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Small Fish, Big Pond and My Little Fish Family (Therapy Thoughts)

Do you ever feel like you are a small fish in a big pond? Even if you do, you are still entitled to your little fish family. Join the discussion as I explore some of my therapy thoughts. 

If you couldn’t tell from my post last week with regards to the infertility warrior label or title, I have been dealing with feelings of impostor syndrome and insecurities with regards to my place in the world. I think this is natural as I find myself in this transitional period in my life. I have spoken of my feelings of guilt, fear, and regret, my insecurities when it comes to my failure and rerouting of my career path.

I’ve always struggled to know my place in the world. I’ve always felt like I needed a place in the world.

Do you ever feel like you are a small fish in a big pond? Even if you do, you are still entitled to your little fish family. Join the discussion as I explore some of my therapy thoughts. @suzlyfe http://suzlyfe.com/small-fish-big-pond-little-fish-family-therapy-thoughts/

Small fish in a big pond. 

The other night, Alex and I watched Finding Dory, and, with fish on the brain, I went to therapy. That Coldplay song “Lost.” I have a visceral memory of playing that song very, very loudly at a horse show during a particularly heavy moment. Long story short, there were a few people there who always seemed to get what they wanted, never seemed to care how us “little people” felt. They were the big fish. So I used to sing:

You might be a big fish in a little pond
Doesn’t mean you’ve won
Cause you know they’ve found a bigger one. 

Coldplay + Dory = Susie gets fishy with her metaphors.

I still struggle with my place, with what this all means, what is the point of what I am doing?

But I was sitting in therapy, and suddenly, I said, “I may be a small fish in a big pond, but I am still deserve my own little fish family. My little fish family loves me, and I love them back. And they are the most important. My fish family contributes to the larger story.”

You might be a small fish, in a larger pond, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve your little fish family. Because your world directly around you–that is your story. And your story, your life, is part of a larger ecosystem. Do your best for your little family so that you can contribute your best to the larger ecosystem.

Because your little fish family matters. Just like your vote. It may seem insignificant, but it matters.

Swim on, my friends. Swim on.

You might be a small fish in a big pond, but you deserve your fish family #mentalhealth #happiness… Click To Tweet

Who can relate? Have you ever struggled with these feelings?

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud

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64 Comments

  • Reply Heather @Lunging Through Life

    Sometimes it can be better to think of that because I feel like sometimes we place EVERYTHING on top of ourselves and if we fail at one thing, then we’ve failed at life and let a ton of people done. but, we are just a small fish in a big pond so that’s not always true. However, there’s also your side which I think everyone has felt like. I know I struggled (and still do!) with this through college and even into adulthood.
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…My honest thoughts on Having 2 Kids Under 2My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 5:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love you! ANd Love your fish family!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    This is a great metaphor. I actually think sometimes I get so focused on the things happening directly around me, that I forget to think about the bigger picture. But I think its important to consider both from time to time- recognizing that we are important but also that we are part of something bigger.
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Month in Review: February 2017My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 5:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And hopefully finding the balance in the middle!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Such a beautiful connection, but also so very true. This is something I am constantly thinking about – what is the impact that I’m supposed to leave on this planet? And that whole career shift thing, I was literally just talking to a friend about that the other day and it’s quite ridiculous! Just because my career isn’t what I thought it would be, doesn’t mean my place and my ability to make an impact on my fish family (however large or small) doesn’t exist!
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted…The BIG AnnouncementMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 5:54 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We just have to redirect our perspective, I think. Focus on our sphere of impact, and not how big that sphere is.

      February 28, 2017 at 8:19 pm
  • Reply Laura

    What a great a-ha moment. Yes, little or big, everyone deserves to have those basic desires met… fingers crossed your little fish family comes sooner than later!
    Laura recently posted…A confidence boosting run + 3 things I’m doing every night to stay healthyMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 6:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      As long as I have my fish family around me, I can wait!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Your little fish family loves you SO MUCH. I think even those big fish have their moments too (or that’s what I tell myself). Plus, those big fish are really good with the feels and we know all about the feels and it makes us better for it.
    Jamie recently posted…6 Science-Backed Reasons to Expose Your Kids to DiversityMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 6:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yeah, the big fish can’t feel anything. They are too big πŸ˜€ We are ticklish

      February 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm
  • Reply Madhuri

    What a lovely analogy. I think it’s really normal to feel like a small fish in some aspects of life and a big fish in others. One of the sayings that has been my go-to on dull days is – “Don’t think of yourself as an ugly person. Think of yourself as a beautiful monkey”. It’s a funny quote, but has so much meaning. I guess, we as humans, seek perfection in all aspects of life. And sometimes, we forget the whole journey and keep looking for that ideal situation. Guilty, in all honesty for doing it!
    Madhuri recently posted…Dear Half-Marathoner (#003)My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 6:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha! I love that quote (and that is saying something, because I don’t care for monkeys).

