Do you belong? Is your sense of belonging always authentic? How do you pump yourself up for it?
Whether it is in the work place, at home with your family or among your friends, do you feel you belong?
A team works because each person on the team feels they belong where they are. They are content in what they are doing and feel they are contributing or have something of value to contribute.
If you do not feel this sense of belonging why?
If I am not feeling that I belong somewhere I ask myself why? Am I participating enough? Am I giving it my full attention? Can I change how I am feeling by changing what I am doing to create the boundaries I have set? Not belonging is generally our own personal emotional wall that we erect to prevent ourselves from being hurt, feeling incompetant and a variety of other emotional responses.
If the reason we are creating this wall at work is because we do not agree with how things are being addressed have we spoken up about it? If so did we get a positive response? If not do we really want to continue working there? Sometimes by changing our own outlook on our environment we can enhance our experience. If you have not done everything YOU can do than it is your responsibility to correct that.
If your sense of belonging has lacked within a family or friendship unit perhaps it is time to address any issues that may be creating the barrier. There is never a good time to bring something up that may cause some uneasiness but not bringing it up will only develop a thicker barrier which may never be crossed if too much time has passed. Deal with it now. Regardless of whether you remain friends, or family on speaking terms, at least you can have the satisfaction of clearing the air about why there was a barrier in the first place. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding or personality differences. It may even just be something easily repaired that has festered. More often than not the rumor mill is the cause of animosity and if questions are not asked they cannot be answered. Take the first step to repairing that relationship. You may not like what you hear but at least you will know why your sense of belonging has waivered and you can move towards repairing the relationship.
The feeling to belong is less about gaining recognition from others as much as it is about having an inner confidence in ourselves. To feel we belong within any group is to have a sense that we are contributing to that relationship in a positive way.
I would like to hear others experiences in this area.