Do you stop yourself doing or saying something for fear of how others might react or what they might think? Think for a moment about why exactly you do this…do you want to fit in? If you want to live bravely, you can and still be accepted. In fact, people will respect you more.
God forbid, you should slurp your drink loudly in a public place or say something that others disapprove of. You just might get arrested! Seriously, we all try so hard to fit the ‘acceptable mould’ and I say enough is enough. Be bold, say what you think, and just be yourself. When you live bravely – you will understand that we overestimate the threat (that people will reject you or that you will feel humiliated) and we underestimate our ability to cope. This is known as the “anxiety equation“.
What’s the worst that can happen?
What’s the worst that can happen? Most likely – you will feel alive. You will experience a sense of fun when you live bravely because you have dared to break the societal conditioning that we all fall prey to.
Here’s a silly example but it will give you an idea: A few years ago I was walking around on the London Underground and happened to be wearing really loud noisy shoes that made a loud “clunk” every time I took a step. I found myself trying to tiptoe so as not to make a sound..then I asked myself why I was doing this. What was the big deal about being a noisy walker? So, I pushed through the fear and stopped tip-toeing. I clunked my way past others on the escalator and got quite a few stares… but you know what? It felt really liberating!
No-one stopped me or told me to walk quietly. I felt as if I had broken through a self-induced barrier. I felt free.
From little incidents like this, my confidence grew and so did my comfort zone and now I am much more at ease with myself and sing more frequently from my own ‘homemade hymn sheet’.
If you are a people-pleaser, it’s time to turn some of that pleasing to yourself. We are subjected to enough restrictions in life without placing unnecessary limitations on ourselves. Be fearless and live bravely.
Go on…Give it a try – stop making yourself ‘small’ to fit in with others around you..make a few waves. You’ll be so glad you did…