We’ve all been in situations where we don’t fit in and perceive that people don’t get us. It’s easy to think that there’s something about you. Confusion often shows up in stages like this where you don’t know where to start shifting things or resorting to “that’s just the way it is”.
The longer you stay in situations like this you lose your mojo and access to your inner gold – the value that you uniquely bring. And while it is about you reacting, it’s not about you being bad or wrong if you have good intentions, it’s an inner signal that something is off that you may want to take note of.
Being in an environment where your personality, talents, expression, and/or dress code doesn’t jive is not healthy for anyone. So if this is you then consider keeping a running list of what it is that triggers you and why. It’s not about blaming anyone else, it’s about getting clear on why this isn’t working for you. From there you can get clear on WHAT you really want and what matters to you = your priorities, and take action.
This can be tricky when you’re not feeling it and that’s when you can look at the opposite – what your dealbreakers are. Look at what’s OK and what’s a “NO!” in the areas of question and you’ll get clear on what’s important to you.
Think of it like this, you may feel really great in a creative, casual, startup business environment where it’s OK to speak up, communicate freely, contribute, and dress in a way that reflects your professional image. Then something changes, it could be new management/ownership, or you take a position at another company that seems great and turns out to be the opposite of who you are. The same goes in life, whether it’s your circle of friends or family.
The concept of fitting in is such an illusion when you realize how unique you really are, as a person, your education, skills, experience, and energy/vibe. Why would you even want to be someone that you’re not?
While dress codes and communication styles can be easy to identify, the corporate culture can be harder to distinguish. How many mission & vision statements have you seen that a) make sense b) inspire you, and c) are an accurate description of what your company vibe is?
When you hire people, there’s a lot of time, money, and effort involved. You invest in people that you want to retain and succeed. Turnover costs a lot of money and resources after all. Having a brand that clearly defines who you are, what you stand for, and prioritizes will have a better chance of attracting the people that feel called to help that are a fit. As your brand evolves revisit your vision, mission, and vibe.
What you want to nurture is the company vibe, if you have a really great one that is, if not, get back to the drawing table and hire an expert. The people you hire want to know what it takes to succeed and what’s expected of them when they start, do they? What does your onboarding process look like and better yet, how do you nurture this vibe for existing employees? Check out Gallup’s current State of The Global Workplace Report, it’s an eye-opening read.
What are you asking for?
As a leader one challenge can be how to best motivate your people. Rockstar leaders know that creating rapport with their staff and authentically caring about them creates something money can’t buy – loyalty and trust.
Asking questions like “what’s important to you?” and “what do you want or need from me to feel that you are valued?” is one way to get started with each of your people. This goes for your partners, friends, and family too for that matter. Having weekly conversations with your team members will evolve as trust builds. Where there’s trust there’s increased productivity.
To focus on what you want/desire is something that many of us have heard before that are engaged in personal growth circles. Instead of focusing on damage control, gossip, blame, and drama, simply focus on the desired outcome. While simple, it’s something many of us complicate, and sometimes one word shifts all that.
The same is true for relationships, whether it’s your partner or friends. As you evolve some evolve with you, others don’t. Change becomes easier when you have identified what your priorities are. Instead of asking if YOU are a fit for the company (business, circle of friends, etc.), ask if THEY are a fit for you.
There’s no need to try to fit a square peg in a round hole after all, or vice versa. Some will get you, others won’t and that’s OK. Surround yourself with people that accept you for who you are. Be yourself, communicate your needs, and live life full out.