Why You Shouldn't Want to Fit In

advice authenticity encouragement just be yourself purpose social norm stand out Jul 25, 2023

When we are young, we live authentically. We are true to ourselves because we aren’t taught to “fit in” until later in our development. When I was in elementary school, I never cared about fitting in. I loved to wear mismatched clothes, like princess t-shirts under striped dresses or colors that you wouldn’t think to put together. I spoke my mind about what I thought was right or wrong, and I journaled about my thoughts. I took my baby doll with me everywhere. I wasn’t bothered by what other people thought I should do or be, and I was happy to live that way.


Then, one day, when it was time to share our daily journal entries in class, people laughed and snickered when I read mine out loud. I didn’t know I should be embarrassed to share my personal life, but everyone else seemed to think so. I began to have more experiences like this, and it caused me to shut down. My parents bought me a baby doll seat that was attached to my bike so that I could take my doll with me to the park. I was riding around one day when the older brother of one of my classmates decided to tell me how uncool I was for having a baby doll. Word got to my classmates, and people started making fun of me. For reference, I was in the third grade. They told me I was too old to play with dolls, but here’s the thing: I loved playing with dolls because it allowed me to be creative. I knew they weren’t real, but the stories I came up with while playing with them were. Even one of my closest friends told me I was a “baby” for playing with dolls.


So I started hiding things like that from other people. I changed my clothes, and I decided it was time to try to “fit in” with the rest of my peers. It was exhausting. I changed myself so that other people would like me more. I felt insecure, but I think the people who had a problem with how I carried myself were really the insecure ones. Now that I am older, I recognize that the people who fit in are not the ones who stand out. I know this sounds like common sense, but I want you to really think about that statement. “The people who fit in… are not the ones who stand out.” Don’t you want to stand out in the business world? Don’t you want to be noticed? Everyone is chasing success, and you will never stand apart from the crowd if you don’t learn to be okay with being different. The most successful people in life are those who took a leap and followed a path that they wanted to follow, not the path that other people recommended for them. And if there wasn’t a path that appealed to them, then they created a new one.


Humans are not meant to be the same as everyone else. We are meant to be unique, to have varied interests, varied talents and skill sets, and to pursue a purpose and a passion beyond ourselves. If you don’t have passion for what you are doing, you won’t make it very far. You shouldn’t want to fit in. You should want to stand out because standing out means making a difference and living authentically.


I challenge you to do something today that you’ve been afraid to do because it is different. Live into your true desires, and pursue your passion, especially if it makes you stand out.


-Meghan Slaughter


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