We think this is us staying safe, when in reality, this is how we stay small and stuck.
I’m not saying I ought to go be mean to people, or litter, or steal, or do some drugs. I’m just saying that, by allowing myself to feel the discomfort of these four main fears and to then survive this discomfort, bricks start to fall down.
I become closer to the freedom that exists outside of these safety walls. I become closer to living a life of doing things out of want rather than this sense of obligation (to whom, even?).
Stressing myself out constantly about what I look like (as if others even give a shit; they’re all too concerned with what they look like) or how well I do on a project does nothing but trap me further.
Should I purposefully suck ass on a project? Not necessarily. But what I could do is start saying no to projects, since I am hardwired into the “YES OF COURSE I CAN DO THAT FOR YOU” at work, and in life, thus resulting in MORE bricks and MORE expectations of myself.
I can become comfortable with feeling as though I’ve let others down, especially if it means that I’m making the healthiest decision for myself.
I do want to challenge myself by doing the opposite of a few of these bricks. Like… Purposefully talk with spinach in my teeth. Use a word incorrectly all day long. Wake up and immediately go into public, before grounding or meditating or brushing my teeth or even looking in the mirror.
The thought of these bring me intense anxiety.
But here’s the thing.
I would do this… I would go out in public lookin’ a disheveled mess… And I’d feel uncomfortable and awkward and terrified…
I’d leave and go home and realize that nothing exploded or imploded. I still have all my fingers and toes.
I can walk past a piece of gooey litter while walking my dog without being condemned to an afterlife of filth, or whatever it is I’m even afraid of.
I don’t always have to be the perfectly good person. I don’t always have to be put-together.
And the more I realize this AND INCORPORATE it into my lifestyle, allowing “flaws” and “imperfections” rather than limiting my experience based on what I deem appropriate or safe or allowed or kindest or best or most impressive or or or…
THE FREER I BECOME.
An example of this that I’ve experienced over the last few days is the music I listen to when in my car. For some reason, up until this 30th year of existence, I’ve figured that people judged my music. I had an idea of what was COOL and what was NOT. So, if I was at a stop light or pulling up to a friend’s house, I’d play Rage Against the Machine or Tool or other artists that I love and deem appropriate and cool.
I never let people know I liked Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber or Katy Perry.
First of all, NO ONE GIVES A SHIT. And if they do, they’re being ridiculous and dealing with their own walls of fear.
So yesterday, I pulled up to a stoplight while listening to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, and I did not turn down the volume. I kept dancing and singing, feeling the sense of embarrassment and a feeling that I was being uncool (even though millions of people love her music. My standards make zero sense.)… And then? THE FEELING WENT AWAY.
I FELT SO FREE.
I’m taking more steps like this each day, challenging myself to feel that which I normally avoid.
It will take time to eradicate these walls, and that’s okay. I’m dedicated to it, because what resides on the other side is the infinite unknown.