You may just think differently. Not wrong.
It is a gift to be on a team where people think differently.
However, some leaders want people to all to think like them. And they become upset and frustrated when you think differently.
So we step back and observe why they may be frustrated. We may observe in ourselves why their opinion and approval matter so much.
The discomfort may push you to abort your own views to feel the immediate relief of fitting in. But fitting in and belonging are not the same feelings in my experience.
I do not belong when I have to change who I am, mask what I truly believe to “fit in,” and relieve myself of the discomfort of someone having issues with what I bring to the table.
I have never felt more lonely when in a crowd where I do not belong. And more seen when I found the community of support, compassion, curiosity, and true belonging.
Living life with compassion and humble curiosity is freeing.
Unlearning and releasing the years of trying to fit in feels like a wave of grief and sadness at times, and that’s OK. Necessary, even.
Life is a wild ride and much more fun with friends who bring out the best in you. Who may love you before you love you?
How grateful for these special humans existing in the world.
To remind us: Love, compassion, and supportive communities still exist.
In the world of chaos, find peace within and know you belong. To you and to the amazing people you will find when you allow yourself to be you and shine your light so that they may see you.
Strong. Stronger together.
Jillian Rigert is an oral medicine specialist and radiation oncology research fellow.
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