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Being a Swan in a Pond of Ducks


The other day I was talking to a friend who got reprimanded at work for talking too much to her co-workers.  This friend has a HUGE heart and admittedly gets caught up in other people’s stories to the point that she isn’t at her desk as much as she should.  She has a good job, that pays well and has good benefits and (for the most part) she enjoys it.  She has been doing this same job for 20+ years. And if we were TOTALLY honest, although it is a good job it doesn’t really ‘fit’ her.  In fact her skill set is not in organization, working behind a computer and being task oriented, as her job requires. Her skill set is more around listening, caring and sharing people’s stories.  But she makes good money has good benefits and for the most part she enjoys her job.

As she was telling me her story she cried out:

“just once I would like to feel like the swan I see in my mind and I want to be surrounded by other swans–but right now I am in a world of ducks” 

Amen Sister!!  That is so true!!

I have watched her as she has gone through her own personal transformation and have seen a similar phenomenon in many of my clients.

The boxes that were once comfortable aren’t anymore. Pushing ourselves down to ‘fit-in’ just doesn’t work! It isn’t that it’s not possible or that we can’t do it–it just becomes too freakin’ hard.  Once we have seen the light and seen the possibility of swimming with swans we want more of that!!!

I remember when I went through a similar struggle in my own life.  On one hand I was excited to feel so good, inspired, uplifted, excited about life.  And on the other hand I had outgrown some of my friends.  I could no longer keep myself hidden in the box and my fellow box dwellers weren’t too happy about that.  It was a double edge sword–on one hand I was totally excited about how I was feeling internally (like a swan) but on the other hand the ducks were giving me a lot of flack for not fitting in. I remember going to my therapist at the time and said, “I am so frustrated and angry at you for showing me the light–now what do I do?” and she smiled and said, “it is so normal to feel this frustration and this is how I know you are on the right path, soon you will find other swans and you won’t even remember what it was like to hang with the ducks’. And she was right–today I have many fellow swans in my life. And it is because of them that I can do this work I love.

Just to be clear there is nothing wrong with ducks–there are perfectly wonderful and happy ducks out there.  The point is we need to be supported and loved for who we are and the greatness we provide to the world. 

So here’s a thought:  Rather than changing who you are to ‘fit in’ what if you changed who you were surrounded by?  What if you only allowed those who embraced your greatness into your world–how would it be different?

So what about you?  Do you relate to the swan/duck story? Are you noticing some swan rumblings?  Are you tired of being a swan in a duck world?  There is hope!

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