Copyright 2006 Stan Lewis
As a Life Coach and Leadership coach, I see people struggle. The struggles that many of us will have in life are being popular and being respected, as many seek to be part of the In Crowd. It is how we handle that struggle that will determine what type of person we will become and how truly successful we will be in learning who we are, what our talents are, and developing those talents to be become the best we can be.
Let us speak of the struggles first. When we struggle, we tend to move only with great effort or exertion. We tussle and labor with the issue or issues before us. Sometimes we resist what we are struggling with to no avail. And often times it is what we are struggling with that ends up thrashes us about. As I said before, many times the struggles are being popular and being respected. Respect and popularity in both our business and social settings we exist in can control us and become an entity which will beat us up mentally and emotionally. Struggling alone is foolish. Help is out there, you just have to do your homework on the type of mentor or seasoned accountability partners you wish to hold you accountable for your actions. Therefore seek out responsible mentorship or life/leadership coaching to guide you in being the best you that you can be for yourself.
Just what is the In Crowd? Well it is an exclusive group of people that have similar interest or likes. They can be thought of as occupants in a glass house looking out on others. Now being exclusive is not a bad thing, but there is more to the definition. The In Crowd is not just a group or club with particular membership requirements which most people could meet, but one that is based on elitism. Those in any type of In Crowd, generally feel a sense of superiority to others.
Then there are those who feel that they are different or maybe even misfits and it is these differences in which they form their clique or group around. Again, gathering based on common interest is not necessarily bad. However, there are those cliques/groups which revolve around having a sultry or unusually reputation. It can be said, that sometimes the seedier the reputation, the better they like it. Never-the-less, it is here that they are accepted and feel that they fit in.
The need for acceptance is engrained in many of us and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted. We are very social beings for the most part. It is who or what we want to be accepted by that is the important factor. If we seek to be part of something positive, whether socially or in our business settings, our mind set will generally move towards positive attributes. There is no magic to this. If one seeks negativity, they will most certainly find it in abundance. Think about it, anything positive they encounter will be far and between, because their mind is set up to embrace only that which is destructive or damaging. Likewise, an upbeat person moving towards that which is positive will be seeking only to embrace that which is constructive or uplifting.
Being popular could be thought of as being wanted or belonging. Most everyone in the world wants to be wanted or feel a sense of belonging. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. Everyone should have a place where they belong and feel wanted. Belonging or feeling wanted is not the issue, it is what you are trying to belong to that is the issue. We need not jump on the band wagon of the first person, group or entity that comes our way and tells us that we are wanted. It is important to determine if that entity is a positive one, before you wish to be wanted by them.
Now many of you will readily apply this to pre-teens and teens, but many adults have the same issues. Unlike some adults, some pre-teens and teens will actually learn from bad experiences, discover who they are and not repeat the same mistakes again. However in the case of a lot of adults, many keep jumping on the wrong bandwagons over and over again. Adults, pre-teens and teens alike need to find out who they are first. What I mean is that these individuals are better served by finding out what their special gifts and talents are before seeking popularity or belonging to any group. When we are self-confident, we often seek out people, groups or entities that fall inline with our gifts. And many times, these same people, groups or entities will seek us out because of our talents.
When we know what makes us special, it gives us self-confidence. With that increase in self-confidence will come self-respect. Hardly anyone at all will respect someone who does not respect themselves. I have seen many people over the years do things that are disrespectfully to who and what they want to be, in exchange for being popular or belonging. All the time, those they sought to impress or win over generally see them as a joke a fool. When you are asked to place your dignity on the line, ask yourself if you can do that and still respect yourself. If what is asked is disrespectful to you, dont do it.
When all is said and done, it is not worth it to get into that glass house if a majority of the reasons for doing so are negative, bring about disrespect for you, or puts others down to elevate that entity. Whether it is an elite club for the well to do, social cliques, or even a gang nothing is worth you squandering what you can be, by never finding out who you are. Nothing is worth you abandoning what makes you special and developing your talents to their utmost for you. Nothing is worth the admission price of being a joke or a fool. People, groups, or entities who would ask such destructive things of you may tell you that you are accepted and that you are popular. But when times grow difficult, you will find yourself back outside their glass house looking in. Sadly, most of those who end up back on the outside or who never make it in, will never find out who they truly are or their true talents.