      February 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm
  • Reply Deborah @Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Interesting metaphor indeed and I e never thought of things that way. I do sometimes feeling like I’m drowning or overwhelmed and I think I actually become more productive under stress. Going w your fish theme-just keep swimming 😜
    Deborah @Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Savory Sweet Potato Toast 2 WaysMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 6:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Dory knows what it is about!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm
  • Reply Kimberly G

    With all the problems in the world, I often feel like a little fish. It’s like, how can one person make a difference? But I believe that kindness has a ripple effect so that’s how I know I’m making a difference!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Tunes Tuesday 2.28 – My Current JamsMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The ripple is coming up time and again in the comments–you guys are on to something!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm
  • Reply Cora

    This is really big one for me, Suz. One which we would have to go out for a really long, delicious, creamy coffee to discuss over. Being in my profession, this is always and forever on my brain… and very heavily right now as I venture out into the real world of acting again and am facing all this competition and watching 10000002 other girls who “look just like me” going for the exact same thing. I am a very little fish in a very, very big pond, where one fish will – for not always a known reason – rise above the rest and leave the rest scavenging on the bottom. But I have to believe that just because I am also one of those fish, that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be there. And that I just have to keep swimming in my own lane.
    <3 metaphors. <3 you.
    Cora recently posted…Week In Review: Opera, Pizza, and Talking Out the ToxinsMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will swim with you any day my love. xoxoxo

      February 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!! LOL! Could not resist. I think we all have these feelings at time. I think sometimes it’s good to reminded of the huge pond to humble us and other times it’s important to focus small!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…HIIT Full Body Workout & Refueling TipsMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree–I think we all need to have these thoughts to do just that.

      February 28, 2017 at 8:12 pm
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    Some of us fish (I’m a Pisces) think you’re pretty great πŸ˜‰
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Kim be nimble, Kim be quick…My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love my fish family!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:11 pm
  • Reply Bri

    πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ you are most definitely important and everything you do and share touches so many others. You deserve everything you desire, my friend.
    Bri recently posted…Why I’m taking a blogging breakMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You deserve everything you desire as well. Love you (now go study)

      February 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm
  • Reply neil@neilshealthymeals.com

    Keep swimming my friend. There’s someone looking out for all of us. πŸ™‚
    neil@neilshealthymeals.com recently posted…One Pot Chicken DhansakMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will put my faith in that πŸ˜€

      February 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Swim on sista!
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Amazing Run, Water Problems & Weekly RecapMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 7:41 am
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I feel the same sometimes being single and. It having found my person. I know we’ll both find what we need soon!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Ultimate Tools To Help You Lose WeightMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So true! You are definitely making your place in this world, no doubt about that!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Emily

    This is something I have to remind myself of… I’m a small person in God’s big plan, but I’m still part of it.

    We have different parts to play and different gifts, and I love that.

    February 28, 2017 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are so right–we are still a part!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:06 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    YES! Like that quote, be the change you want to see in the world. We, seemingly so small and insignificant, carry power beyond our imaginations. On a small scale, I think about my maternal grandmother Kathleen Douglas. I wear her wedding ring around my neck as a reminder to show love and grace to people who don’t deserve it, because that’s what she was known for. We pass along legacies like rings and tapestries because they hold meaning and significance…and power. You’re already affecting the world in a positive way, and you’re in your 20’s. I keep telling you, Susie, you’ve got huge amazing things in store for you and I’m excited to see what they are!
    Suzy recently posted…Week in ReviewMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 9:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is so perfect. Thank you, Suzy. We may be little, cut we leave ripples, like my mom said!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply Marcia

