Community//

You have more power than you think, use it.

Don’t change who you are to fit in. Be yourself, and you’ll fit in.

I don’t know about you but, isn’t it hard and changeling at times to feel like we fit in and belong? People and situations are moving and changing so fast, that often we feel lost like there is not a place or purpose for us. It almost feels like if we arrived late to live. Everyone seems to be doing better than us. People seem to have all figured out, but us, right? We are looking through what I called “the social media window lens,” where everyone’s life seems to be fulfilled, filled with abundance and popular social groups. And then we start questioning ourselves quietly like if we were in an interrogation room, we become extraordinary judges of our lives and decision. We are usually so intense in our critics than ended up feeling like we have failed, and it must be because we don’t belong, we can’t seem to be able to figure out our purpose as everyone did.  

There are many factors when analyzing our emotional being, that can directly influence our social behavior and how we see ourselves in front of society. When we factor facts like age, the education received, and even our character, we begin to understand ourselves better. Doing this helps us identify patterns in our behavior or the behaviors of others; for example, we can analyze the way we act in different extremes. Our resilience during challenging times or how we work with others when we feel accomplished. But why is this important? Well, I think we shape our character by the way we decide to react to our surroundings and the things that happen in our lives in a given moment, and this character will play a starring role on giving us a sense on what place we have in society, and how we belong.

If we think about our college years, or even before that, back when we were in school, we could provably remember having very quiet classmates. They keep to themselves, and when asked to perform in some assignment, struggle dearly, not because they were not smart enough, but because it was not a natural trait for them. On the other hand, we have the extroverts; these kids will always be the “life of the party,” so confident and willing to be the start of the show. We can also probably remember “the defender,” the one friend who will always stand up to injustice and will look out for those considered at a disadvantage. We also have a group of creators; these kids still stood out when in need of imagination and creativity. They did great in art, music, theater, dancing, literature amount other things.

I think this is how, from an early age, we start building and developing behaviors that we find are similar to our characteristics. Seeing individuals that behave like us gave us a sense of belonging and being accepted by others. It created a “safe heaven.” But, how is it that all this is related to who we are in the present, and how can it help us find our place in society and purpose in life? As we reflect on those years growing up, we can see that our social groups have changed along with our dreams and goals. Like with all changes, there is a sense of uncertainty and doubt, not only on the circumstances around us but ourselves, often accompanied by a sense of loneliness.

As years passed by, and we fast forward to our present, we look around us, and we can still see those similar traits on the people around us at work, our social groups, and even our family, but there is a big difference. Now, we have the power to choose to a more significant extent, who we will keep in our life, what behaviors to tolerate, and what to stand up for.

Social media is a powerful tool we should use wisely. Just as we were kids and decided who we wanted to hang us with and play, we need to determine what groups we want to be part of consciously. What conversations we want to join. What feeds we want to follow. We must ask ourselves, how are these things helping us grow and become a better version of ourselves? But why? Why is this so important? Well, my conclusion is, then, after going through this process, we’ll realize that we all have a purpose and a place in society, if we tune ourselves with the group of people who are going to help us develop our full potential. We will feel in sync because we have something of value to share. We won’t feel the need to compare ourselves to anyone else, because that need only comes from a sense of insecurity and not belonging. Feeling we fit in, should more than follows and beautiful profile feeds. I think we genuinely fit in when we share our true selves with the world, contributing our thoughts, ideas, expertise, or simply when we genuinely share who we are.

Remember, you are solely responsible for your life and your happiness. You can’t delegate that work to anyone. Take the time to re-organize your goals and to evaluate what groups you are surrounding yourself. Take those moments of solitude to focus your energy on all those things you are looking to achieve and love doing. Let those things serve you as a guide to continue the journey of discovering your purpose and place in society. Pay attention and listen carefully to your intuition is one of the greatest gifts we as humans have.

You will find purpose in the experiences you want to have. You are a valuable person, and we need your input, we need your expertise, creativity, sense of humor. We need your purpose to enhance our lives. Life is a grand challenge. Believe in your potential and face life head-on.

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