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Living In Fear? Here Are 5 Lessons You’ll Learn 

Living In Fear? Here Are 5 Lessons You’ll Learn

You avoid eye contact at all costs, and refuse to make any quick movements in meetings, lest anyone sees you, and *GASP* expect you to have anything relevant to add.

Do you speak softly, and make sure that you remain outside everyone’s line of sight?

You do good work, but you make sure not to go full throttle with your excellence because you’re not sure what to do if people actually begin to take notice of you.

These are just a few of the ways in which many of us “play it small” in our everyday lives. We shrink ourselves and end up living in fear of being seen and being heard. Regardless, this can teach us lessons for self-development.

When you’re living in fear, you shrink yourself away from taking risks or being acknowledged. Thus, inadvertently, rejecting the creation of safe, fulfilling spaces for yourself. Many of us are living in fear because there has been a certain kind of fear rooted within our subconscious, telling us that we do not add any value to the world around us. 

Why does this happen? One of my personal theories is that we are so afraid of our own potential, that we just don’t know how to navigate it. What if you do show-out on that project, so much so that everyone in the office is talking about your stunning intellect? What if you actually take that leap to spend your days building a business that you love, surprising all of the naysayers in your family? We just might not know how to manage it all!

Learn Lessons From Living In Fear

Here are just five of the many lessons that you will learn by playing it small, living in fear, and not taking full advantage of your capabilities:

Living in fear and misery, it doesn't pay to shy away from your power. 5 lessons you learn by living in fear.

You May Start Believing That You Are Actually Small

Mantras are repeated for a reason: to repeatedly remind yourself of something that you hold to be true. This is essentially the task that you are completing every time you say to yourself;

I hope no one is looking at me/seeing me.
I couldn’t possibly speak up in that group or in that meeting. I don’t really have anything good to say anyway.

You may try so hard to take up the least amount of space in the world, that you start to actually believe that that is the only space meant for you. You mention and act out your supposed insignificance so often, that you actually start believing it yourself.

Once you start believing it, then you begin to manifest these negative assumptions in reality. You subconsciously begin behaving in ways not aligning with your true abilities by diminishing the quality of your work. You have made yourself appear to be so small in a physical space, so much so that it translates to how you actually operate.

Other People Will Believe It Too

You make yourself small, which results in other people not realizing that you are actually smart, witty, and capable of making excellent contributions to the world around you. It becomes clearer to you that your coworkers aren’t making an effort to have chats with you anymore, and your boss keeps passing you over for projects and assignments that you just know that you would be great at.

Not to sound harsh, but you have not given anyone a reason to believe that you are worth the risk of responsibility. You are barely a flicker in their peripheral vision, seemingly doing just enough to not draw attention to yourself. No one else can see what you know is really hidden beneath those hunched shoulders and downcast eyes. This is also evident in your relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners who do not give you the respect that you deserve.

You Can Miss Great Opportunities

I personally believe in the power of aligning ourselves with mindsets and actions that serve our greater good. Playing small and living in fear keeps you in a position where great opportunities pass you by, as if you’ve been wearing a customized invisibility cloak. If you are playing it small in your life, whether it is with work, love, family, friendships, you are probably not paying attention to the many awesome opportunities that are out there just waiting for you to go and get it.

You may really enjoy clothing design, for example, but you don’t believe that you are good enough to seek out potential apprenticeships or internships in your city to hone your craft. You notice that there are platforms to propel your own personal growth, yet it is hard for you to match these with how you view yourself, and what you believe that you deserve.

Life Dissatisfaction Is Not The Way To Go

With all of these lessons learned by living in fear, you end up in one of two places.

One, you resign yourself to the fact that you would rather continue to play small, and allow the chance to have a fulfilling life to pass you by.

Two, you make the conscious decision to become a champion of your own life. You begin to see and feel the effects of not taking up all the space that you deserve in this world, and you decide to make a change. Ultimately, you begin feeling the effects of feeling dissatisfied with your life. You start asking yourself on a daily basis if this is all there is to life, with a nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach.

You Deserve Better From Yourself

Acknowledge that you are not satisfied with the trajectory that you are on, you begin to realize that you definitely deserve better from yourself. It all boils down to how you view your worth, and what you are willing to do to ensure that you are having thoughts and taking actions that are in alignment with what is best for you.

Acknowledge the greatness you possess. Your potential for self-excellence does not have to be some obscure concept, but it is attainable by first making a commitment to yourself.

It is a sad reality that way too many of us are playing it small every day. We question our inherent right to hold a significant space in the real estate of the world. There is no one fix for this, because we all experience it in a variety of different ways. I encourage everyone to begin by replacing negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, with positive alternatives and truths.

As a disclaimer, playing small, and even playing it big, will look like completely different things for all of us. The lessons you learn by living in fear will also look different for everyone. Begin with an individual commitment to self-reflection, in order to better recognize, acknowledge, and overcome the ways in which we are not maximizing our full potential and desires.

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