    Trust me when I say your little fish family is where it’s at and the most important, most fulfilling thing. When I went through IF and chronic loss, and all of my friends were preggo and having babies, I felt (and was) cast out of that pond. But yeah, you keep swimming and focus on what’s important and those who love you. You’ll always fit there. xoxo
    Marcia recently posted…February Progress ReportMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 9:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, lovely friend!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:03 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    What a great post!
    In my lifetime, I’ve been a small fish in many different sized ponds, a big fish in all types and sizes of ponds, and occasionally a fish flopping on dry land.
    But, I am a some-size fish in some a some-size pond and I respect and love being a fish (except frozen fish sticks, gross)
    We all make ripples everyday in whatever pond we are swimming in at that moment.
    The other day, I watched Galen jump into the lake and swim out for a tennis ball. Long after he’d come out and shook his very wet lab coat all over me, there were still ripples in the lake.
    A big dog in a big lake for just a few moments created ripples.
    We all do.

    February 28, 2017 at 9:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love this. We all create ripples!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Oh gosh. Every. Damn. Day. My alarm is set, and labeled “This is now how your story will end” so I am reminded every morning that even though I am not where I WANT to be, I eventually will get there. Thanks for being YOU. xo
    Michelle recently posted…Spicy broccoli puree’My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 9:18 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    YES – what a great metaphor! The little things matter – no one is too insignificant. Keep on swimming, Suz! xoxo
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…February in Review: FocusMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 9:19 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The little things ARE life, after all!

      February 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm
  • Reply Colby

    Keep on swimmin’, Homegirl! Your fish family is where it’s at. Big or small, it is what matters most. xoxoox
    Colby recently posted…Weekly Training Recap: Highs and lows notwithstanding, I’m coming for you Boston!Β My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 9:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      School(s) can be a good thing!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    I so so relate. But even if you’re not the biggest fish or the best {insert title here}, you’re still you and great and totally worthy of love and acceptance, from yourself and others.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…My First Half Marathon (+ Weekend Recap)My Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Margaret

    This is a great analogy and I could not agree more. We all have some way to contribute and it might not be flashy or noticeable. Thanks for sharing this and for being realistic! I am hoping all the best for you in the upcoming weeks and sending positive thoughts your way.

    February 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you Margaret! Now is as good a time as ever to be real, right?

      February 28, 2017 at 7:58 pm
  • Reply jade

    I LOVE your quote and do believe we are all little fish in a big pond I think about our tiny planet in this huge, vast universe and yes we are small, but hugely important. I live by the words in the song Desiderata. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bUTcy6w2Rw

    February 28, 2017 at 1:22 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much for sharing that song! Jade, we all have a place!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:58 pm
  • Reply Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming… I tell myself that daily.
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…Sweet Potato Protein MuffinsMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Don’t we all!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply Miss Polkadot

    This is so true for me and, I guess, pretty much everyone. Some of the seemingly bigger fish might just be better at covering up those feelings. The good old “fake it till you make [or: believe] it” has some truth to it.
    I’m not religious but in some moments I still feel we’ve all been placed into this world for a reason. Maybe we’re just better off not constantly trying to see this but instead let life pave our way. Easier said than done …
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Selfish acts of kindnessMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 3:29 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely easier said than done! And I agree–we all have a place in this world!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    One of the posts I have percolating in my brain is about impostor syndrome. I just actually need to sit down and write the dang thing.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Greta: The Strongest 3 Year Old AroundMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I want your thoughts!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    I live in Los Angeles. Of course I have felt this way in the past and every so often feel that way… And I mean, I am a small person too – so when I go to events and don’t wear heels (always)… It’s hard to see me, LOL! But then I talk, and people are like GIGI IS HERE!!!

    Ah ha ha ha!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Addressing the LARGE Elephants In The RoomMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 3:50 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Small but mighty!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    This is SUCH a great metaphor – and you are so right! You deserve your own fish family and your own little fish world and you’ve just got to keep swimming to get there <3
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Random Ramblings: Why Saving the Best For Last is Actually a Cover UpMy Profile

    February 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Dory is a smart one!

      February 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Abby @BackatSquareZero

    Such a great realization, I think lots of us struggle with impostor syndrome from time to time, feeling like we are too little. Nice to get a bit of perspective.
    Abby @BackatSquareZero recently posted…Loving Lately – February 2017My Profile

    March 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Some of the strongest people are insecure!

      March 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    My phone’s alarm just rang and deleted a wonderful reply I was working on😝 for this, so maybe later.
    I’m off to my pond of horses, so splash I go!

    March 2, 2017 at 9:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You and all of your alarms, lol

      March 3, 2017 at 12:46 pm

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