35 Life Lessons I Learned When I Stopped Trying To Fit In

featured, Personal Notes

Right now, I’m teetering on the edge of entering the “almost 40” stage of my 30’s. I’m about to turn 35. Apparently 35 is the year that is the start of middle age, according to some the best year of your life. But I’m still happily childless and feeling like I’m 25… until I hangout with 25 year olds. Then I’m like nope nevermind I’m 35.  

When you stop trying to fit in, the glorious world opens up to you even more than you could have ever imagined. This is the secret that I have discovered to living my best life up to now and centers around a major change that we all go through in the shared human experience.

So let’s get to the secrets of what happens when you unlock the door to truly not giving a damn.

35 Life Lessons I Learned When I Stopped Trying To Fit In…

Now that one of the worst years in collective memory has ended and the world has begun to open up, I think we’ve all organically learned a thing or two about not needing to impress our friends, families, and co-workers to fit in. 

With COVID-19 lockdowns lifted, I’ve already ripped off the band-aid to go back out into public, and I’m ready to celebrate my birthday… by heading back into the woods to find solitude once more. And I’m more than fine with that decision to be alone, away from the crowds.

As the world, work, and our families are begging us to come back together, let’s all remember what we learned in quarantine when we stopped trying to fit in and lived our best yoga pants life. 

But first I want you to know that:

You should never apologize for who you are.

When I was a teen I was mercilessly teased for my big hair that apparently no one could see around in the classroom. My nose was too huge and I laughed too loud and had an ugly smile (according to the kids who all had to get braces, and I never did). I wasn’t what was considered “normal” in our little school in the middle of farmland. 

I was never good enough and never felt like I had a place in the world. I began apologizing for my hair, smile, and artsy weirdness. I felt so lost and alone until my last year in high school, when I realized that fitting in didn’t matter, and that I liked different people and different things, sometimes even from different eras. 

I was about to leave our tiny little town and these 22 kids that I had grown up with and were about to graduate highschool with. I started my senior year in highschool by being unapologetically myself, and I felt “normal.” Not “popular normal,” but “felt normal in my own skin, normal.” 

I felt like I could breathe and that I wasn’t living a lie anymore. I wasn’t ashamed of my big curly hair, big smile, loud voice, and cute family nose. I dressed like the hippie I was and didn’t muzzle my inner weirdo anymore. 

Once I embraced my inner self that year, the world opened up to me. I was no longer trying to impress anyone and I could look further into what interested me. I learned so much about myself and the world at this time of my life because I had the time to! My time wasn’t being eaten up trying to impress others or keep up with them anymore.

The freeing feeling that I experienced at the end of high school by stopping trying to fit in carried me through college where I truly, and I mean truly, came into my own. I would say that I reached peak “me” at that time, but looking back I’ve gone even further in life. My life so far has been messy and extremely hard at times. But it’s been a happy one because I’ve been myself, not something else, someone else wanted me to be.

Sure there have been times since then, when I needed to adjust myself to “fit into a situation” or “societal norms,” but I was still unapologetically myself in personality. And In my clothes there was always a flair of something that was “uniquely Jenny.”

What happens when you stop trying to fit in?

My life has gotten better since I learned how to stop trying to fit in. People like me more, I like me more, and I even hear from people that used to tease me that they secretly always wished they could be more like me, an artist, a singer, a writer, and confident in my style. 

All along while they were teasing me and trying to knock me down, they too secretly wished to be more like me. They also wished that they could stop trying to fit in. 

So, if you’re a weirdo like me, stop trying to fit in and be yourself. You’ll find that by walking your own path, that you’ll be secretly leading thousands.

When you discover that you truly have zero fucks to give, something miraculous happens. These 35 changes in your mind, body, soul, career, and how you view the world that you will go through are just the beginning.

Mind

  1. Self Esteem Skyrockets And Your Mental & Physical Health Gets A Boost.
  2. You Learn How To Put Yourself First.
  3. Creativity Explodes.
  4. Your Maximum Potential Is Within Reach!
  5. Alongside Finding True Happiness, Peace Is Found, & Stress Lessens.

Body

  1. You Find Your Unique Style Of Talking, Walking, & Presenting Yourself To The World.
  2. Getting Dressed In The Morning Becomes Extremely Easy Since You Don’t Have To Keep Up With Anyone. 
  3. Your Skin Clears Up Because You Are Less Stressed.
  4. You Wear Makeup On Your Own Terms And Only What You Like.
  5. Your Skin Clears Up Because You Stopped Wearing Makeup That You Didn’t Want To Wear In The First Place.
  6. You Fall In Love With Your Hair, All Of Your Hair.
  7. You Smile Wider & Laugh Bigger.
  8. You Stop Obsessing & Stressing A Little Bit More Each Day.
  9. You Find True Belonging In Your Own Skin No Matter Your Size.

Soul

  1. You Fall In Love With Your Inner Self.
  2. You Constantly Reach For Understanding What Makes You Who You Are Through Deep Reflective Shadow Work Journaling.
  3. You Embrace Your True Self No Matter How Scary It Is To Try.
  4. Then You Find True Happiness Through Knowing Your Inner Child & What They Need.
  5. You Learn How To Reparent Yourself & What Works Best For You.
  6. You Finally Live Your Truth.

Career

  1. You Take Ownership And Full Control Of Your Life.
  2. You Turn Your Passion Into A Career & Build Your Own Dreams.
  3. Work-life Balance Becomes A Cycle That Ebbs & Flows, Not An Achievement.
  4. You Answer To No One, Only Yourself.
  5. You Have No One To Impress Except Your True Self.
  6. You Get What You Really Want.

How You View The Outside World

  1. No More Keeping Up With The Joneses.
  2. The World Becomes An Easier Place To Live In.
  3. You Find Your Tribe And Ditch The “Cool People” Who You Didn’t Care For Anyway.
  4. Your Bank Account Breathes A Sigh Of Relief Because You Aren’t Spending On Things You Don’t Want, Just Because You Wanted To Fit In Or Impress Someone.
  5. Your Life Experiences Go Up Because You Aren’t Afraid To Do More.

In The End…

  1. The Only Person That Matters Is You.
  2. You Find That You Truly Belong Right Where You Are In Your Skin, In This Moment, & In This Place.
  3. You Lose The Need To Find “Home” Because You Realize Home Was With You All Along, You Are Your Own Home.
  4. You Learn That You Should Never Apologize For Who You Are.

What are some life lessons you learned after you stopped trying to fit in?

When we stop trying to fit in with everyone else we discover that we are alone in our personal brand of uniqueness. And that is a good thing! Standing alone on our own two feet is amazing and something that we can only achieve by letting go of the need to fit in.

We come into this world alone, and leave it alone, but that shouldn’t be seen as sad or depressing. Being alone and fully being ourselves gives us the chance to find who we truly are in the messy middle of life while we’re living life itself to the fullest. Once we truly stop trying to fit in, we find ourselves. Our beautiful, messy, unfiltered, wild, and sometimes quiet and contemplative selves. 

Let go of who you think others want you to be and embrace your inner most true self with authenticity and compassion. By connecting inward to yourself, you are not only fostering the most important connection in the world to yourself, but you are also opening yourself up to connecting back outward to others from a truly authentic place, with a heart and mind that is unabashedly your own.

How would stopping trying to fit in impact your life?

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