We can be so quick to find ourselves and figure ourselves out that we end up taking on traits, roles and habits to help us feel less lost.
We then close ourselves off to experimentation and new ideas, it’s too risky.
In turn this leads to you becoming a person that isn’t really you, it’s just the person you’re pretending to be. You either commit to being that person for the rest of your life or you reach a point where you choose to change.
When you truly realise that the person you’ve been showing up as is not only not the ‘real’ you but also not the person you want to be, it allows all that is not you to fall away.
This then opens you up to you, stripped back with nothing to prove.
After a difficult or challenging life experience whether mental or physical, you end up in a recovery period.
For example, imagine you fall off your bike and break your leg. Your recovery period would be the cast and crutches but eventually you’re walking again. Another example is a breakup, it could take a few weeks or even months to emotionally recover from a relationship ending.
The recovery net is where you end up when you’re not willing to let go of the comfort/safety of being in recovery.
If we go back to the bike story. Imagine, you’re at the point where your leg has healed and you no longer need the crutches but you can’t seem to let them go.
You’re physically ready to ride again but you keep making excuses because you need them when the truth is you’re scared without them. You’re scared of falling.
And with a relationship ending your recovery net might be never committing to one person so that when one situation ends you’ll always have someone else.
The recovery net is the method that we use to protect ourselves from things that brought us some form of harm/pain. Not because we’re in any danger but because the idea of the potential danger scares us so much that we aren’t really ready to make the true leap and risk being hurt again.
A while back I came to the realisation that unless your basic needs like food, air and shelter etc. are at risk then any mistake you make or growth point you encounter is not ‘the end of the world’.
You can bounceback and get on with life. And that’s it. Life is as life does and like someone once said ‘it doesn’t stop till you’re dead’.
If you’re going into survival mode over small things that are just part of life that have no significant impact to your basic needs, you’ll undoubtedly struggle in life.
I think a useful thing to do is acknowledge you may have fears/triggers for your survival mode/panic button to go off but to check in and ask does it make sense to have the same reaction as though your life is at risk?
Survival mode is draining, our lives aren’t at risk in the way they used to be.
There are stats to prove that when it comes to job applications women are less likely to apply than men, if they don’t meet all the requirements.
The interesting thing about this is that if you don’t get the job you don’t really lose out because nothing changes. So if you apply yo a job where you only meet 75% of what they are asking for, there’s no real risk at all, in fact you should probably do it more often.
The things you can’t yet do or don’t have much experience of are probably things that can be learnt on the job.
Of course, if what they’re asking for is experience in a specialised software that you’ve never even heard of it’s probably not worth going for. However, if the application asks for someone who has used a particular software and you have, don’t let not being an expert stop you from applying.
When you don’t perfectly meet all the criteria for a job application perhaps you feel like you won’t be able to do a good, you’re worried about your weaknesses (the things you’re not as experienced in) being exposed or maybe you don’t think you’ll get an interview.
All that stuff is just guesswork. You can apply to a job you’re perfectly qualified for and not get it, you can apply to a job you’re 75% qualified for and get it.
The risk of applying is minimal, I think the real risk is in getting your hopes up.
But the purpose of taking a risk is knowing there’s a chance it might not work and doing it anyway.
We’re often brought up to believe that risk is a bad thing.
But the truth is it depends on the risk.
Packing up and moving to a new city could be considered risky but it’s not a bad thing. On the flipside, gambling away your savings hoping to hit the big time is risky and it’s not a particularly good idea.
I think when it comes to taking risks you know whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on how you’ll feel if it doesn’t work out.
When the risk not panning out means your safety at risk it’s probably not something worth pursing. Let’s take the gambling example.
If it turns out well you could walk away with more than your annual salary which is enticing. However, if we look at what happens if things go wrong you’ll realise that you gain nothing. If you gamble away thousands of pounds you don’t leave the experience haven’t learnt a lesson.
Those kinds of risks aren’t worth taking.
But when you try something new, push yourself and get out of your comfort zone, even if it doesn’t work out as planned, you’ve given yourself the opportunity to grow and develop into the kind of person you want to be.
If you had to pick between the 2, which one would you go for.
When you think about word association exciting is probably associated with words like fun but also maybe risk.
Comforting on the other hand is probably associated with familiarity and being boring.
Despite what you might think you’d choose, if you look back on your past choices many people find that they choose comfort, over and over again.
I think the reason for this is that even if we can’t admit it, we’d much rather stick with what we know and be bored than take a risk and potentially have it go wrong.
And so the real choice we give ourselves is risk or relief.
It’s one thing to have all these really good ideas but it’s another thing to put yourself out there.
Often the reason for holding back is fear that comes in the form of what ifs.
What if I’m not good enough?
What if nobody is interested?
What if peopel make fun of me?
What if I fail?
The questions go on and on until you’ve totally written yourself off.
But the chances are that if you never try you’ll always wonder if things could have turned out okay, so maybe it’s worth a shot.
Take a risk, put yourself out there.
Most of us have some idea of where we’d like to be in 5, 10 maybe even 20 years time.
But sometimes the gap between now and then, is pretty hazy.
You know what you want but you’re not quite sure how you’ll get there.
And sometimes long-term plans change.
Maybe you happened to find something you care for more than what you’re currently trying to pursue. Maybe you realised that you don’t really want the thing you were working for. Or maybe you just feel like like doing something new.
For many people they actually end up having a better sense of direction when they change their plans. The gap becomes a little less hazy.
The reason for this is changing plans is a risk and they want it to be worth it.
So often we are afraid to start over.
Maybe starting over feels like a setback, it feels easier to just keep going, you haven’t seen it done before or maybe it just feels too risky.
Those are valid reasons to stay where you are. But if you don’t take a leap, you end up missing out.
The thing we often forget is that, if you try something new and it doesn’t work out, more often than not you can just go back to the way things are.
If that happens, at least you know you tried.
Talking about how unhappy you are with where you’re at is easy to do. Talking about the changes you want to happen in your life is also pretty easy.
But when it comes to actually turning those thoughts into plans, things tend to get a little more challenging.
First of all, there is the familiarity factor. There is comfort in familiarity. Just the fact that your current circumstance is what you’re used to will make it difficult for you to move on from it to something new.
Then, there is the commitment to the change you want.
Lastly, there is the risk ‘what if it doesn’t work?’
All of that is enough to convince many people to stay exactly where they are. Or they tell themselves they’ll make the changes slowly over time. But often those efforts are half-hearted.
What you might need to do is take a leap a faith. Launch yourself into the unknown, fully committed and knowing that you can handle whatever challenges come your way.
Sometimes that’s the only way to make changes in your life.