There is a lot of pressure in life to fit in. We all want to be accepted and liked by others, but at what cost? If you are actively working each day to fit into the mold you think will make more people like you, you’re preventing yourself from fully growing into the person you are meant to be.
Young adults face this challenge daily in school, with their friends, in sports and clubs, and especially online. While it can be difficult to accept the fact that you are different in some way because it makes you stand out from your peers, being different is what makes you unique. Embracing those qualities and loving yourself is key to your happiness and growth. Here’s why trying to fit in does more harm than good.
It stunts your creativity
There is a desire that pulls you to try different things, whether it’s a different sport or activity, trying a new hobby, dressing differently, etc — ignoring that urge will prevent you from ever achieving your full potential. In embracing yourself and trying new things (even if they aren’t what everyone else is doing) you are stretching the limits and discovering your abilities.
For example, say your group of friends all chose an easy elective class where they can hang out together in school. You want to do the same, but there’s also an Art class you can’t stop thinking about trying out. You love drawing and painting, but you haven’t had any lessons or training. Your friends tell you that Art is lame and you should enroll in the class they’re all taking. What do you do?
Ignoring what sparks your curiosity will never allow you to be the fullest version of yourself — creative, intelligent, brave, and curious.
It doesn’t support your mental health
While trying to fit in and fight the desire to stand out is frustrating, it can also be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
If you feel tired and unhappy from trying to follow the crowd and do what your friends are doing, it can create an unhealthy mindset and add unnecessary stress to your life.
Trying to fit in instead of embracing who you are can be damaging to your self-esteem because you are training your brain to think, “Who I truly am is not good enough.” As you learn more about yourself and who you are, where you belong, and what you want to be, learning how to love yourself can be a challenge.
Try to focus on your own happiness when you feel overwhelmed about trying to fit in. Reach out to a friend who you trust, talk to a teacher, your parents, or a sibling about how this pressure affects you on a daily basis. Most people struggle with trying to fit in at some point in their lives, and they will be able to provide you guidance on how to move through it.
It prevents you from getting what you truly want
Your ambitions and passions are always going to be different from those around you. Finding the courage to take small steps to chase your passions can be intimidating, but your happiness is worth it!
If everyone had the same interests and passions, think about how the world would be today. We wouldn’t have half the innovation in technology, science, mathematics, and arts that we do if humanity all pursued the same things, and followed the trends and habits of their peers.
Diversity creates space for everyone to pursue what interests them, and to grow into the people we are all meant to be.
On the journey to learning who you are and what your full potential is, focus on the positive side of self-discovery. Realizing your full potential opens up so many doors to achieve things you never thought possible. Being brave and curious are not qualities you should ignore — explore every curiosity and interest you have, and see where it takes you. You are meant for so much more than to simply fit in!
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