The 4 Components of Belonging

Rachel Beohm
5 min readMar 13, 2023

When you understand these four components, you can promote a more inclusive culture and take steps to ensure your own sense of belonging.

“Everyone here looks down on me.” Over a Zoom coaching call, the executive assistant at a large global corporation hunched over and looked downward, hugging herself. “I’m not a city girl. I come from a very small rural town and I just know that when everyone here looks at me, they see a hick. A stereotype. They assume I’m uneducated and not as smart as they are. I just don’t feel like I belong.”

“How do you know they think that?” I asked.

“They’re city people! They’ve all lived in big cities their whole lives! They think they’re better. Smarter. Faster. Better.”

“Okay, what about your stereotypes?” I asked. “What do you think of ‘city people’?”

Her eyes grew huge. She’d never considered that perhaps her own preconceived notions and attempts to protect herself contributed to feeling like an outsider.

As I asked more questions and we dug deeper, she admitted that her coworkers treated her with respect and kindness and even frequently paid her compliments! Yet due to her fear of rejection, she presented herself in a way that did not invite or confirm connection. As is often the case, her negative perceptions created a downward



Rachel Beohm

Exploring relationship skills, communication (especially nonverbal), and how to live a full life. Promoter of kindness, gratitude, and joy.