Finding Joy: How venturing out of your comfort bubble can enhance your life
It’s all too easy to hide away in our comfort bubbles, but venturing out into the world to embrace our authentic selves can be incredibly rewarding, says kinesiology practitioner Antonia Beamish
Someone recently told me that the bigger I play it, the greater the magic, and nothing could be truer, yet at the same time more scary to face up to, because that means I have to come out of hiding.
Many of us love to hide away, shutting the world out and staying safely within our own little comfort bubbles, because we know, when we hide away, that we’re safe.
Sometimes we hide through fear of other people or fear of getting it wrong. For many of us we lack the confidence that we’re enough as we are, so hiding is another way to protect ourselves from the judgments of the outside world.
But, while we believe fear keeps us safe, it actually keeps our lives small. It shields us from the worst in life, but also from the best. If we hide, we’ll never know what magic could be waiting around the corner for us.
Fear might only be the imaginings of the mind but it’s incredibly potent in deterring us from stepping out of our safety bubble and embracing the unknown.
We all know that good things happen outside of our comfort zone, but we rarely want to take the risk that it just might not quite work out in the way we hope. Risk-taking requires trust and trust is something that we can’t taste, touch or feel.
This is where we get ourselves in a tangle. Stepping out of hiding requires trust that we fly and not fall on our faces. Yet - and this is where the challenge is - what if we do? If we do fall flat on our face and fail, what’s the worst that could happen?
Shame also plays a role. In psychology it’s well-known to be the biggest motivator in human behaviour. We will literally do anything to avoid feeling the dreaded and soul-crushing emotion of shame.
For most of us, it’s this duo of fear of judgement and shame around failure that is the major obstacle, keeping us stuck in our comfort cage, unable to let ourselves out.
Yet fear is just a lack of belief in ourselves. The core of fear is ‘what if I can’t handle it?’ so the next time you feel scared about coming out of hiding and trying something new, ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen and if it happened could you handle it?
The answer is yes, you probably could.
The other side of the coin when it comes to hiding is about feeling confident enough within ourselves to show up in the world. To be authentic means to be our complete self, yet, it takes most of us our whole lifetime to truly know who we are.
There’s a huge amount of pressure and expectation that we have to know who we are and project ourselves out into the world, like we see everyone else doing (hello comparison) yet the reality is a lot more subtle. Like all good things, we need some trial and error.
How do we know whether we like something or not unless we try it? The answer is, we don’t. We have a whole lifetime to try things and discover ourselves. And all of these require us to come out of hiding.
It’s lovely to speak about letting go of our fear of judgement so we can discover our authentic selves, but that doesn’t mean we need to jump onto a stage just to prove we’re not scared of hiding.
It takes a lifetime of experimenting, involving trial and error and a delicious cocktail of every single human emotion possible, to gradually unveil the layers that are camouflaging our true nature. So, take the pressure off, there’s no rush.
While we have to take risks and step into the unknown, we’re allowed to make mistakes. There’s no such thing as perfect and we have to start letting that concept go and embracing our true authentic selves.
The world needs you to show up as yourself. You are unique by design; it’s why there never has been and there never will never be another version of you.
So, the next time you’re tempted to hide away instead of stepping out into the world, just remember that every time you step out of your comfort zone your self-esteem will grow immeasurably. And that’s a truly beautiful thing.
Antonia is a systematic kinesiology practitioner based in Cambridge. Find out more at antoniabeamish.com
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