The real danger of not fitting in at work

Do you perceive danger for not fitting in with the herd?  We all have felt this at one time or another within our families right?  Heck, there’s even a name for those who don’t follow the family status quo – they’re called the “black sheep” of the family.  At work we might call the one who marches to the beat of a different drummer “the innovator”, “the independent contributor”, or the “creative-types”.


“If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.”  Henry David Thoreau


Focusing on …


aptitude vs. attitude, motivation vs. intention, and effort vs. energy as explained in my last post…


… aligns you with exhaustion, cynicism and feeling like everything is an uphill battle because accomplishment is perceived as possible when you ignore or quiet a full exploration and understanding of who you are and what you actually have to effortlessly offer (and be valued for in return).  Consider two different equations:


Aptitude (what you can do)

+ Motivation (what you can gain or need to perform)

= Effort (hard work)




Attitude (what you believe about yourself and others)

+ Intention (what you believe others can gain as a result of your contributions)

= Energy (what you effortlessly give to others and attract for yourself in return)


Which formula have you habitually followed at work?


Have you settled for understanding what you can do/should do/what you believe others expect of you?  Have you focused on what YOU can get or what you need to perform – whining like a baby whenever you don’t get what you need to work hard?  Have you worked so hard that you are now exhausted, cynical and feeling like no matter what you accomplish it’s never enough?


Why would you settle for that?  I’ll tell you why.  Because you have falsely perceived danger in not fitting in with the status quo.


When we have fear about fitting in – we don’t fit in.  Thinking about fitting in from a place of fear puts all our eggs in the “what’s happening out there is what determines my fate” in here (in this workplace), basket.  Thinking about fitting in from fear still makes us seen as different, but not a good different like Prince, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, or any other admired person of your choice.  Those folks were well-admired and revered whether you like their music or not because they came to perceive the opposite of fear of fitting in – they perceived positively standing out.  Having their uniqueness fully discovered and offered in service to others is what got them celebrated in return.


In the workplace, fear of fitting in manifests into us being experienced by others as a performance problem.  That only leads to termination (a quick one if you’re lucky), or endless disabilities and bottomless pits in our stomaches when we think about work.


But that’s nothing – we can heal from all of that (granted we will probably only repeat the same pattern at another employer – but that’s another blog post).


Here’s the real danger of not fitting in at work…


Giving into the fear of not fitting in and having a pity party over it disconnects us from understanding who we are and what we want for ourselves and others. That can be harder to heal from because the answers about who we are and what we want exist only within ourselves.  Once we lose the skill of going within it’s hard to bounce back if you don’t first admit you’ve been looking for self-love in all the wrong places (from a job you can love, a boss, admiring peers, happy customers, a big paycheck, fancy office, impressive title, etc.).


So how do you shift from believing in fear-based expressions of yourself to a love-based expression of yourself?  In other words, how do you stop the believing “what others do/ask/think determines my fate” to “what I do/ask/think determines my fate no matter what’s happening around me”?


Shift your focus from:

  • your ability/aptitude (what you can do) to your attitude (what you believe)
  • your motivation (what you can gain) to your intention (what others can gain)
  • your efforts (all that hard work you do) to your energy (what you give off to others)



Here’s what I mean…


Attitude – the expression of what you believe is possible or deserved.


It’s a belief of mind AND heart that gets expressed through your being – your voice, physique, posture, body language, facial expressions, demeanor, and the fashion-adorning way you present yourself.


Attitude’s opposite force – aptitude – only comes from beliefs held in your head.  Aptitude is concerned with your capacity to learn and conduct (doing what is expected) – which may not be the authentic expression of what you believe. Aptitude is control – in corporate-speak it’s called “game face”.  Aptitude considers itself a top performer when it gives others what it believes they want from it vs. good attitude which gives what it knows will make a difference.


Attitude comes from the heart. With that, we can see why a “bad attitude” is so offensive.  What’s it like for you to be in the presence of someone with a “bad attitude”?  It sucks right?!  Of course it does, because on a soul-level we know we are in the presence of someone who is in their heart (a good thing! because heart energy is fixed energy – energy that is not easily changeable), yet what they have in there (and are spewing off to others), is a negative or fear-based perspective.  That means they are bringing a dark past into the innocent present.  They are holding onto a strongly-held belief that something bad could happen or that they or others don’t deserve something good to happen (based on something bad that happened in the past).  Yikes!


That’s why a good attitude is so revered and contagious!  Because when someone is coming from a good attitude they are holding and projecting a stable, uneasily changed energy that believes in the possibility or deservedness of benefit for the self AND others no matter what happened in the past.  Who doesn’t want to be in the presence of that?!  That is coming from POWER!




Intention simply put – this is what you want and actively work to achieve for others.  Synonyms include aspiration, ideal, purpose.  These words suggest operating from your highest, best expression of yourself to create usefulness for yourself and benefit for others.  It’s what is given consistently for a higher belief of what’s possible and valuable for many –  not just for individual benefit or gain.


