I have always had this feeling of not fitting in, not knowing where I belong. Do I belong up north, do I belong here in Leeds or should I be somewhere entirely different. Should I be a leader or a follower. I wasn’t one of the popular ones at school. I wasn’t as bright as my sister but I was hardworking. I studied for months on my revision when teachers told me my mock grades. And I did better than expected. Teachers had said that I wouldn’t go far as I was too shy and quiet. I proved them wrong. I went to college, I nearly did a childcare course but the woman didn’t think I fitted in with her course so I did art. Then the art teacher in the second year was a snob.
At home, Dad was always in moods, then my sister had problems with ill-health and I felt that I shouldn’t be seen or heard and just got on with things. Like I said before Mum always knew when I was struggling. I wasn’t neglected.
“In fact, fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging. Fitting in, I’ve discovered during the past decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them. Belonging is something else entirely—it’s showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are—love of gourd painting, intense fear of public speaking and all.”
‘As a business owner though you should always be looking to stand out. You should be desperate to shout from the rooftops about your business. Getting noticed is the name of the game. Fitting in and being just like the other businesses in your market is a recipe for disaster.
Strive for uniqueness. Dare to be different, expand your comfort zones and enjoy the spoils of not being just one of the crowd.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere, and I was doing things that others do without realising so that I could fit in. I was told not to that I should be myself and not try to fit in, just be me. That’s all they wanted. Yet sometimes I don’t know who me is. I have felt like I am waking up, like I’m feeling alive but then I get this sudden panic that things are going to go wrong or that people aren’t impressed in my work or my book groups or me. Just me. and then I stress.
Recently I got called weird, as I liked simple things like someone buying me coffee or a new gadget, I also got called a ‘saddo’ for getting very giddy over the latest Colin Firth film on DVD. I’m hoping that they are jealous that I just treated myself but I very much doubt it.
I am also annoyed with myself for feeling this way. Because my life has been so busy these past six months and have changed for the better, I am grateful for the support of my friends and family, for the job I have, for the book clubs I attended. I’m actually pretty lucky yet, I still have this nagging feeling of wanting to belong to something. Daft I know. But sometimes bad habits are hard to break.
Thank you for reading
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs