You prepare to walk into your new job, look around and instantly think ‘oh god, what if no one likes me?!’
We’ve all been in the position where we go into a new situation and the fear of fitting in hits you like a tonne of bricks. What if no one is like minded? Maybe they will think my sense of humour is weird? Do I stick out like a sore thumb?
Growing up we want to fit in, that period in your teens where the last thing you want is to be different. You conform to whatever is ‘cool’ at the time and follow the crowd. That’s fine, don’t get me wrong there is no criticism here. During my teens there was nothing I wanted more than to fit in and be under the radar. I had seriously low self-esteem and went to a Secondary school where I was the only girl coming from a hill farming background which naturally led to all sorts of adolescent jokes. To go alongside that my surname is not particularly normal can be twisted into many a variation that, of course, teenagers being teenagers picked up on. I’m not expecting you to get out your villains and play me the world’s saddest song, it happened and it happened over 10 years ago. Plus it probably did me a lot of good, I stand up for myself now and am extremely proud of both my upbringing and my surname.
When it comes to fitting in I potentially don’t, to an extent. I say this purely because I am a female with short hair, a not bad collection of ear piercings and enjoy wearing a garish faux fur leopard print coat. (She’s a beaut, you can read more about her here) I’m definitely not the most out there individual by any stretch of the imagination but I do enjoy my little quirks.
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When it comes to fitting in, maybe we should focus more on belonging rather than actually fitting in. I have plenty of friends that aren’t ‘like’ me. They look different and like different things but their is a common thread that bring us to a mutual place. There is also an element of self value and confidence that goes alongside not having the fear of fitting in. If you are comfortable in your own skin, truly happy with the person you are and your beliefs then I don’t think having a fear of fitting in is as big an issue.
Age also plays a strong factor in this fear. As I have gone into my mid-late twenties I have started to care less of what people think of me. If you don’t like me, that’s fine. Not everyone will. If you don’t like the way I dress, cool. I do. Maybe you don’t appreciate the fact that I swear often. Ok, fine but I won’t change how I express myself.
Don’t be afraid to be unique, be yourself and cast the fear of whether you will fit in to the side. At the end of the day, pretending to be something you aren’t will ultimatly make you unhappy and you will lose the sense of who you are.