Do you feel like a misfit?
Humans have a basic need to feel like they belong. That they are accepted. So why do so many of us not?
This episode was sparked by my recent trip where we all confessed to always having felt a little on the outside of things. How when we were younger that felt like such a problem. Like not being accepted, or feeling not worthy unless you were ‘part of the crowd’ whereas now, it feels like a positive to be absolutely ok to stand up and NOT fit in.
It almost feels like a bit of a super power. Of course it’s nice to be accepted and it’s nice to be liked. But how amazing to not feel like you HAVE to be. To know that if you don’t…it doesn’t mean anything is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ about you. It just means you march to the beat of your own drum. What a gift.
Stop feeling like you need to hide parts of yourself to be ok. To be accepted.
Maybe someone told you when you were young you ‘should’ be a different way to ‘fit in’.
Maybe you were told you were too quiet, too loud, too much!
Find the people who ARE like you.
Spend more time with the people you feel amazing around.
Be clear on your likes, dislikes, values, non negotiables. Often we don’t do this. So how are we supposed to know that we feel like we don’t fit in because people actually don’t share the same values. Or have the same interests. The trouble is when we make that ‘our’ fault. Rather than it being theirs, OR, heaven forbid, that you just have different viewpoints and interests and it’s as simple as that.
It often stems back to school. The focus on the cool kids and whether you are or aren’t one.
I have always been on what feels like the outskirts of everything.
At school I definitely felt this. I was friends with some of the cool kids. But I definitely wasn’t ‘part of the gang’. I never felt fully accepted or in the right place.
I had some lovely friends but THEY weren’t cool kids. So in my desperate need to fit in, I focused more on what I lacked than what was right in front of me.
I also had such low self esteem that unconsciously someone really liking me and wanting to spend time with me made me think THEY weren’t good enough. That if they like me then there must be something wrong with them.
This got me in so many pickles. I was constantly in situations where I just felt uncomfortable. I didn’t trust the people around me not to be mean. Or talk behind my back and say ‘what’s SHE doing here’. It was horrendous.
Now you’ll usually find me on the outskirts building relationships or having deep and meaningful conversations with people.
When you don’t care what bullies think, they can’t bully you!
When what you think and what people you love think about you is more important than the cool kids, what they say doesn’t phase you.
You stop respecting their opinion in the same way.
Don’t be blinded by shiny people. Don’t buy into the club unless you genuinely like the people and they make you feel good too.
In marketing it’s called the halo effect. When I was in media I worked at a very well known upmarket glossy celebrity magazine. Brands that wanted to reposition themselves as slightly more upmarket then their current positioning, would want to advertise in the title because just by being in there they would have the halo effect of being more bright and shiny themselves.
Don’t fall into this trap. I know it’s easy to have your inner school girl triggered and wanting to fit in.
I know it makes you feel like ‘if I’m seen with them it makes me look better’. Don’t fall into the trap.
You will be 10 times happier being friends with people who share your values than you ever will be feeling like you’re faking it, or you’re going to get found out. Or that they have control over you because you feel like they could drop you at any minute.
When you’re honest with yourself, do you really WANT to fit in?
Who do you follow just because other people do so you feel you should?
How do you feel when you’re trying to vs when you’re with people you feel good around?
Awkward? Like you’re always searching for the ‘right’ thing to say? Feeling like you’re hiding yourself?
It’s not nice. I’ve been there. If I feel that now I will make polite excuses to leave or pull a Houdini and just go. It’s so strange to think back to all those times in my life that I felt out of place. Uncomfortable. Anxious. Full of tension. Making decisions that didn’t feel right because I felt I ‘should’.
Genuine connections will honestly bring SO much more into your life.
Remember it’s ok to feel like you don’t fit in. It doesn’t mean there’s something ‘wrong’ with you.
Also, think about it for a second. Where would we be without the misfits? The people that challenge the status quo. The people that stand up for what they believe in even though it’s against the ‘norm’. The misfits are the change makers. But they were comfortable in their own skin. Comfortable being different, unique, not fitting into a mould. How many people do you follow online that fit that description? What is it you love about them? Is it that they’re the same as everyone else, or is it that they stand out?
Stop feeling like you have to hide your uniqueness. Embrace it. Find your people. Be happy.
Here’s to the misfits!
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage at www.franexcell.com
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