It is important to recognize that fitting in, feeling emotionally safe and accepted is a highly primitive need. In the desire to avoid abandonment and shaming, children learn to withhold or minimize parts of the self. The need to belong is carried into the school room, onto the playground, and later, into the work environment.
Experience after experience teaches the primitive mind that part of the self must be withheld. As adults, we passively accept the very messages that only serve to further cement our difficulties. We do this not because we wish to be unhappy or unfulfilled, but because we know no other way of being.
Through greater conscious awareness we discover the self. This is the starting point of all meaningful and lasting change. Once we have developed awareness we are in a better position to begin deliberately influencing the subconscious mind to accept ways of being that are in alignment with our potential.
We move from self-discovery to self-development when we decide that old programming will be refined, altered, or replaced with the new mindsets and ways of being that are congruent with what we want in the here and now, as adults.