Anyone who knows me can attest that I am a big Brene Brown fan. I came across a quote from her book The Gifts of Imperfection the other day and I believe it sums up perfectly a challenge that we encounter in relationships, especially in groups. She said, “fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” Drop the mic. End of discussion. Okay not really, but you get that this statement is like double decker truth. So often our goal is to blend in, fit in, not be too much, not take up too much space…etc. And the result equals minimizing who we are, creating a false persona, being dependent on the perception of others, and basically missing out on the fabulousness that comes from the ability to be our authentic selves. We try to stuff our “big life” selves into a box that is 100 sizes too small. And wow can it get cramped in there. So how can we leave that thinking behind and step into something new? Well first we must rewrite our goal. Yep get out your pencil and erase the goal of fitting in and replace it (in ink) with the goal of belonging. With this comes an intention to unleash our whole self onto the world, breaking out of the small box of fitting in and deciding to show up in increasingly authentic ways. This is an evolving process, one that invites us into a deeper relationship with ourselves which in turn up levels all of our interactions and relationships. In doing so we say goodbye to fitting in and create new and safe spaces for belonging. Ok, now we can drop the mic.