A sense of belonging is when we feel accepted by the people around us for who we are. To feel a true sense of belonging, we must not feel like we're hiding an aspect of ourselves or holding back in any way.

We also need to have different types of relationships to feel this acceptance across all the spheres of our life. A sense of belonging isn't good enough to only be present in one or two areas of our life.

When we have a sense of belonging, we feel a strong sense of trust. We have faith in the people around us.

Conversely, if you lack a sense of belonging, you don’t have this trust. It feels like your actions are a continuous means of determining whether or not you will be accepted. As a result, you feel the need to prove or define yourself constantly.

You are comfortable and confident with your relationships, and subsequently, with yourself.

Why it’s so challenging for us to create a sense of belonging even though it’s important

A bunch of obstacles makes it challenging for us to create a sense of belonging in life. We aren’t self-aware of who we are or what we need. Brain science is holding our emotional intelligence back. We get distracted on our journey of self-discovery by false societal narratives.

You can overcome these challenges, however, and create a sense of belonging in life.

If you’re struggling to create a sense of belonging in life, or want to feel a bit more fulfilled, you can follow these eight steps to develop a sense of belonging in your life.

1. Understand the difference between true belonging and “fitting in”
2. Identify who is most important to you
3. Recognize that you need different types of relationships to be fulfilled
4. Cultivate your relationships
5. Don’t get caught up prioritizing other societal distractions
6. Develop your self-awareness
7. Have the courage to be vulnerable
8. Maintain an open, curious mindset

Author's Bio: 

Kara McDuffee is the creator and author of My Question Life, a blog dedicated to help you build self-awareness, be more vulnerable, and discover yourself. Learn how to reclaim your life and find purpose in her online guide Discover Yourself.