One of the phenomena I come across with clients is a sense of doing well at what’s expected of them and being recognised for it, yet not feeling like they fit.

“It’s like I’ve turned up to an event in the wrong dress code having misinterpreted the invite”

“I feel like I don’t follow my family’s expectations of me, so I get excluded from conversations”

“I get called things like quirky, original or creative….. and yes, I hear the unsaid quotation marks”

My clients are wonderful people. They do valuable work that makes a difference. They support others through hobbies, community groups or sports activities. Some have significant others and kids, others don’t. Some are gay and others straight. 

However, most would say in one or more areas of their lives they get the feeling that they are somehow being or doing outside of the norm.

I know this feeling myself. 

Asian Lady peeking out of lush green tropical leaves

As a female engineer in an all-male team. As a career changer and dropping my corporate career. As a singleton surrounded by coupled up pairs. As a childless woman. As a stepmom at the school gates. As the big picture/detail junkie thinker, switching back and forth rapidly with ease. As a campaigner and activist.

I don’t fit into the mould that life, society, family or work defines as the expected normals. 

Sound familiar?

My response was to feel bad about myself. To say yes too often. To stop being all of me, all of the time. To kid myself I was compromising when I was actually giving in. To believe I wasn’t good enough. (You can read about that here).

And in some areas of my life, I said “Let me show you, what I can do” and trusted my talents to demonstrate not only what I could do or be, but I’d be bloody good at it.

And in others, I was slowly being crushed. I felt excluded, misunderstood and a need to conform or contort myself somehow better fit in. 

As I found the courage to do the work, to explore and discover more about myself, my drivers, values and to honestly look at what my needs really are. Then I found greater acceptance of who I am and experienced more joy in my life.

Muslim lady wearing her pale green headscarf, hiding behind leaves on tree branch

In the May Shares newsletter last week, I mentioned that I believe we can feel acceptance of all, some or none of ourselves. I also believe this can’t change for the good or the bad without conscious effort. We must tend to where our judgements and thoughts come from, then address them in order to release, forgive or create a resolution for the better.

So, I ask you where or when do you feel like you feel judged or excluded for who you are or that regardless of how hard you try, you don’t feel like you belong? Take a minute. Think on it. Jot down whatever comes up for you.

Some of these will be wrong people, wrong place and wrong time for you.

Others will be where your preferences, values and needs are not aligned with the expectations of you – by society, by your family, by your cultural or religious community or your employer and friends.

Lady wearing a red jumper lying in tall green grasses, hiding from our view

The former you can make changes to diminish or avoid these.

The latter requires you to a choice. Do you want to live with growing self-acceptance and access to more joy or continue to deny your brilliance and live in discomfort?

More on the first option over the next few weeks.

In the meanwhile, all of you is accepted by me in the Haven. We are all working on leading our lives and our work in alignment with our true selves. Join us x – you always have. warm welcome waiting for you there.