Are you a team player? Do you cooperate and collaborate? That's a shame.
You're playing "their game" and not yours.
When I was six I can remember going to school in the U.K. and English was not my first language. One day in the playground some kids pushed me over calling me "a bloody foreigner." Right then I knew I didn't "fit in" and, right then I began a life long battle of wanting to fit in, and not wanting to fit it.
We've all been there. Remember all that peer pressure in high school? If you didn't struggle with being part of the pack in your earlier years this is when it really hits you. Are you part of the clique? Do kids like you? Do you dress like the cool kids? Are you invited to parties?
What I've learned is How to Play Your Own Game without pushing everyone away.
It's a delicate balance of belonging and not belonging... of being part of a team yet apart... of doing things your own way but still being able to collaborate. It can be exhausting.
Do you have those nights where you wake up at 4 a.m. rethinking how you could have said or done things differently? I have two little voices... one which tells me what I should have done and the other one which tells me what I need to do to be true to myself. This second one has landed me in a lot of s_ _t over the years.
When I was starting my own business many years ago this little "should" voice said stay in corporate... think about the stock options and the title. When the business was tough that little voice kept nagging at me saying what an idiot I was. It would have been nice to have all those corporate perks, but it required putting in the years of toeing the line and following the rules. I've never been good at following rules.
Years ago when I was teaching Personal Branding I did some of the exercises for myself. I discovered that there seem to be a lot of words beginning with "i" describing me: Intimidating, Irritating, Intelligent, Irreverent, an Instigator... and the list goes on.
What words describe your personal brand? They can help you clarify your own game.
What are your "shoulds" vs your "wants/needs"? If your game is played by the "should"rules then you will never feel like it's a "win win" for you. Instead you will always feel unsettled and conflicted. You're playing by someone else's rules.
"I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?"
What is your End Game? For me it's about being myself and helping other people be the best they can be. If I have survived breaking pretty much every "game" rule you can too. It's fun when you get into the rhythm.
What if you took one small step towards playing your own game? What could you change right now?
Play to win. The prize is your life and how you want live it.