Blend in! Don’t be seen! Stay in the safe zone!
My unspoken goal for most of my life has been just that.
Ironically it was not what I wanted….more than anything I wanted to be important to someone, I wanted to be seen. I envied all the people who were leaders. Those people who could get up in front of a crowd and make people laugh. Those people who were brave enough to share their talents and were publicly acknowledged, oh how I longed to be them.
BUT, when you are born a wallflower when you are born PLAIN, it just becomes part of who you are.
I just accepted that maybe it was a blessing. I wasn’t beautiful, but I wasn’t ugly either. This allowed me to fly under the radar. Never popular, but not a social outcast.
Yay for me!
I felt awkward and uncomfortable and out of place most of my life. From an early age I just accepted that I was different and would never totally fit in. (The more I talk to people the more I realize most of us don’t feel like we really fit in)
I recognize now that this is why I found myself empty and alone at the beginning of 2013. I didn’t think that I had anything to offer so I stayed on the sidelines and didn’t try. I was afraid to reach out, who would want to be my friend. I was afraid to show my gifts because what if I did and I was mocked. Fear….Fear….Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. ~Marianne Willianson
When I first read this quote my heart skipped a beat. She was right, my entire life I had been afraid of my light. I had been playing small. (I still do at times)
My soul had been living inside of me, it wanted to be seen, but fear kept me living safe.
I have to admit living seen is hard. Seven months ago when I felt like I should start this blog I realized that if I put my story out there, I could no longer live in the shadows and I was scared to death. Last week was the first time I had someone approach me in public and ask if I was rootstoholdme. It was scary, because now I know that they know my yucky story. I couldn’t escape, I was completely vulnerable.
Since that moment I realized that living seen is not natural or easy for me. It is something I have to push into every day. It is also something that has blessed me. God could never use my gifts when I was hiding.
How to Live Seen?
Do you long to be seen? Does your soul beg you to quit shrinking and live big? If so, this is what I have to do in order to not run back to Living Safe. Every person has an area where they feel safe and comfortable.
They can live here long term without any growth, but they are safe. It is a small area and when we stay in our comfort zones we miss a lot of what life has to offer us.
Stretch: When we decide that we are tired of living small, and we want to see what else is out there. We decide to stretch a little. This area would include doing little things that make us feel uncomfortable, but when we feel a threat we are close to the comfort zone and we can quickly jump back over the line into safety. Working through my shame required me to stretch a lot…and lead into risk.
Risk: Risk happens when we have stretched ourselves a lot and we have seen the amazing things that can happen. We can see that we have grown, and we like the growth. We want more of it, so we decide to really push ourselves. Risk involves a lot of discomfort with no guarentee that things will work out. We really put ourselves out there. For me Risk comes with a lot of anxiety because I don’t know the outcome. When I risk and things turn badly, I have to work through through all of the shame in stretch to get myself back to the comfort zone. (an example of this would be talking to my husband when he has hurt me, sharing my deeper thoughts)
Die: I hate the DIE Zone, it feels exactly like that…when I go there it is so scary and so far out there. Again their is a large chance things will not go how I want them to go and I am scared to death. This zone is really hard for everyone. It is also the place where the most growth occurs.
I have learned that as I stretch, risk, and work towards the die zone my comfort zone actually grows, and the picture changes to look more like this. Things that used to feel like a strethc no longer both me. Everything shifts and I am able
to live life more fully and with less fear. In order to live life SEEN, we have to be willing to push into things that are uncomfortable. We have to work through old messages and lies that we may have been told as small children. Moving from a safe life to one where you will be seen is scary, but worth it.
Come up with examples that fall in the stretch, risk, and die categories for you. Start small and try to do two things a week that will stretch you. As you become more comfortable move into things that feel like a risk. Keep working your way out. You can do this.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world…… We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were bron to manifest the glory of god that is within us….. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presense automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson
This blog was explaining a technique created by Rhonda Britten. You can check out her website at rhondabritten.com