46. What Belonging Means

Well, hello! I know that it’s been a while since I’ve put out a podcast, but I’ve got to tell you I have been really, really busy working on a program that I know is going to change lives! and I am so excited for this program so the next few episodes that I’m releasing, I am being interviewed on why it is so important to fall in love with ourselves.  and I know that sounds funny but remember if we can love ourselves if we can truly accept ourselves for who we are. that gives us all the power to show up how we want in the world to be our authentic selves and ultimately change our world around us. stay tuned until the end of this podcast to find out how you can join a free webinar that I’m going to be offering on July 1st to help you begin a journey to embrace your authentic self.  Alright! here we go!

Jana: welcome to the show, Amber!

Amber: Hi, so good to be here! thank you!

Jana: I’m so excited to have you. Our first episode with amber is going to be on what does belonging mean?  and it’s a super important question and I’m so excited to have you doing this series with us!

Amber: I am so excited to be here! thank you!

Jana: So, if it’s OK with you I’m going to hop right into the very first question I have for you about what does belonging mean?

Amber: yeah absolutely!

Jana: Perfect! so let’s talk about it when you talk about belonging to ourselves, before you belong to the world.  What are you actually talking about what does that mean?

Amber:  So, what do we do when we try to belong to others first?  and when I say, others that’s what I mean by we try to belong to the world. So, we watch how we eat, we watch how we dress, we watch how we act.  we look at all these things and we do it because we’re trying to fit in. and we look at how other people are reacting towards us and then we allow that to mold who we are as a person and we continue to just change a little bit at a time of who we are to try to fit into their mold that they deemed acceptable and to be a part of the group. So, the problem that we face when that happens is after time, we totally forget who we are and we end up belonging to someone else or something else, and that’s what I deem as the world, before we actually belong to ourselves? and know who that is. So, can we find safety with ourselves first? can we build a longing with ourselves first?

Jana: I love that. You know we all feel like we don’t fit in at one point or another. Why is this so crucial for us to want to belong?

Amber: well evolution has hardwired us to actually care what other people think. in fact, statistics show that one in 10 people aren’t going to like you and this is just really old thinking from back in tribal days we actually needed it for safety.  and so that is where our fear of rejection was born.  if we were rejected, if we were thrown out of the tribe, we were putting ourselves in danger. We were literally taking ourselves out of the safety zone. and so, what are some signs of a fear of rejection or not fitting in? that could maybe be, being a people pleaser.  maybe that is taking on too many things because we’re too afraid to say no. maybe that’s just overworking. all of these things!  oh, and a huge one that I totally fell into was being a perfectionist. We didn’t want to be rejected by our work and so we just kept working on it and working on it and we never be finished because it had to be perfect, right? and it makes sense and I think a lot of people actually do this unconsciously sometimes.

and so it it’s funny! I was actually thinking about what stores do. like all of the stores with their savings and their reward programs; we call them “memberships”. and for all of those who are not watching this I’m using air quotes over memberships. We have a membership to the gym, we have a membership to all of our local stores, and you actually get extra bonuses when you have a membership.  and there are some places that you can’t even shop unless you have a membership, like Costco! and I love Costco! I’m not saying anything about that or like Amazon prime. and you get to partake in all of their deals, but not without some kind of membership. and even the type of membership you get, will determine the type of rewards that you get from that.  and so my point is, that we all have this drive to belong to be a member of something. of some kind of Group. A gang, an organization, and that drives a lot of our behaviors.

Now the problem comes when we first try to belong to the world before we have buy-in to ourselves; before we sign up for the membership with ourselves. We get lost about who we are because we end up chasing this desire to just belong instead of knowing who we are and allowing that belonging to just happen organically because we are attracting the people that we align with and our values.  what does it look like to buy a membership to yourself? what bonuses can you offer yourself to truly believe that you belong to you? what kind of incentives do you give yourself?  A lot of people don’t even stop to consider that.

So instead of reaching outside of ourselves to get that feeling of belonging, to feel that safety, to be in that safety zone, we need to seek refuge within ourselves first.

Jana:  wow amber! I never connected all of that together. it is right there in our faces!

Amber: yeah absolutely! I mean the fear of belonging is so real. I think one of the biggest problems also is that we bully ourselves into trying to change who we think we are, hoping that then we will belong. and the problem is that we’re not belonging to ourselves. we’re bullying ourselves out of belonging to we truly are.

Jana:  I love that! My mom always told me don’t follow the change, be the change. and she’s so right being our unique self, causes beautiful change in the world and in ourselves. I want to talk about what are some of the pitfalls when we do try to belong to the world first.

