Freedom from the fear of not fitting in

Friday, 15 August 2014 - 5:50am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Don't try to blend it when you were born to stand out!

Anna Wintour, Vogue US editor had once said, "On the whole, people who say demeaning things about our world, I think it's because they feel in some way excluded, or not part of the "cool group."

At some point or other, we all have been a victim of this fear. This fear can be interpreted in multiple case scenarios. A fear of not fitting into a setting where everyone has an Ivy league stamp on their resume. A single's fear of being ambushed at a party where everyone's happily married or engaged. A fear of not jelling with a blue-blooded clique or title holders
. One can go on and on...
There are all kinds of insecure brackets - people with acne scars, divorcees, individuals with alternate sexual preferences.

Parents need to instill strength
"I sense this fear of not fitting in with parents more than youth. Parents fear that their child who embarks on an artistic career, whether in fine arts, cooking, fashion, acting, singing, writing, sports or music is damned to a future of uncertainty. They prefer careers that are financially safe jobs like management, medicine, finance, lawyers or teachers. These, according to parents are 'respectful' jobs. Which is sad because a child becomes a slave to the system of money being the beginning and end of a life," says designer Wendell Rodricks.

The celebrated designer who went through his route from Hotel Management to Fashion Designing urges people to find happiness in a job that is a passion. "When a job is a passion, it is liberating expressive and does not become a job. It becomes a full, well rounded life. In a democracy we need people with passion who are variously talented to make this world a better place," he adds.

Have high self-esteem
Designer Anita Dongre, "I feel this fear of not being accepted or being awkward among a certain group of people, stems from low self worth and how we personally perceive ourselves to be. How we perceive ourselves to be, is exactly how we project ourselves to the world. Acceptance of who we are, is key, to battle this anxiety or fear of 'not fitting in'."
She believes that we are all unique and different from each other and we need to celebrate our individuality and be confidant about who we are. "Personally, I don't think it's worth succumbing under such peer pressure, and in the bargain, lose out on your identity. Why try so hard to" fit in", when you have it in you to " stand out?"

Be assertive
Designer Shruti Sancheti has faced many such scenarios where the feeling of not being 'cool enough' dogged her. It even led her to withdraw into a cocoon but she decided to take charge and get rid of these delusions. She says, "I personally feel it is the social pressure, self conscious personality and insecurities that add to the fear of not fitting in, and all of us at some time have faced it due to our unassertive and passive mindset."
She feels that one has to realise that the reassurance from others is a dead end and has to come from within. "Be assertive and sure of yourself and definitely get rid of these apprehensions and not seek approval or succumb to any sort of mental, physical or emotional pressure to fit in," she adds.

Enhance your assets
Designer Nishka Lulla suggests that one needs to be true to oneself instead of succumbing to any sort of fear or pressure. "Radiate your own distinctive personality instead of trying to be someone else. You need to be confident as an individual and not try to impress others so that people look up to you. For instance, curly hair people always stand out in a crowd. Of course, the grass is always green on the other side but you have to be true to yourself," she says.

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