"I don't fit in, especially with my family." "I feel like an outsider.”

“I felt ok until I got to high school but then I lost my self-confidence. I didn’t belong to the popular crowd, and I did not belong to the ‘geek' clique.” “I began to feel like a loser. I knew I wasn’t a loser, that I was just different, but I felt it just the same.”

“It seems to me that all the successful people are paired up”.” Most of my college friends are married, and I’m still single.”When we get together, I come away feeling down on myself, like I just don’t fit in any more.

If you find yourself distressed about not fitting in, it may be hard for you to hear me say that it is a good thing! Not fitting in, opens your life up to amazing possibilities. First and foremost it makes an authentic life a real possibility. As a psychotherapist, it is more difficult to be of help, when a client is invested in being like others, and not interested in exploring individual uniqueness.

Most of us are somewhere on the seesaw: we may fit in some areas of life but feel insecure in others.

Where is your position on the path?
What does what fitting in look like for you?

Do you buy the illusion that if you are more like "them," family members, church members, college friends or people in our community, that somehow you will be safe and secure, with the possibility of happiness? Illusion is a metaphor for the areas of our lives whereby we act as if our faulty beliefs are the real deal, or our truth. The truth is that we are not like them, and if we pretzel our essence to try and fit, it is impossible to be happy.

When we fit in we tend to be more like those around us. I am not suggesting that you desert family and friends, but at the same time realize sometimes our loved ones have trouble supporting change and/or our differentness.

Create a visual of what your life would look like if you fit in. I've spoken to people who "fit in" describe how bored they are with the everyday sameness of their lives... Do you cling to the familiarity, rather than examine the true nature of reality?

We live in a world where there is no perfection and events are not predictable. When we try to control events the more rigid and the smaller our world becomes. So where do we start those of us who want to give up the illusions about fitting in and start being true to self? To begin, develop a new belief that “you are enough...”

What then is the truth?

We are conditioned to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. A story is told and passed down, that: It is possible to fit in, to live in an ideal world where things come easily and unpleasant experiences can be avoided. It also suggests if your life is not like this, something is wrong with you. The conditioning is very powerful and if not examined, we tend to live in little boxes without diversity.

Through powerful marketing, the media portrays others as not having to deal with the adversity of daily living. They are presented as physically perfect, never lacking love or companionship, confident and secure within themselves. Comparison of self to others is a dangerous sport, and when we compare our lives to a snapshot of an ideal, frozen in time, we are bound to come out wanting. Remember that an illusion is static.

The real problem is a belief that if we fit in, there is a possibility of a life without the inherent struggles. Faulty beliefs keep us from living in our own rich, messy ways.

When you know your authentic self, you will not settle for somebody’s idea of how you should live. Although you may not believe it at this time, your journey can be more adventurous when you don’t fit in.

In "Overcome Obstacles and Have an Incredible Life”, you are given tools, exercises and strategies to work through not 1, but 10 Universal Obstacles.

Laura’s New Offering, "Overcome Obstacles and Have an Incredible Life" offers boundless guidance, addresses doubts, fears and uncertainties that may be keeping you stuck and wondering if you have missed your chance to be happy. You have not! Read or hear more at www.laurabyoung.com

Author's Bio: 

Laura Young M.S. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH) devoted to helping people become more of what is possible for them. She draws on over thirty years of clinical experience, opening Life Resource Center, a Private Practice, in 1992.

Over time Laura has specialized in Relationships; Life Transitions: Grief Resolution, Stress Management. She has lead groups with a special emphasis on Women's Creativity. Laura has given numerous presentations, and written many articles for local newspapers as well as regional magazines. See more articles at LauraBYoung.com.

Laura's new books and audios, Overcome Obstacles and Have an Incredible Life is now available.