Good Comms

Belonging starts within

Belonging is often perceived as a gift bestowed upon us by external circumstances—a welcoming community, inclusive workplace, or supportive family. However, true belonging begins from within. It is an internal compass that guides us to recognize our value, align with our authentic selves, and find our place in the world.

This was the topic of a recent webinar I gave to the Shell Women’s Alumni Network. Below you will find the slides I prepared. If you or someone you know is feeling a sense of not belonging, use the self-check activity below and let me know how you fared!


SWAN Belonging webinar by Good Comms

Developing a sense of belonging within oneself is a transformative journey. It starts with self-awareness, the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Understanding our emotions, strengths, and values helps us to appreciate our unique contributions. This self-recognition fosters a deeper connection to who we are, making it easier to connect with others authentically (Goleman, 1995).

Brené Brown emphasizes the importance of vulnerability in cultivating a sense of belonging. She argues that true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are (Brown, 2017). By embracing our vulnerabilities and imperfections, we open ourselves up to deeper, more meaningful connections.

For further reading -

In other words

In other words, belonging is not merely about fitting in but about embracing our individuality and connecting with others from that place of authenticity. When we nurture this internal belonging, we radiate confidence and attract genuine connections, creating a ripple effect that enhances our external environments.

And as we create that space for a sense of belonging within ourselves, we also create it for the people around us.#


  • Brown, B. (2017). Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Random House.
  • Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Bantam Books.
  • Verschuur-Ballo, C.Q. (2021). Wired to belong. Master’s thesis. RSM Erasmus University
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