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Fitting In vs Belonging

"Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”

Brene Brown


I just got back from a week in gorgeous Akumal Mexico with a group of about 30 people.  They’ve traveled together before. I was always intimidated to join them.

I’m introverted, I need down time to recharge. Too much socializing and group time can be exhausting. While that is all true, it’s probably not the whole reason why I’ve shied away. No one in this group has ever made me feel like I needed to “fit in” that was my job.  It was my job to tell myself the same old fear based “not good enough” stories in this group, in my old profession, in college, in high school, in every GD group or situation I’d ever been in.

Until now.

When we embrace Brene’s definition of belonging which requires us to be who we are, everything changes.

I went into my vacation reminding myself to take time when I need it, don’t let what everyone else is doing or the fear of missing out (FOMO) get in the way of what I need to take care of myself.

It was never an issue. I did what I wanted and didn’t worry.

That was the difference. I didn’t worry. That was a huge contributor to the exhaustion in the past.

When I no longer needed to fit in or shape shift to be/act in the way I thought I was supposed to there was just calm.

I belong to me and for me.

Do I still have insecurities? Hell yes! I just don’t let the fear run the show the way it used to.

This didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy. But it was so worth it.

Where are you trying to fit in? Where do you need to embrace you and just be who you are?


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