Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash
For a few years now, I’ve been on a search. A search for myself, a search for answers. One question that has been driving this search from the start is “who am I?“. The internal name for my blog is whoami.
I am going through a big shift right now. I’m moving away from the question of “who am I”, which puts myself in question, towards a more creative approach - what do I enjoy, what do I want to contribute, what do I want to create. Who do I want to be.
Here are some notes about my current experience around the topic of fitting in.
Since going independent, I am offering my services as a consultant around community management and software development. As such, many opportunities come my way. I enjoy meeting people, hearing their stories and seeing how we can collaborate. I am also learning a lot about myself in such meetings.
In one of those conversations, I learned that my underlying question of “who am I?” does not serve me.
He described his business idea, and explained what role he is looking to fill. “Interesting, I wonder how I can fit in”, I said. He then responded, “It’s not about fitting in. It’s about how you can and want to contribute.”
In another conversation with a friend, I told him from my experience in such meetings.
That many of them are very interesting, but I often find myself not fitting in perfectly for what the other person has in mind. His response was, “If you can’t find something you like, create it yourself. Tell the other person of your ideas, and see where they meet theirs.”
Both conversations were very helpful for me, and got me to think about myself from a totally different perspective.
Before, my mentality was defensive, needy and in search of an identity. I can summarize it like this:
Who am I? Who wants me? How can I fit in?
This was a helpful mentality before, where I really had no clue about myself. Nowadays, it doesn’t serve me anymore.
I am moving towards a mentality of an inner knowledge of who I am, self-worth and the joy of creation. I can summarize it like this:
Who do I want to be? Which collaborations serve me? How can I contribute?
With this mentality, I can show the other person what I’m looking for, what I can contribute and what my ideas of a healthy collaboration are. They in turn can compare that with their ideas, and together we find out if at this point in time, we can collaborate to support each other.
Here is my take away for this blog post, as a reminder to everyone and also to myself, that you fit into this world no matter what.
No matter who you are. Don’t ask yourself how to fit in. You fit into this world exactly as you are. The world is big enough for you. There are spaces, environments, people that suit you. You don’t have to suit anyone but you. You are a real contribution to this world. You have the permission to be who you are.
The mere fact of your existence is the proof for that already. If you are in doubt about anything, remind yourself of your own being.
What helps me in that regard is to write, amongst other things. By writing my thoughts on a piece of paper, or into my laptop, I am recording my thoughts and manifesting a part of me into this world. For you, it could be something else.
Find out more about that by following your curiosity, trying out different things and see what sticks.