Motivation – the opposing force of intention – is what you actively work to gain or achieve for yourself.  Synonyms include content, motive, motif, theme.  These words suggest no change or perpetuating a re-occurring pattern – a reason for doing/giving.  Motivation settles for that dangling single carrot that you will never catch because 1 carrot alone will never satisfy anyone.  Motivation is something we seek outside of ourselves.  It’s all the markers of success we think we can gain if we just fit in and please the powers above us enough.


With intention, you only value what your contributions can mean for others (win or lose), and you don’t ever think about “your fate”.  Intention is clear about how what you want and can do can benefit others as well yourself.  Knowing how what you do can benefit others aligns you with vitality, positivity and power.  Your clarity on this reveals something that is unique and authentic about yourself that can bring value to others.  That gives you access to feeling validated, useful, essential – it is the enabler of your self-actualization.



Energy – this is the vibe you effortlessly give off to others that reveals your attitude and intention.   This vibe is detected by others and often read as your capacity.  If your energy seems bad or low – people tend to stay away or think you can’t handle much more than what you already have going on.


But energy has nothing to do with capacity to DO anything.  Consider the synonyms for energy – they include aura, chi, ki, vibe, vibration.  These words suggest no effort required – it’s just what is.  You cannot fake your energy by doing all the things you are supposed to do – you may think you can (there’s that head again!) – but you cannot.


No matter what you do – the truth is your energy is what it is – a mere reflection of your attitude and intention.  Energy is the voltage you are allocated given the frequency of your attitude and intentions for others.  Bad energy = poor attitude + weak/fuzzy/malicious intention.


Effort (a.k.a. strength/drive/stamina – exerting yourself to accomplish something), is energy’s opposing force.  It is the natural by-product of poor attitude and weak/fuzzy/malicious intention.  Synonyms include elbow grease, exertion, expenditure, labor, pains, sweat, trouble.  These words suggest a whole lotta “Whew!”  It’s hard work!  It’s about needing an external force (muscle, education, skill, credentials,  titles/formal authority, etc.), to achieve an end.  Effort asks:  “HOW will will get this done?”


People who believe in possibility, deservedness and the well-being of others as well as themselves are natural do-ers.  There’s no such thing as a person with good energy who doesn’t “do anything”. Would you ever view Ghandi as “doing nothing” when he was on a hunger strike for peace?  Were John and Yoko “doing nothing” when they didn’t leave their beds for 1 week in the name of peace?


Positive energy is power!  It’s contagious – people want to be in your presence.  The feel their spirits elevate when they get to interact with you.  Positive energy is a natural by-product of a good attitude + clear, positive intentions.





Are you following the hard work formula?


Being focused on bringing value or benefit to yourself from outside sources is what keeps you present to feeling like you are stuck or in survival-mode.  When others see us in this mode they admire nothing because they know this is a depletion of personal power that comes from fear-based living/working.  The hard work approach is aligned with shame, guilt, despair, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride – it’s unconscious living and working.  In this approach there may be a perceived expectation that we keep giving and giving and giving without receiving.  Recognizing and acting on a sense that we need to refuel (and deserve to be refueled), we think of ourselves as weak or selfish and fear we will be judged or rejected by others.


We falsely believe that recharging comes from resources outside of ourselves – what others give us. Yet because we are aligned with fear-based thinking, an adequate amount of external attention is never recognizable to us.  In response to the void, we blame the lack external resources as the reason why success and self-care is not possible.


Make the shift from the hard work formula to the high energy formula – do this…


get out of your head and get into your heart!


This approach is aligned with courage, trust, optimism, acceptance, meaning, love, joy, peace – it’s conscious living and working.


In this approach there is no expectation that anything be given that isn’t readily available from your energy tank – and it allows for recharging your energy tank!  Recharging is seen as a strength that is admired and emulated by others!


In your heart are the answers for what you believe is possible for yourself and others.  Connecting with possibility is like plugging into a socket – BAM! instant access to energy.





Need a little help getting out of your head and into your heart?



Join me for a Nature’s Guidance System coaching session.  In this up to 90 minute session we will identify your personal tools for overcoming 3 things that get in the way of living and working with high energy vs. hard effort.


Your tools can help you investigate and get past core beliefs that might derail you from accessing your positive attitude and gaining clarity about your intention for others.  Doing powerful work you love (despite a job you may hate), is possible when you discover your intentions.


Carl Jung said ‘What we resist, persists.’  So when we feel stuck, exhausted, cynical, powerless, etc. and don’t take action to move past it – those feelings and the consequences that follow them get bigger and bigger in our life.


In this session you will get:

  1. 7 steps that can move you over from contracted energy to expanded energy with less effort, stress, judgment or suffering.
  2. 4 different kinds of tools for transforming hard work effort into high energy
  3. Customized “state changing” solutions that are unique for you access clear communication and a sense of personal power.


Contact me at by March 31, 2017 to secure your introductory rate of $197 for this session.  Healing from exhaustion, cynicism and powerlessness at work is possible – but only if you get into action and take advantage of the opportunities to heal that are around you.


Schedule your session with me by clicking here – !


About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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