What does it mean to fit in?
A dance between
being authentic and
feeling like
you belong.

Fitting in and Authenticity

Joining another group, by choice or circumstance, is an intense adaptation process that deserves consideration and attention. You start by entering the world when you are born; then you meet your extended family, you start playing and learning with other children. Then you go on to school, hobby and activity groups; you get a job, new interest. Then, you might fall in love and move in with another person. Perhaps in another country or culture, maybe joining a new family. Your significant other might speak another language, have different political or religious beliefs.  In each of these steps, you become a guest or a full-time member of another group. And this experience changes you at many different levels, sometimes in a more direct and obvious manner, sometimes in subtle, unconscious ways. It’s the so-called acculturation, a phenomenon studied by Psychology, Sociology or Anthropology depending on the perspective and groups being considered (humans, couples, religions, societies)  

Norms of the group. Are you in?

This process relies on you fitting in the group you are joining, becoming a part of it, similar to the others in the characteristics that define them. It might be that you adapt the way you dress or the way you speak. It might be that you actively need to change your behaviours or the way you look at things. This process can be quite a challenge. There are situations where the changes are mandatory and explicit. For example, if you join the army. In this case, you will be told what to wear, your daily routine, how to deal with peers and authority. Failing to do so, will be a clear breach of the norms and the consequences will be very clear from the beginning.  However, in other situations, the adaptation is much more subtle.


You start a new job, that seems to be very aligned with your values and ways of looking at the world. But after a while, you notice that you are always a bit under-dressed, your sense of humour is not always well perceived, that those 5 minutes delay in all meetings used to come across as charming but now are just plain annoying. And you realise that your great ideas are not that great until you get to a specific role or position in the company. The rules seem to change, but in reality, a lot of it is about you are just becoming more aware of them. And suddenly you find yourself saying, doing and thinking differently.

Ready for change?

Find out how to fit in or moving on so you live the life you want to live, in an authentic way.

How to make the best out of it

Coaching gives you the opportunity to explore this with someone unbiased, who is there to partner with you to explore different options and find out what works best for you.  In no way there is a need to give up the life you want and to enjoy it to the fullest. 


Not ready for a coaching session?

The impact on our lives

This acculturation might be a part of a learning process, of your personal growth. It can make you feel stronger and more vibrant, enjoying your life even more. In fact, it can be where dreams come true. 

If the culture or group represents something that moves your further from the life you want to live, however, things become hard and can raise feelings of inadequacy, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment and even shame or anger.

If this is the case, maybe you need a new perspective, new tools to deal with this culture. Or, perhaps, you need to reconsider being part of this group. It will depend on your goals and what you want.

Maybe you need a new perspective, new tools to deal with this culture.
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Inês Paler
Your partner in getting the life you want to live. Certified Coach.
I used to be a corporate woman, with a fast growing career in a fast-growing company. But something was missing. I was doing well and happy with my job, but I wasn’t living the life I wanted. And so I became an entrepreneur mom fulfilling my passion: making others (that is, you!) happier and live the life they want as well. I love it. It was a radical change, and I’m just so glad I took this path. To support my craft as a coach, I have a spicy mixture of business, coaching and psychology background. All of this helps me to thrive at enabling others to get more out of their lives. Learn more about me.