You are not for everyone.
I repeat: you are not for everyone. Some people will not understand you. Some people will completely reject you.
And that is OKAY. In fact, it's more than okay: it's normal.
As adults, we learn to embrace this idea socially. Not everyone will want to be friends with you and visa versa. Not everyone you date will be the one. Find your people, the ones who truly love and get you, and hold them close. We've all heard things similar to this, or read them on those kitchen signs middle-aged women get at Home Goods.
But what about professionally?
Professionally, we are still of the mindset that everyone must like us. Everyone must see our value. We must be 100% in congruence at all times. Our lives depend on this, because our jobs are our livelihood.
I am a fiery person. I can be very intense. I have always known this about myself. I am not a 'yes' person. I have strong opinions. I can be harsh in the face of what I believe is right.
This, like all traits, has its positives and negatives. Its shadow side and light side. It is not good, or bad. It just is.
And like all traits, it's not for everyone.
When I've realized that this part of myself is incongruent with my bosses in the past, it has been a huge pain point for me. The source of much inner struggle: questioning why I am the way I am, why I can't just keep my fire to myself and do what other people want me to do. I've made myself much smaller, meeker, quieter to try to fit in, because I believed that I had to.
But the thing about trying really hard to fit in and diminishing these essential parts of ourselves? It doesn't work. It can for a time, but we begin to grow resentful. I would find myself in a destructive pattern of self-doubt and smallness. And in doing so, I became incredibly unhappy.
We aren't for everyone.
But we have to be for ourselves.
We have to accept these essential parts of who we are. Love them. Embrace them. Give these characteristics room to show up and be the super powers that they are. Learn to use them in their most impactful way, rather than shaming them.
When we accept ourselves, others will accept us too. These parts of ourselves that we feel so conflicted over suddenly become our most celebrated traits.
And if that doesn't happen, it's important to know when to walk away. Because for every one person who doesn't appreciate something about you, there is someone else who will.
You are not for everyone. But you are for the right ones.