SHRINK TO FIT: Playing Small Isn’t Playing at All

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Here comes some tough love:

You are never, ever, ever, going to fit in! And that is “a cause for celebration, not an apology”. You will never make anyone completely happy: that is not your job, it is theirs. Therefore, the only person who can absolutely, positively, be happy with who you are, with what you do, with every itty-bitty delicious detail about you, will be YOU!! You might as well start now.

Think, for a moment, about fitting in. Into what? It’s a mold, a perception that someone else or some group of someone elses decided was appropriate for you. Do you know these people? Have you spent time with these people? Do you respect these people? Do want to emulate these people? Just what I thought. No, no, no, and no. And you care about their opinion why? Oh, for approval! You may want to rethink that.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she realizes that the choice for how she will live the rest of her years is entirely dependent upon her personal vision and preferences. You have arrived at that time in your life.

Fitting in requires that we get small, that we compromise, that we become less authentic, less genuine than we are. Fitting in implies that we change some aspect(s) of who we worked so hard to reveal, so that others won’t feel uncomfortable comparing themselves to us (and feel diminished by the comparison). And if we do know these people, and they want us to shrink to fit in, then we must ask ourselves if these are really the kind of friends we should have anyway.

Suffice it to say that the moment we are required to ‘fit in’ we will be asked to forfeit some precious part of ourselves that we have spent most of our lives cultivating. We are asked to do this so that other people aren’t inconvenienced into expanding their views of themselves and their world. We are asked to do this so that other people don’t have to revamp their perspective. We are asked to do this because, for the most part, people are unmotivated to grow and relinquish their outdated expectations.

Anyone who wants to change us so they are more comfortable, aren’t comfortable with themselves which means that the minute you change, they’ll want you to change again. Exhausting! Repeat after me: Bye. Bye.
*This is reprinted from Nancy’s new book, Impact! What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible.

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