Sense of Belonging

Monica Varo Mental Health

Are we taught to pretend we are okay when we are not? Babies for example, cry all the time and express when they are not well. As we get older, we are conditioned not to say anything and pretend that we are okay, and to be strong even if that is not what is best for us in that moment. We are taught that we don’t want to be labelled as having a mental health condition or being a wreck. We pretend because we don’t want to be outcasted or stand out. We are afraid of not belonging. We all need to belong somewhere. Whether it is a part of a family, group, neighbour, etc To have that sense of belonging is often the reasons why we wear the various masks. 

We are afraid of being labelled and judged. Afraid of not fitting in. We often compare ourselves and feel that we need a particular type of car, or the right size house, particular types of clothes, specific job, overachieving kids, and so forth. But really who are we competing with? Sometimes we put the pressure on ourselves to fit in. The key is letting go of the concept of doing things for other people and focusing more on doing things for yourself.

Do what feels is right for you and what makes you happy and not based on what others may say. We are conditioned by society, our culture, families, structure, surroundings to put the needs of others first. For example, some of my clients from the corporate world are often breaking down on the inside because although they are accomplishing what others, aka society, would like them to do, but they aren’t happy on the inside. But how many times do we do something because we feel like it? Are we afraid to do something just for us because we are afraid of being judged? Afraid of being blanked or outcasted by family, friends, etc.

Once you do things yourself you don’t need anybody else. This way you have relationships with others because you want to and not because you need to have one with them. It should be quality over quantity with friendships. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are rather than just ticking off some boxes. In order to feel that you actually belong, you need to learn more about yourself and know who you are. 

What makes your heart sing? You love your job, kids, family, relatives, friends, etc. But what do you actually like doing? We often forget the essence of who we are. We forget to look inside and see what we love. Sometimes we pretend to like something such as playing tennis just because a group of people we hang out with do it. Sometimes we do things because we feel the pressure of belonging. Be curious. Take some time for yourself and do what you enjoy. You deserve time for yourself. If you do not know what you enjoy, take the time to try out new hobbies and find out more about yourself. Who says that you don’t have time for yourself? We choose how to spend our time. Every moment is a choice so make some time to prioritise your needs.