Fitting In At All Costs… What is it really about?

Mind-Opening 2

Last night DeAnne Pearson taught us about how to find our core values.  It was a great teleclass, and even though I’ve been doing personal development work for more years than I care to reveal, I had a couple of new breakthroughs about myself.

Note:  If you’re interested in hearing the program, you can still sign up at until February 3, and I’ll be happy to send you information on how to access the recording.

What I found especially compelling was DeAnne’s personal story about her quest to find her own authentic self.  I believe that many of us have bumped into the same sort of “you must conform” scenario while growing up.

In first grade, she had a teacher who would change her life’s course significantly, but possibly not in a way that you think.

“Did I mention, I love to talk?…” DeAnne asked as she began telling us her story. “I remember spending a lot of time at the teacher’s desk, with some stern words and meetings between my mom and the teacher. So, I stopped talking. I didn’t answer the teacher’s questions, I didn’t even answer for attendance and was counted absent for days at a time in first grade.”

Her name is all one word, DEANNE.  Prior to first grade she had learned to write her name with a capital A in the middle.  But this was a big issue with her teacher who wanted her to change the spelling or have her parents separate it into two words. “No one does that,” the teacher said.  What DeAnne saw as unique was considered wrong by the teacher.

Another challenge DeAnne faced that year was having trouble with recognizing the alphabet and with reading.  Turns out she had dyslexia.

When another student asked why she never smiled. DeAnne recalled the teacher’s response, “I have no idea, I just don’t think she is going to make it.”

So, DeAnne got the message:  It was not okay to do the things she loved, like talking; her uniqueness was not going to be honored; and she was “just not going to make it.”

And that’s when she began to do what she could to fit in at school.

“By second grade I was getting citizenship awards, excelling in all subjects, graduating in the top 5 of my class with academic scholarships and awards all the way through graduate school where I studied education, and later counseling, all the time fitting into a very traditional and acceptable path of teacher, then school and college counselor. The whole time my stomach hurt and I knew there was something missing.”

Through her work, DeAnne has come to realize she isn’t the only one with a story of “doing whatever it takes to fit in.”  She says that a lot of her clients have been job seekers and people unhappy in their careers who have this common desire to fit in at all cost.

One of DeAnne’s favorite questions to ask herself and her clients when moving through a life change, is “What it is really about?”

And her conclusion is that, in most cases, it’s about whether you are being authentic to your core values – whether you are being honest with yourself and fulfilling your unique destiny.

DeAnne’s bio contains a line that I think sums it up nicely:  “You are never more brilliant, more beautiful, or stronger, than when you are fulfilling your own unique destiny. It is the only way to live honestly and the only true gift you can give the world.”


Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they bring who they are to what they do in life. To learn more, please visit:


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