Why We Struggle With Feeling Like We Don't Belong

self discovery through personality tests and how it leads to finding belonging

Zodiac signs, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs (or 16 Personalities), The Four Tendencies … the list goes on.

As a culture, we’re currently wrapped up in the idea of understanding ourselves. Of figuring out how our brains work, why we make decisions the way we do, how our personalities are formed. And it’s interesting! But why do we do it? Why are we so preoccupied with the idea of categorizing our personalities?

I have a few theories.

Not only do these personalities tests allow us to try to understand ourselves — and our true selves at that — but it also let’s us feel understood. If I read online something that describes my personality down to the core, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. It makes me feel like I belong.

In our world today, we’re so divided in our communities. We often feel obligated to change to fit into a mold. This group of people likes X, and I like Y, so I’ll just pretend to like X to fit in. But then we’re not remaining true to ourselves, and this is where we start to feel alone even within large groups of people.

This is why so many people out there aren’t living a life they’re aligned with. Every time we try to adapt — to become “chameleons” of a kind — we give a little bit of ourselves away. And when you think of all the groups or instances when we do this, how much of ourselves are we left with at the end of the day?

It’s exhausting. I used to do this all the time. I had to pretend to be someone a little bit more preppy in high school and in college. I had to pretend to be someone totally different at each job I’ve taken. If we are losing just a teeny bit of ourselves each time we feel like an outsider with someone — in educational settings, religious settings, career settings, social settings — then it’s no wonder that we cling to descriptions of ourselves that make us feel heard, valued, like we belong as we are.

It’s particularly easy for me, because I’ve really learned I value myself through how helpful I am to others. So if I can make people happy, then I’ll gladly alter this and that about who I am. I’ll stay quiet even when I have something to say, or get louder to match the voices around me. I’ll become alpha if a beta person needs it, or I can take a step back to let another powerful mind rule. I’ll host a party, then forget to eat, drink, and be merry (literally) in order to provide more glassware, hand out plates, and make sure everyone else is having a good time.

I don’t prioritize my true self. I prioritize their true selves, and always give myself the supporting role.

But through self discovery, through learning about who I am and what I do, I’ve been able to slowly make progress. I’ve started moving the line to meet others’ needs less and less. I’ve started to stay grounded and really remain true to who I am, no matter what pulls me in other directions.

And you can do it too. How much do you know yourself? How much do you prioritize your true values, your true personality, your true desires? And how much are you living your life with them as the focus?

Because true belonging means belonging to yourself.

How long have you been living a life that no longer serves you?

How long have you been stuck in a job that you don’t love?

How long have you been letting pieces of yourself go so you can “fit in” or belong?

How long have you been exhausted from giving pieces of your self away?

A little longer than you’d like to admit? Years, decades even?

It’s time to make the change. It’s time to say no to letting more years pass without taking control.

In just one week, the You Can Have It All workbook will launch.

It’s the perfect way to get started living a life aligned with your true self.

It’s the perfect way to get started embracing your true self.

It’s the perfect way to starting changing your life. And if I can do it, then you can too.

Are you ready? Share in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/

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And when you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you:

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