Updated: Sep 27, 2021
The first time I felt comfortable in my own skin was when I was in college.
I didn't have friends in elementary school and high school because I didn't feel like I had anything in common with anyone. I wasn't a joiner. I was very introverted and shy. I took ballet classes outside of the school I attended, and ballet wasn't "cool". Ballet was considered to be "weird". I didn't participate in sports because I was really bad at sports and had no interest in them. I wasn't book smart, and I didn't fit into the nerd category. I wasn't popular at all. I often found myself in the predicament of not having anyone to sit with at school lunch time - the time when you "need" to sit with someone so you don't look like you are a social pariah. As a youngster and teen, I hung out with my mom and people much older than me. I thought that people my age weren't cool. I didn't have any friends aside from my mom. Did I mention I am an only child? So, I wasn't very good at interacting with people my own age anyways. I had no siblings to practice on. I was an old soul. I was advanced for my age, and I didn't realize how powerful that was at the time.
The first 12 years of my education sucked. I wanted to fit in, and I could clearly see I didn't fit in. I was different, even though I had no idea why. I didn't figure it out until I went away to attend college. I got out of my Catholic school girl life and went to a large, public university three hours away from where I grew up. The campus population at the time was around 35k people. I remember the first day I got my lunch from the dorm and walked into the dining hall to eat. I knew no one. I had no one to sit with. I sat down at a table by myself and at my lunch quietly. I looked around and could see that no one cared that I was eating alone. No one cared about what I was doing, and whether or not I was sitting with someone. No one cared. I had to care. I had to care about myself because I learned that day that no one else did. I got over my fear of eating alone and not being cool and quickly and embraced being by myself. For the first time in my life, it was ok not to be cool!
I took my experience in the dining area that day and ran with it. I've applied my mantra of being comfortable in my own company to the rest of my life. Being comfortable in my own skin opened up new experiences for me. I found it so much easier to try new things. I often showed up to events alone. I had a new-found confidence in myself. Being comfortable with myself led to me being able to make some connections in college. I loved dancing from the years of ballet lessons I'd taken. I joined the ballroom dance club and competition team at my school. Ballet transferred well into ballroom dance. I met my first dance partner and my first friend at school. I made a lot of other friends within the ballroom club because I'd found my niche where I had things in common with other people. There were a lot of different people with different personalities and ages and backgrounds.
Finding my way in life in the two decades since I graduated from college hasn't been an easy road. It's not an easy road for anybody. The mental toughness I developed in grade school and high school have served me well in my adult life and so have the lessons I learned in college. Being comfortable in my own skin and owning my differences from others have helped me keep going when times are tough.
1. Knowing yourself makes it so much easier to navigate your life.
2. Finding your niche is key to finding your tribe and finding your friends.
3. When life isn't easy, learn from the grit and apply the lessons when times are good.
You will find your tribe if you can find your niche. Are you struggling with being comfortable in your skin and being comfortable in your own life? Having trouble finding your tribe? Knowing and understanding yourself and what makes YOU tick will help you go farther your own life. Knowing yourself will build self-confidence and help you know what you like and don't like. If you know and like yourself, it will make it easier to find your tribe. You will know what you like and don't like and you will have the courage to go out and try new things. Maybe you haven't found your thing yet. That's ok. It's never to late to start trying and learning about yourself. It's never too late to find your tribe. Sometimes your tribe comes and goes. Life ebbs and flows. People ebb and flow. If you know yourself, you will feel more comfortable and confident in yourself when life and tribes ebb and flow because you can be there for yourself. You know what makes you tick. You can get yourself through a situation. You know what you need.
And here's what else is so cool: sometimes we need guidance and help from other people.
Do you find yourself asking yourself: Who am I? Why can't I find my tribe? Why do I feel stuck? Why am I alone in my life? Maybe you need help. It's alright to ask for help. I'd love to help you. I'd love to meet you. Let's hop on a call and meet. I'd love to serve you. I offer a free 30 minute session to meet you and see how I can serve you. If you find what you're looking for in that 30 minute call, then I've served you and we don't need to go any further. If we need go deeper, then I offer coaching packages where I can continue working together. Take the first step, and ask for help. Click here to schedule a meeting with me.
Peace and love,
Sara Dalton Coaching