Summertime, and the living is sticky
I’ve been thinking a lot about how much we try and fit in and keep the peace and how rarely this serves us.
Most of us are trying to fit in somewhere in our lives and if you think that does not apply to you, how do you feel about your cellulite? Or being seen as promiscuous? Or someone saying you do not exercise enough? None of these are “bad” - yet they are often delivered with a whole load of judgement, both by others and ourselves.
It is perfectly natural to want to fit in, it is quite literally in our DNA. We are a social species and seek safety and survival in the pack. And our primitive brain thinks that rejection means death. And it used to. It used to mean you would not not get food or warmth or protection; but that is rare the case these days (at last rarely for people fortunate enough to have an electrical device to be reading this on). But our brains are still hard wired to seek out the danger.
And that is great, it is looking out for us. But if you happen one of the people who thought rejection was not a problem for you, when it does flare up, you may not notice what it is. Maybe it arrives as anxiety or anger, or there is just a low level sadness you do not seem to be able to shift.
If you are not seeing some of these root cause patterns (“Please love me!” “I want to feel safe!”) for what they are, then you can begin to imagine all sorts of other problems or causes (or drama. Often drama).
Which brings me back to summer and feeling hot. When we distract ourselves looking for other reasons why we may be feeling sad or stressed, we have less energy to put into being willing to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone.
You may be asking why on earth you would want to stretch yourself at al, when everything feel so hard right now - and the simple answer is because that is how we grow. Stretching ourselves is essential for us to be able to challenge the status quo.
This summer’s heat wave seemed to wake up a lot of people to thee realities of climate change and the need for action. Action involves being willing to stand up and stand out. It is going to involve being out of your comfort zone. It is being willing to ask award questions, having difficult conversations and facing rejection after rejection. Because everyone else hates change too. You’re going to be asking why and trouble makers ask why. Causing trouble is the opposite of staying in your comfort zone.
Training yourself to look for where you may have habitual shrunk yourself is a brilliant training ground for you to achieve your goals and fire you up with the momentum we are going to need to make change and impact in our world.
Discomfort is the currency of your wildest dreams. There is no other way to create lasting growth.
Be a troublemaker. Be the one who asks why. And by finding our what else could become true for you, we begin to question what could be possible for all of us.