure that the familiar fear arises in us. It’s important to recognize that fear, acknowledge it and rationalize it. Thankfully, fitting in does not equate to our survival any longer.
The major problem with fitting in, is that you are living in an inauthentic way. As we grow older and wiser, we begin to understand that just being ourselves is enough.
Belonging means that you can be your authentic self and still be accepted and loved.
Belonging allows us to have the courage to be imperfect, because perfection is boring and impossible. It provides us with compassion for ourselves and for others. And, most importantly, it allows us to have a true connection as a result of our authenticity. When we embrace the vulnerability of ourselves and of others, we can then connect on a stronger, more emotional level.