There isn’t a day that goes by without headlines, posts, or conversations centering on the human state. This is a common concern that answers, “How are we doing?”
Today’s most common descriptors include disconnected, disenfranchised*, disengaged, misunderstood, struggling, and quiet quitting*. We talk about it or hear about it every day.
Take for example a normal greeting to family, friends or colleagues. You know how it goes.
“How are you?”
So, what does “fine” mean? I took a look at the most common acronyms for this word and feel, most often, it’s one of two:
- Feelings Inside Not Expressed
- Feeling I’m Nothing to Everyone
This translates to either:
(1) ‘I don’t have time for you right now’ – there are more pressing matters that are pulling, or pushing me, bigger things to do, and if I stop now, it may delay my progress. Or I don’t know what to say., I’m just not comfortable trying to have a conversation. Either way, it translates to there being no time or effort for meaningful conversations.
(2) ‘I’m not worth my time’. – of much greater concern since this is the one person that you do control. This contemplates the leading descriptors we see*.
Often, we find ourselves on the fringe feeling:
- out of place
- lacking direction
- unsure of the next step to take
- we’re at a crossroads
- confused about where we are or how we got there
- like we don’t fit in
I hate to say it, but this isn’t unique. When I ask a group of individuals if they agree with any of these feelings within the past 10 days, usually 80-90% say “yes”. Many times, it’s 100%.
Everyone is unsure at times, no matter how successful or “put together” they look on the outside. Changes or disruption in our “normal” routine can cause this. The environment, an event, a relationship, or responsibility can be the catalyst. Sometimes we sense that there is some missing element we can’t put our finger on. The answer lies within.
Your spark is unique to you. It’s your spark, your “why”, and no one else’s. Unfortunately, many look to find a place to belong and then try to figure out how to fit into it. Belonging to someone else’s group or ideal does not ignite your spark.
The question is what is your spark and how do you find it? Living is not confined to breathing in and out, although that’s a need to exist. Real living involves an active focus on what ignites passion in our hearts. This is the root of all engagement. It’s where we understand why we’re here and what we care about.
As I work and talk with clients, many continue to try to find where they “fit in”, where they belong. This may be where the spark starts to fizzle. Likewise, they have a hard time articulating what sparks them. A good start is trying to envision what real living looks like. Finish the sentence, “I really feel alive when…” can also be a good start.
So, instead of seeking to belong, look to identify what sparks you, invest in it, and act in areas that fan that spark into a burning fire. Believing in who you are creates the foundation. From here, you can discern the places and people that align with you and link with them.
Belonging does not lead to believing you are enough.
Believing you are enough leads to belonging.