Fitting in vs. Belonging. Belonging is something we all want to feel. It’s how we feel safe and accepted. We want to belong in our home with our family. It is so natural to feel like we belong with our friends, classmates, and peers. We never want to feel like we don’t belong. We want to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. The thing is that wanting to fit in and belonging are two different things. We need to teach our kids these the difference.
Belonging is feeling accepted for who you are and not changing who you are to feel loved and accepted.
Fitting in is changing who you are to be liked and accepted by others even if it’s not who you are inside. Trying to always fit in will become exhausting because you are trying to be someone you are not. It’s just not healthy.
I don’t want this for you. You don’t ever need to feel like you must fit in. You should feel love being exactly who you are. I don’t want you to change who you are.
We are going to explore Fitting in vs. Belonging.
I want you to see that fitting in should never be what you strive for. You need to strive to belong and feel the difference of acceptance and true belonging.
True belonging starts with making deep connections with your friends and family, but to belong you must truly be yourself. You may have to get vulnerable and that takes courage.
Let’s start standing up as ourselves and find relationships built on belonging rather than changing who you are to try to fit in. Below I am sharing some ideas for understanding fitting in vs. belonging.
Here are some ideas to get started to start!
- Cultivate strong friendships built on acceptance – Work on making real friendships with others. Maybe you and your friends both love playing a sport or playing an instrument or love the same sneaker brand. Start there, have conversations, and get to know your friends for who they are and accept who they are even if it’s different from who you are. When you grow a relationship on acceptance and grace you will grow that sense of belonging with that friend. You can laugh and be silly and not worry if that person is judging you. You will feel comfortable and safe.
- Find things that light you up and connect with others through these things – Do you love something like art, drawing, or even video games. I am sure there is a group out there that has the same interests as you. Sometimes it’s being curious and diving into what you love and finding those around you that love it too. When you are curious and discover what lights you up and it’s something that makes you happy you can feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself.
- Be Brave – I want you to try to find that courage inside of you to stand tall in who you are. Be empowered within yourself to stand up for yourself and not follow the crowd to fit in and understand that to truly belong takes bravery. It takes stepping outside your comfort zone at times. It takes showing up as your authentic self and not feeling ashamed of it.
My wish for you is that you can now understand the difference between fitting in and belonging and choose to stand on your own so that you can feel that true friendships and loving relationships start when you feel like you belong. Head over to the podcast to listen!
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