“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – Dr. Seuss.
Isn’t it amazing how we spend so much of our time trying to fit in and the rest of it trying to stand out? Most of us spend our formative years trying to work out what we need to do to attract cool friends and be accepted by the best groups of people. If we’re honest that desire can continue into adulthood when we try to fit in with the right people in work or even at home amongst our family and friends.
Of course fitting in is a perfectly natural thing to want and in fact may even be linked to our survival instincts, but when it turns into a need to change in order to be accepted then we’ve entered into dark territory.
Ironically while we strive to become a member of a group who will accept us and treat us as a peer, we also want to stand out in some way and if possible be noticed and loved even more than our siblings and contemporaries. How many of us end up resenting a parent for not seeming to think as highly of us as they appeared to think of our siblings – therapists have made careerS out of trying to fix that dynamic.
In the end this too is a choice because the reality is we are all unique. We all have a contribution to make to the world, no matter how small, hidden or apparently insignificant. Our lives have an impact even if we don’t realise it ourselves and that impact usually stems from our uniqueness rather than our ability to fit in. People who simply fit in rarely inspire. So remember you’re one of a kind and stay that way. Maybe your innate uniqueness will quietly inspire someone to do something amazing.