I was talking to someone the other day who was lamenting the fact that they just didn’t “fit in”.
My question was: why did they feel they didn’t fit in, and why did they feel a need to fit in?
Every day we’re faced with decisions about where and why we want to fit in.
We ask ourselves questions like:
Am I dressed for the occasion?
Will people “like” me (both online and off)
Will I be seen as too loud/quiet/agressive/assertive/passive/tall/short/opinionated/meek…well, you get the idea.
And who determines the fit-in-edness in a particular situation?
When we spend too much time worrying about what others will think, the real focus should be on what we ourselves think.
The quote “this above all: to thine own self be true” is one that my mother quoted all the years I was growing up. She wrote it in the cards she gave me. She inscribed it in books. She reminded me in words, when the worry of “fitting in” overtook my mind and caused me to think I needed to be – or look like – something I was not.
I believe there’s a difference between going against the grain because that’s who you are, and doing so for the sheer sake of going against the grain. When someone strives to be a square peg in a round hole for shock value or to acquire a rebel renegade persona when that’s really not their own true self, that’s the flip side of the “fitting in” coin.
We’re in a kaleidoscope world right now. Things aren’t always what they seem, and the rules of the game change all the time.
We can be chameleon-like and adapt to change without losing the essence of who we are. Or, we can forfeit our very soul and spirit to “fit in”.
It’s liberating to realize that adapting without losing sense of self is OK. It’s not being fake. It’s not compromising one’s values. It’s simply realizing and recognizing that the manner in which one fits in is up to each individual; dictated and determined by them, and not the round holes.
Have you ever felt like a square peg in a round hole?
What did you do about it?
Were you able to adjust and adapt, or did you move on to other places and people?
I’d love to hear about it.
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