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On Not Fitting In!

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blind spot

A lot of people feel that they do not fit in. I hear a lot of talk about being too young or too old, too poor, too fearful, too unloved, too fat, or too depressed to fit in and to be accepted.  Where do we start the journey towards fitting in into our own lives, first?  I start with the blind spots, always. They are the gate to building your personal legend!

Why should we explore blind spots?  Sometimes, we do not know that our perceptions and our inability to “see” are the obstacles to the happy life we envision. Learning to “see,” means learning to clear obstacles.  And with clearing obstacles, there is a lot of energy that is released towards creating what we desire.

Recently, at a friends’ house, around the dinner table in a perfectly friendly environment, a guest started sharing with friends his frustration as a recruiter with various candidates applying for a particular position.

They are all the same, he said. Not one is different. Not one makes me want to click on and open their resume. They all claim that they are “best suited” or the “perfect candidate” for a position and they have no idea what huge amounts of emails I have to sift from to get one good candidate. They all go on and on with their own accomplishments, thinking that it’s what sets them apart from the other candidates.

Most of the dinner participants were stunned, and embarrassed, as some of them were themselves applying for new positions in various fields. One dared to speak–

“Yes, but recruiters and HR people never share what is truly important to them. How can we guess what you need? Based on the job requirements, we try to tell you that we are great at the job, that we have done it before and that we can do it again, even better. It’s so unfair!”

Oh, no, the recruiter said –“you are all trying to fit in, and to make yourself into what you think that I want to hear from you.”

Stories collide. Everybody is right, of course. And everybody lacks the perspective that would create a spectacular outcome.

There are so many examples like this, in which we are trying to do what we think that others– bosses, co-workers, family or team mates — expect from us. We don’t want to ask, for fear of looking foolish. We do not want to start a conversation,  as we are too tired and too disappointed with previous failures in communication. We just want things to get resolved. We do the same thing over and over again, and feel more and more exhausted with the lack of connection.

Is there a way to integrate different perspectives? Yes, there is!

Once I worked with a young man who asked for “career coaching.” He was incredibly talented, skilled, smart, energetic, and likable. Still, he was in his second year of looking for a job.  He thought he did not fit in.  What he needed was “attuning,” or leadership guidance so that he could become his best self, and so that he could own his unique gifts.

He was appraising himself from the employers’ perspective, trying to make himself into what each job required.  We worked quite a bit on his blind spots: what he feared most, and how he reacted when he was fearful, how defensive and impatient he became when he was hurt or disappointed, what his great gifts were, and what he wanted to create in his work, and what kind of people he wanted to work with. He started a project that was dear to his heart, without waiting for permission, or acceptance from others.

He went on courageously and peeled layer after layer, and soaked in all he could learned about himself.  He found out that most of the stories we was telling himself about work and about expectations were not true.  And then he went on courageously to be picky about work that he thought would help him build his personal legend.  Somehow, almost magically, doors started to open and he started being called into interviews.  Having learned what his blind spots were, he walked into each interview owning his power.

Working with blind spots is an invitation to explore and release old perceptions, and to shift towards a more courageous mindset. Shifting slowly, taking steps to creating more happiness and success are real possibilities, not dreams.

Where in your life, do you feel that you do not fit in?  Is this YOUR story?

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Hi, I'm Ligia, business strategist and co-founder at attuning.org. I am interested in the concept of teaching through games and play. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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