“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”

Brené Brown

But sometimes it’s possible to confuse fitting in for belonging, a crucial mistake. “The opposite of belong, from the research, is fitting in. Fitting in is assessing and acclimating: ‘Here’s what I should say, or be, here’s what I shouldn’t say and avoid talking about,’” Brown says. “That’s fitting in. Belonging is belonging to yourself first. Speaking your truth. Telling your story. And never betraying yourself for other people. True belonging doesn’t require you to change you who are, it requires you to be who you are.”