Trusting ourselves is the antidote to feeling left out because we always belong to ourselves.
Which one is belonging to you?
1. “Belonging” is being comfortable in a crowd AND set apart from the crowd.
2. “Belonging” is being seen & accepted for who you are in a crowd?
#2 is the most common response & the one that causes pain.
There’s nothing wrong with being accepted in the crowd! But if that’s our prerequisite for belonging, we will never belong.
If we think that belonging depends on something happening outside of ourselves, we set ourselves up for pain because we can’t control how others see us. In fact, those who “accept” us today may not accept us tomorrow.
People change. Their responses are based on their perceptions of themselves, NOT you.
When we place our sense of belonging in someone else’s hands, we feel left out & we are gambling with our worth. IF, however, we learn to trust ourselves & our thoughts:
- We don’t feel the need to influence other people’s thoughts about us.
- We DON’T FEEL PANIC when we sense they are going to disagree with our choices.
- We don’t need them to APPROVE of us to be approved.
We trust ourselves & like ourselves enough to decide we belong because WE think so, not because anyone else does.
Here are 7 ways to create self-trust & stop feeling left out:
1. Get to know yourself.
You can’t trust someone you don’t know.
When was the last time you listened to your thoughts? I mean, got quiet and heard them? You may not even know how to do that; most people don’t.
We spend far more time listening to other people’s thoughts, either in person or social media. It’s time to value yours. Spend as much time getting to know yourself as you do getting to know other people.
Spend some time listening to your thoughts more than others’ words. Then learn to value that person. Observe him/her/them.
Let yourself know you are worth your time by actually giving it to yourself.
2. Watch how often you seek crowd acceptance.
Just observe yourself during the day. How often do your thoughts wander to “I wonder what they think of that?” “Did I sound stupid when I said that?” “I hope they like me.”
Get aware of how much time your mind spends on the acceptance of other people.
What does it mean to be accepted? What would happen if you weren’t?
Get familiar with your reasons to seek acceptance & approval from other people, then ask yourself: “Is any of this acceptance seeking actually helping me?” “How does it make me feel about myself?”
We reduce our self-confidence and self-trust when we spend more time trying to be accepted by someone else. So instead, learn to accept yourself.
Look at the things about you that you genuinely like. Don’t fake it. Your mind will know the difference. Start to increase the time you spend authentically accepting of your actions & ideas.
3. Learn to approve of yourself.
Think of a decision you’ve made that either you are or used to seek approval on & act on it in 2 ways:
- Write it down or speak it out loud to yourself.
- Read it with the intent to decide that your approval is all you need to implement your idea. You don’t need anyone else’s.
Another antidote to feeling left out is realizing that you don’t have to wait on people to approve of your ideas before it’s ok to act on them.
This takes some practise at first. Writing down your idea will clarify what about it is important to you. Writing your reasons why it’s important sends a stronger message to your mind than thought does.
4. Don’t ask permission to reduce feeling left out.
Do some new things without asking for permission or seeking out validation.
This will feel awkward and possibly disingenuous at first. Talk yourself through the action and keep moving.
5. Don’t assume the negative.
Notice & Reduce the time you spend on what other people ‘might think.
Assumptions about what people think reduce our self-confidence because we usually assume the worst. But no one knows what is in anyone’s mind.
Assuming people think the worst about you is a strategy to keep yourself safe. If they think you are terrible, you must be terrible. As a result, you don’t have to risk trying new behaviours that challenge you outside of your comfort zone.
Keeping ourselves in a comfort zone is what our brains want. Your brain doesn’t care if the zone doesn’t feel good; it just wants you to stay alive.
Let your mind know that some things might feel uncomfortable, but they won’t kill me.
Then flip the script. If you don’t know what others are thinking, assume the best. Just assume people think you are great.
Or at least assume they are not thinking anything at all because, frankly, they probably spend all their time worrying about what others think about them!
6. Don’t apologize so much.
Watch how often you apologize, then ACT on it by reducing the frequency (even when it’s uncomfortable).
7. Be Brave with your ideas but also be chill.
Offer your unique & valuable thoughts & ideas instead of what you think others want to hear.
People often value your thoughts more than you think they do. Just assume that and share them; however, share for your satisfaction, not theirs. Participate to create your self-confidence, not to impress anyone.
Be ready for the feedback. Some people won’t agree. If your goal is not to get a bunch of yes-men/women, it will make moments that others disagree less stressful.
When we are CHILL about our opinions, we aren’t rocked when people disagree.
Confidence allows for constructive disagreement. Believe in what you think, but let others believe in what they think too.
Benefits of creating our own belonging:
6. There isn’t a question in our minds about “What they think about me.”
When we value our thoughts more than the thoughts of others, we STOP apologizing & explaining so often.
We STOP trying to guess what others want to hear.
Life gets easier.
Here are 7 WAYS TO Create True Belonging; I recently posted on Instagram
More articles from Tess:
The Habits of Indecision That Are Killing Your Self-Trust.
How To Stop Stressing About The Future.
How To Keep Going When You Want To Quit.
Why I Write a Blog. Full Community, Fears & Gratitude.
10 Confidence Boosters That Reform Your Thinking.
Healthy Thoughts & Mindset Strategies Blog
How to Process Your Negative Feelings
What is Emotional Enmeshment?
7 Ways To Start Feeling Better About Yourself.