For many years I felt like a fish out of water, but I desperately wanted to belong in the pond. I grew up wanting to be ‘normal'. I wanted to fit in and be like everyone else. As a result, I was not in touch with who I was because I didn’t think there was another choice.
We are inherently people pleasers, so we want to fit in—to not rock the boat. But we also want to be successful and be noticed—try to stand out.
It’s a competing paradigm that tests our authenticity and takes us further away from who we are with this pressure to be something else. Whether we deny ourselves to fit in or push ourselves to stand out, we’re having to be someone else, and that’s exhausting.
This was certainly true for me, and I tried both!
It can be our people pleasing tendencies that compel us to conform or try to stand out, but our fear of failure is also a huge contributing factor. We don’t want to fall short of society’s ideals, not be like everyone else, not make our parents proud, or not fit the mold for ‘success.’ We don’t want to be left on the shelf or be seen as different, undesirable, or unsuccessful.
There is another way, and it involves listening to your heart, not what others say. Following your own dreams, not those society prescribes. Knowing who you are and being in touch with that. Making decisions based on your values and the legacy you want to leave. Rediscovering what matters to you not what you feel you ‘should’ be doing. Ensuring you prioritize your time based on your true priorities—the ones that make your heart sing.