Don’t Fit In
I mean it. Don’t fit in. Being ‘in’ with the ‘in’ crowd is the antithesis… the opposite of a great life- or a life greatly lived. Fitting in often feels like the primary goal of anyone who wants to be happy and do well in society. After all, how can you be happy in a society if you don’t appear to fit in or belong?
Life is growth and expansion.
You don’t grow and expand by being the same.
You don’t change the world by fitting in.
You don’t make the world a better place by believing it’s ‘OK’ as it is.
You don’t accomplish great things by playing small.
Fitting in is playing small…
People will want to tell you and get you to believe that it is by doing things the way others have done it that you will rise. – Don’t believe them.
They will want you to do what great men have done.
– Believe only that great men lived true to their truest most authentic selves…
– emulate only that.
Don’t try to do exactly what they did. For then you would have become small… Fitting in to a space that cannot contain you.
Having lived in a time after that great man or woman, greater things are possible for you if you could only believe it.
People who see you on a path of growth and development will compare and contrast you with someone great. They will show you ways that you don’t measure up, be it: age; sex; gender; sexuality; looks; education; colour; class; race… and a whole host of other social constructs. But all that matters is your empowerment.
Don’t believe in their need for you to ‘fit in.’ Just don’t fit in. If you fit in accidentally, don’t fight it BUT don’t make it your purpose to fit in because in doing that you will be CHOOSING to shrink.
Don’t let anyone else paint a path to success for you Unless YOU have selected them as a coach or mentor according to where you want to go with your life. People who try to tell you how to accomplish success are often the ‘fit in’ type.
Many spend their lives fitting in and end up being spit out by the very spaces they- narrowed their waist; changed their face; dumbed down; played small; kissed ass; manipulated; lied; pretended; undermined- to fit into. And for those who tragically manage to not be vomited out of their space of ‘uncomfortable misalignment’ till death’s door claims them, regret is second nature, and their first nature is consistently seeing someone else’s face in the mirror. They are a mere ‘stand-in’ for the person they ‘could-have-been.’ If that is you- Get a life- Yours. If that is your advisor get out of there-Fast.
Greatness awaits you if your focus is not to fit in but to be the best version of yourself- No Matter what! Greatness awaits if you make empowerment the calling you answer with your life. Greatness awaits even if your not fitting in means that you walk a path that doesn’t resemble the success that others claim is the true form of success.
So stand apart from the crowd and accept your greatness- even in the face of contrary voices that only sing the praise of sameness. If they say:
– this is what it takes to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, academic, businessman, IT specialist, journalist, filmmaker – respond in your heart with ‘THIS is what it takes to be ME.’ And be yourself. Don’t seek to fit in.
I will forever be grateful for a simple question my mother would ask me every now and again when I tried to get her to do something for me that I knew she could do but I didn’t yet know how to do. In addition to reminding me how ‘nagging’ I can be she would ask the question, “Who taught the first man?” On reflection, that was such a powerful question to have one’s mother ask again and again. It helped give me a ‘make a way when there seems to be none’ mindset. Make your own way. It may be true that there is no real value in reinventing the wheel- but there certainly is value in teaching a child to reinvent the wheel; reinvent his world; reinvent himself.
Your greatness is not and cannot be wrapped up in the imitation of anything or anyone. So even if in your not fitting in now you seem the antithesis of greatness, still don’t try to fit in.
And if people dare to ask- “But what great thing have you done?”-and “Whats so great about you?” – You can answer simply and unapologetically “I lived my life as me.” MW AH Michael Holgate