Wonder if you belong? Ever feel like you do not belong? Maybe you recall the people, place, or space around you while sensing that feeling.
As many young adults leave home for college or other ventures, it might be a good time to talk about belonging.
Young people are not alone. I hear very professionally successful coaching clients question whether they belong or even wish to belong.
You have a basic need for connection. Belonging plays a role in that. How do you know whether to stay or leave?
You belong where you wish to be; however, it helps to consider your reasons behind wishing to be there, and whether they align with who you are and wish to be.
Here are a few ideas to remember:
- You get to decide whether you belong. To do so, it helps to ask whether you really wish to belong, and the costs and benefits of belonging. Being part of anything ~ a group, organization, and even a relationship~ may require certain things of you. Do they reflect who you are and who you wish to be? Or perhaps you see your role as being a part of a change? Either way, you decide.
- You may choose to stay whether you feel you belong. There will be costs and benefits to both. What are the costs of staying (joining) and letting go (not joining)? What are the benefits? The costs for one are not necessarily the benefits of the other. Ask each question for each quadrant (see the photo at the top of the post). This may help you decide whether you wish to take steps in the direction of joining or staying or sense a stronger call toward letting go at this point. Even if you do not feel you belong, you may understand a higher benefit of staying. You get to choose.
- You may change your mind in the future. While it may feel like you must hold fast to your decision, you get to choose whether you do. There may be reasons to decide and move forward in a chosen direction. You may also decide, put time and energy toward that decision, and later discover if it continues to be a good fit.
When you consider what it means to belong, pay attention to whether you feel lighter or more expansive. You may notice that belonging really brings up a sense of contraction or heaviness. Consider what that means to you and for you.
Remember, feeling uncomfortable and feeling like you do not belong may feel similar. Distinguish the difference between discomfort and unsafe. There is a discomfort that comes with learning and growing. You may ask yourself whether it serves you or the future you wish to create. If it is unsafe, it may not be a healthy choice for your present or future self.
You are the highest authority on whether, where, and if you wish to belong. You are worthy of living a life you absolutely love.
Where would you love to belong? Why? At what level do the benefits outweigh the costs?
For further help creating your life by design rather than by default, sign up today for your initial coaching consult.