Amber:  yes, I love this one! We usually fall into a trap of self-judgment in some way or another. and the danger of trying to belong to others first is we change who we are. and sometimes the changes are desirable, but as we continue to change, we begin to lose our entity and we lose who we really are and a lot of it is actually done even just in the name of wanting to be good. wanting to be a good person. so, like I want to be a good friend. I want to be a good mom. I want to be a good student or a good wife. So, our purpose really starts out as just wanting to show up as a good person, and that I think, I truly believe, it’s because we are all inherently good people but then it gets twisted in our brains because our brains are hardwired to just want to belong. so, we go out there and we get stuck pretending thinking that we’re doing this all in the name of just being good and goodness and what happens is, how we view our life how we view our bodies, and our relationships, and our careers, it all gets changed because of that.

So, we begin to engage in behaviors that can cause eating disorders. it can look like racking up massive amount of debts because we’re engaging in shop therapy or other addictive behaviors, right? we turn to people pleasing. We aren’t able to say no, and we end up overworking ourselves. All of these can be behaviors that really cause us to reject ourselves and it causes us to talk to ourselves in really poor ways, and subject ourselves to things that we wouldn’t normally do. I think another issue is that we keep going back to unhealthy relationships and we allow people to treat us poorly. and a lot of that is because we have completely lost who we are as a person, and we just almost convince ourselves that this is normal. At least I know what to expect with this person. versus saying, no this is who I want to be, this is how I want to show up. and now I’m going to align that to someone who will match that. The pitfall is that we are chasing a feeling of acceptance. We just want to be accepted and so we do all these things just because we think it’s going to make us feel a certain way. and so that is like the number one pitfall. We just keep changing ourselves and changing ourselves and trying to fit in, instead of finding ourselves, who we are, and then our people will naturally gravitate towards us.

Jana: I love this so much! I want to ask you a funny question that we really didn’t talk about before, but you have talked about a lot of things that we do to fit in: overeating or undereating, our shop therapy or like there’s so many of them. People drink too much because they feel like if they’re at a social place they have to drink to fit in and to relax and to be part of the group, when it’s OK to say no, if that’s what you want to do.  What is like the craziest thing you think you’ve ever done in your lifetime?

Amber: Oh my gosh, so crazy! there’s a really good question because I have done so much to fit in, you know! I mean I have gone so far out of my way to change the way how I look. and not necessarily like through plastic surgery or anything like that, but just how I meant like, what I eat or don’t eat. and what I wear. I truly convinced myself that people will only like me if I wear this. or if I show up in this way. I think that was the most damaging thought for myself was me thinking that, they only like me if…

and I based all those judgments on what I saw was popular in the world at the time, what was trending. and I think the more, well I know that the more I’m alive, the longer I’m alive, the more I see how trends change. and so why do I want to continue following the trends because that means I just have to continually change in order to fit that trend. and so, I guess in a way that is the most crazy thing because I’ve just spent, I have in the past, I’ve spent a lot of extra money doing the shopping therapy. You know that’s a big one. If this makeup doesn’t work, I’m going to try this makeup, following the things that are trending. and going, oh well this person looks happy and so if I buy that, I know I just bought this, but that!  that is my answer! so continually just convincing myself that happiness is somewhere outside of me.

! a:  I love that answer because, by the way, we’re all guilty of it. I think as you get older though, as I’m in my 60s now you get to the point where like I don’t care. I just don’t care what they think.  Have you ever noticed older people say whatever’s on their mind? or they do whatever.  they’re like, I don’t care what they think. I think we’ve gotten to a place where we recognize it as trends, and you can’t make everyone happy. and that’s just showing up as ourselves. like it or don’t like it, that’s OK, it’s OK you know. whatever you choose to do.

I want to talk a little bit about; I know you have an incredible offer for everybody listening and I want to just give you a couple of minutes to tell people about that.

Amber: Yes!  Absolutely! Thank you so much for asking that.  OK, so I have a free webinar that I’m going to be doing and it will teach you how to create deeper belonging, how to embrace your own authenticity and how to cultivate self-compassion. and I have more free offers within that webinar. so that’s so many wonderful free things that you can get. but yeah, if you want to come, you want to meet me, I’m going to do a little bit of teaching so you will be able to learn my teaching style and then I will have a Q&A session. and so you’ll be able to ask questions that have just been burning or any questions that you have from this podcast.

Jana: so this has been so incredible! This is such a good episode. we’re breaking it up into four parts so I want to encourage you guys to go to Part 2 which is going to be all about body acceptance. This is a secret to falling in love with Amber Winn. and go to Part 2 and listen to body acceptance. and we are going to put the link to that webinar in here so that you can register for that and get to know amber and a little bit about what she does. it’s a free gift. your free gift to yourself to start stepping out and finding real love within yourself. I should really put that in there because once we learn to love ourselves, we can open the doors to loving others in a real way. Thank you so much, Amber.

Amber: Thank you!

If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours.  If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you!  go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.

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