The Dangers of Playing It Safe and How to Overcome the Fear of Self-Expression

how to overcome the fear of self-expression

The Beauty Of Hindsight

Playing it safe: Choices We Made In Life and The Hindsight
Playing it safe: Choices We Made In Life and The Hindsight

At such a young age, I could not comprehend why my adored teacher would hurt me in such a cruel way. However, as years turned into decades and experience transformed into wisdom, the “beauty of hindsight” has revealed a higher truth.

You see, years later, as a young adult, I was faced with an important choice where I could either play it safe and hide self-expression or take a chance and boldly express my Real Self. Although the fear of shame and humiliation begged me to play it safe, my mind flashed back to Ms. Horvath’s class….

Remembering how the “safe choice” ended in dreaded humiliation and a lifetime of lingering regret, I knew that I could no longer avoid my fears by playing it safe. Therefore, I thought, “Why not take a chance? After all, if the “safe choice” can result in the worst outcome, what’s to lose?”

So, after analyzing the past and carefully weighing all options, I was left with only one choice. Rather than inhibiting self-expression and abandoning myself once again, I chose to take a risk. Even though fear and anxiety still rose up to keep me down, I intentionally ignored the instinct to run and hide.

Instead, I made a commitment that no matter the outcome, I would not abandon myself, and this meant that even if I totally flopped and the result was a failure, I would love myself no less.

In that moment of clarity and commitmentI broke free from the cocoon of disempowerment!

Since then, I have experienced a lifetime of authentic self-expression, and while some bold choices have ended poorly, many more have flowered into amazing opportunities. Nonetheless, whether I have reaped the seeds of courage or end up licking my own wounds, at least I have no regrets for trying, and whether I emerge with battle scars or victory, I am no less empowered!

Re-Interpreting The Past

Under careful examination, and through the eyes of non-biased observation, we can begin to see that without challenges to overcome, there’s no way to discover our intrinsic power, and, therefore, life is designed this way.

Although it’s often difficult to see at the time, every challenge and trauma presents extraordinary gifts, and these gifts are designed to support an extraordinary life. However, unlike natural gifts, these gifts are rarely in plain sight. Therefore, as curators of our own lives, it’s up to us to uncover and cultivate the gifts we were meant to reap through the challenges we faced.

So, as it turns out, by fulfilling the role my Higher Self asked her to play, Ms. Horvath was my angel after all!

However, although every traumatic experience is an opportunity for self-empowerment, if we don’t consciously choose the path of empowerment, the path of disempowerment is chosen by default – but, remember, it’s never too late to choose again!

Read: The Johari Window: How To Build Self-Awareness and Achieve Success

Take A Chance On You!

There is a valuable pay-off for being your Real Self. Not only does it result in joy and fulfillment, and deeper connections, it’s immensely easier to be your Real Self than pretend to be someone you’re not.

Do you have any idea how much energy is wasted by repressing authenticity? In fact, the consequences of suppressing your Real Self often include hopelessness, purposelessness, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and even illness.

However, before you can overcome the fear of judgment and rejection, and express your Real Self, you might need to:

  • Challenge deeply ingrained beliefs.
  • Break traditions held by your family or culture.
  • Release the need for permission, approval, acceptance, validation, etc…
  • Own your unconditional worth (not contingent on outcomes).
  • Disregard disempowering opinions of others!

And, last but not least, whatever you do, don’t abandon yourself!

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