Monday, January 11, 2016

Why Do We Want to Fit In?

At some point, we’ve all stood in the shadows and watched others interact around us. We’ve all wanted to join the conversation or be invited to the events, but most of all we’ve wanted to be accepted by the “cool kids”. To fit in. To be a part of something bigger than ourselves. 
Illustration from Zippy and the Stripes of Courage

We need to feel accepted. We need to feel loved. We need to feel valuable. 

But those feelings can’t just come from others. Acceptance, love, and value must first come from inside. No one else can make us feel these emotions. 

If we don’t accept ourselves, no one else’s acceptance of us will have any significance in our lives. If we don’t love ourselves, then we won’t fully accept anyone else’s love. If we don’t feel valuable, then no one else will make us feel this way. 

Our self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth all come from within us. We can’t make other people like us. We can, however, work on being the best person that we can be.  When I start worrying about other people’s opinion of me it’s because I am feeling insecure in that area of my life. So instead of blaming others or beating myself into the ground, I need to show myself some love. 

What we feel on the inside manifests to the outside. 

Our energy reflects to other people. If I’m constantly frowning then my body language is negative and makes me unapproachable. If everything that comes out of my mouth is a complaint, then others avoid me because no one wants to hear my tirades. If I’m judging other people and their behavior, then I’m ignoring my own shortcomings. In truth, if I worry about myself and how to be the best version of me then I will not find fault with others. Why? Because I know how hard it is to try to live for God and be a good reflection of Him. 

When we serve God and do the best we can to live by His examples, people will not like us. They will see our closeness with God as a magnification of their shortcomings. So they cast us out of their circle. If we are being honest, it would be impossible for everyone to like us at all times. Therefore, the desire to fit in is impossible. We can’t fit in. We will either be too much in one person’s eyes or not enough in another’s eyes. 

Instead of trying to fit in with the world, we should be so thankful that we don’t fit in. Jesus didn’t fit in either. 

Our weight, bank account, physical appearance, success, and social status doesn’t reflect what is in our hearts. And that is what matters. How you treat other people and how you make them feel is what is truly important. 

So how can we all do better? This is my list of things I work on every day. 

    • Smile. Every single day. Even when no one is around. Smiling is a small gift that we can give ourselves. If you do it long enough, then you will start to feel the effects. 
    • Give someone a compliment. Not only will it brighten their day, but it will brighten your day as well. Plus it teaches us to look for the good in others. 
    • Don’t judge other people. We don’t know what they’ve been through. And to base a judgement on what we see of a person is not accurate. We don’t know how they are feeling or what lead to their actions.
    • Be kind. Even to the unkind people. The ones who treat us the worst  need our kindness the most. (I know, this one is so hard.) 
    • Work on me. Listen to uplifting podcast and read inspirational, self-help books. Read my Bible, pray, meditate, and write in my gratitude journal. If I’m busying working on improving myself, then I don’t notice other people’s flaws as much. 

In a world filled with negativity, pain, suffering, and hatred I don't want to fit in. Every single day, I should try my hardest to stand out so far that I give others a glimpse of my Lord. 

Stand out my friends!

Love and blessings, 

Candida 

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Author shares message through Zippy the zebra