At school we are all looking to fit in, we don’t want to stand out in a crowd, we want to blend in. We struggle at times, particularly during our teenage years when it’s all about learning who we are. The majority of us want to conform and be one of the crowd. Being ‘weird’ in school can isolate you and cause problems, we are bullied and are laughed at for our choices. Teachers compare us against each other telling us we should be more like Sarah or Michael who are the epitome of all things school and quite often life! Ugh, it’s tough going!
Once we leave the bubble of school and whether we head to Uni or College, it’s our time to be who we want. We experiment, with clothes, with hairstyle, alcohol, sex, drugs, whatever, we find out what we like, what we don’t, who we like and who we don’t. We find out about us. It’s liberating! We can shake off who we’ve been at school, we can move on from being ‘plain Jane super brain’ and become anything. If you went straight to work from school you learn about yourself quicker because you’re in an ‘adult’ world so you observe others around you for cues about how to be you.
It takes time for us to find our feet, find out what fits us and how we fit into this growing world around us. By the time we are in our early to mid 20’s and are ready to settle into work, we slowly become the caterpillar emerging into a butterfly. However, this process can take years. We may have several jobs, and with each one, we again learn about what we like, ways to act, people we admire, people we don’t and what works for us and what doesn’t.
As the years float by and we continue to work hard, our inner butterfly is slowly appearing but isn’t quite ready to fly yet. We may have a work persona and a home life persona. We push ourselves to ensure we are becoming the person we want, but equally like a new born lamb we are wobbly on our feet and are uncertain if the world around us would embrace the real emerging ‘us’. So we slowly and steadily reveal small glimpses into who we are. We may mention a hobby we have or what we do at the weekend, or some crazy things we did when we were younger or we dye our hair blue! We do this to test the waters and see if we will still be accepted into our work circle. We know as we reveal us little by little, it can be such little subtleties that we feel great as we ‘get away with it’! But why are we so scared just to be us?
More often than not, people we work with welcome us in, they are equally likely to be in the same boat. It’s a new form of acceptance for us, who we are now. We still have some left over conformity issues from school and we worry we may not be liked, but usually this is untrue. There will always be people throughout our lives that just don’t like us for whatever reason, you will never make that connection. So let it go, cos it really isn’t worth your energy to find out why. (I have a neighbour who dislikes me for no apparent reason, he actually runs away from me if I am walking up to my house or leaving it. He speaks to my husband but just doesn’t want to interact with me! It annoys me as I want to know why but I really just need to let it go!!)
The more jobs I’ve had, along with the older I get, the more I settle into being me. I’m now comfortable with who I am and have let go of having a separate work persona. It takes a lot of energy and effort and quite frankly we don’t want to use all of this up at work!
If you’re happy fitting in and being one of the crowd then please do continue to do so, you have to do what makes you happy. But the freedom you get and feel from letting yourself finally be that butterfly and fly free is utterly amazing, you are able to relax and not have to think about who you have to be today!
Have a great week, be you and try to slip a bit more of you into your work if you have different personas. Ultimately, be happy and love who you are and who you have become. Let go of the school you who wants to fit in and use your new found energy to do what you love!
Fly butterfly, fly!
Take care, love Emma xxx 😍