(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Most people want to belong and have spent a large part of their life feeling that they don t. From your teenage years, you may recall, rather intensely, occasions when you felt you didn t belong.

“Trying to” starts with an implicit declaration of “I am not.” It frequently includes “I can t.”? With this internal programming, trying to be part of something is hard. Yet for many people “trying to” is the only model they know. Sometimes you are successful, many times not. Either way, it takes a lot of energy and struggle.

When you have a sense of “belonging to” your feelings are completely different. It s a comfortable feeling, where you own your space. However, most people seem to have the internal dialog “I don t belong.”

To shift into “I belong” can start with the simple declaration that you do belong. Picture the classic movie bit where the spy grabs a clipboard and a lab coat and walks around the facility with the comfortable air that he or she owns the place.

If you find yourself worrying about what others think of you, it s a pretty good indicator you are in “trying to.” When you are in “belong” you tend to not be concerned about the opinions of others.


Copyright 2004 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.