We are as children being conditioned and moulded from all angles, sponging up influences into our map of reality. This map stays with us well into adulthood and creates our reality and belief systems for our lives. So, with this in mind, what’s going on in our environment and who is influencing us has a huge effect on how we perceive the world and ourselves much later. If we have a positive network of buddies that uplift us and recognise our unique talents and carers who show us love, understanding and allow us to have a say and listen, will in turn create a map of reality full of self worth, self belief and an inner voice that is confident and up lifting. We can see how this can also work the other way. How if we don’t have these positive influences and emotional needs met by our caregivers and our environment we are setting out from a difficult starting point. We then need to constantly seek validation for who we are and into the teenage years, we search for who we are and a group that we can fit with, to feel safe and secure. This can obviously go either way, we can find ourself through finding a positive outlet or mentor or group that gets us, or we can get into a destructive pattern of seeking validation, then loosing it over and over again. Escapism and addiction to escape can then become our friend. Alcohol, drugs, meds can all mask who we are and feel like a helping hand to feel better in our own skin. But they masquerade the inner feelings of just wanting to get to know and feel great about who we are. We are searching for that security of just being at peace with ourself, like those people who were validated very early on.
As we go on in life it’s good to recognise patterns. Patterns that create a cycle of behaviour or feeling in us. Because when we start to recognise that we’re in a loop, we can change it. If we start to examine our patterns, we can logically look at what’s driving our behaviour and ask some questions. Such as, why do you feel we want to fit in? Do we want everyone to like us? Do we feel that we’re all right, ok, doing an all right job of it? The answers to these questions will open up a thread of thinking that is probably being pulled from childhood. As adults we now need to put these battles to bed. We need to realise that the fitting in which we craved as children is in fact futile and useless as adults. The need to fit in is no longer the best strategy for the adult world. Because, in an adult world full of competition and pressure, to stand out is the better goal. People who stand out get the jobs, get the opportunities and the credit. To stand out isn’t to be necessarily the loudest or the most brash, it’s to be yourself. Because when we realise who we are and then live it, we stand out in a very natural and positive way. People start to gravitate to us, people who get us and resonate with us and so like us for the true person, rather than the person trying to fit in. We are all born with a unique quality that no else has, a gift that we need to give to the world. I see this as a light within us, a light that can be dulled or turned up, depending on our experience and choices. When we start to believe in ourself this light brightens. We can become a beacon for others, a helping hand to show others the way.
If we have others that consciously dull our light by swamping us, or belittling our confidence in ourself we need to do something about it. Becoming a victim is the ultimate compromise of confidence. We deserve more, everybody deserves an environment to live whereby we feel peace with who we are. People who project their anger and sadness onto others need to realise this and letting go of their hold will help set them free too.
As babies we are inately confident and curious and it’s only learnt behaviour and conditioning that changes this. Whatever we experienced as children can be let go of as adults. We don’t need to carry it around our neck weighing us down anymore. We can choose to put it down and walk away, lighter and taller fresh from that burden and towards a new life. A life in which we seek to be ourself because that is who we always were, before we got changed by others opinions, experiences and beliefs.
Some of us seek to rebel against fitting in, or perhaps we’ve always felt misunderstood, which has caused confusion within us as to who we are. We have always been driven to stand out or felt lost as to who we are. In this case we need to realise that in fact we do need to fit in. With one person! Ourself. When we feel that we fit in with ourself we can finally stop the rebellion or confusion and walk through life feeling balanced and grounded with who we are. Constant rebellion or confusion is exhausting and useless in the end. When we have self acceptance we can still stand out but feel at peace too. We can move in any circle, travel anywhere, look and feel any way we want to and fit in...with us!
To conclude, my message is to strive to fit in, with yourself but actively stand out in the world. Let that inner light shine. It’s radiant, powerful and beautiful just like you!