Early in my career, I realized I was pretty good at “fitting in.” I saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, I was well liked and respected. And as I grew older, fitting in became even more important to me. Unfortunately, over time as you try to “fit in,” something happens – you begin to compromise.
First, let me say that compromise is not a dirty word. On the contrary, everyday life and circumstances call for compromise. Some compromising choices can include a radio station that everyone in the car can tolerate; choosing a restaurant that will satisfy the tastes of everyone, and which movie to watch that will entertain everyone. But when compromise becomes your way of life to “fit in” it gets easy to give away too much …
Women are especially conditioned to “please others.” Additionally, if one has ADD, you may feel the need to be on the good side of others because it is likely just a matter of time before we will need to make an apology! Between the cultural issues and ADD symptoms, compromise can be become a regular part of life. I call this the “double whammy” of ADD.
So how do you know when to say when to the compromise of fitting in? Has your ability to compromise gone too far? There are two gut check questions that help me know when I am getting close to fitting in:
- Am I thinking of pleasing others’ expectations more than my own?
- How much am I changing (or hiding) myself to meet the expectations of others?
Using these gut check questions help me determine more strategically my decision to join a community. I live on my terms and honestly share my thoughts and convictions rather than try to blend in. By being aware of the difference between “fitting in” and “belonging”, I consciously choose to belong. When I start to feel I am worrying more about what others think of me and I start to disregard or ignore my own inner voice, I stop and ask myself what I am going to choose – “fitting in” or “belonging.” Which will you choose?