One of the main goals of the subconscious mind is to keep us safe by encouraging and reiterating safety in the Status Quo.
So, impulses for growth, expansion and evolution often make us feel torn between staying in or stepping out of our comfort zones. This is what that familiar feeling of not knowing when or which way to go, when considering change, is all about. Waiting for your mind to cue the right time or opportunity is to commit to that status quo — as safe as it feels — indefinitely.
Today’s message is: Whatever you feel called towards, even if just a hint or a glimmer, respond. With a small step. Begin now.
The allegiance to comfort zone is hardcoded into our physiology and psyches. For those of us who come from ancestry fraught with difficulty, deprivation or insecurity (read: experiencing wars, partition, mass persecution, famines, floods, severe economic difficulty etc.), the message to stay in the comfort zone to keep safe is inherited, valid and deeply embedded within us.
It may manifest as fear of change, disproportionate to current reality. Or as illogical and seemingly unreasonable preoccupation with things going wrong. Or, conversely, as an obsession or hyper-focus on security and staying safe.
However, this safety mechanism can often fortify our resistance to grow — a process that lies almost entirely outside the comfort zone.
Whether it is considering a career shift, making new friends, pursuing learning, developing new skills, overcoming a fear, or healing old trauma — it is your subconscious’ job to show up in numerous ways to encourage you NOT to. And it will. Very often, it will also succeed.
I’m all for fearlessness in embracing change. Growth requires a certain willingness and bravery to encounter the unknown. But it’s important to also understand that feeling safe is a crucial human requirement. When we acknowledge this very basic need, we can respond with a kind of bravery that is soft and tender, that makes space for it as a necessary vulnerability that makes us human; rather than bravado that discounts it and in the process may push us to be reckless or dangerous.
Understanding our need for safety teaching us our natural limits and therefore how and when to push them in a way that works for us. Negating the real need for safety disconnects us from what may work for us. This may be the subtle difference between the call for blind, miraculous, all pervasive fearlessness; versus moving mindfully towards growth, even as you experience fear every step of the way.
The fear probably won’t go away, but we can learn to move towards our dreams and desires by inviting fear to the table and trying to learn what it can teach us about ourselves in the process.
Even when we feel called to grow, we cannot respond to our heartfelt desires, without tending to the need for safety. The key is to identify experiences of stretch that can serve us well, and to move towards them in a slow and safe way. Awareness — of what and when resistance is triggered — and mindful steps towards safe choices that affirm the benefit of letting our guard down in favour of that stretch, towards growth and evolution, will serve well.
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