“Stay safe” is something most parents tell their kids when they’re off to school.
And what we, as adults, tell our friends and family when we’re saying good-bye after a visit.
These are important words and, really, something to live by. But we tend to take it to a whole new level.
Your mind maps a pattern, idea, or area of what “safe” really is and what that looks like, making anything outside of that pattern, idea, or area to be categorized as unsafe. Limiting your experience and growth. So, it protects you from even the slightest thought of being in an unsafe environment…even though you may not be.
You guessed it, there is real threat and false threat. The question is, can your mind tell the difference between the two?
Being chased by a bear would most definitely be considered a real threat!
Being in a small crowd, not so much.
But the feelings are the same.
It understands a group can be scary but it doesn’t realize it’s a group of humans beings that the worst they can do is say words you may not like. If you think about it, it puts things into perspective for you. Realizing that you’ll still walk away alive.
But you have to want it to help map a new pattern.
The purpose of your mind in this situation is to protect you from what it perceives as a threat and unsafe. But it’s up to you to work with it, for a lack of a better term, to “upload” new information/definitions to it.
It bases its threats from the past.
Take my dog for example. He’s a small Pomeranian mix who barks at his own shadow – ok, not really but he does bark at pretty much everyone!
His past is not very well known to me but I’ve been told by the trainer that he’s simply afraid of everything which makes him anxious.
When there is a real cause for him to bark, I applaud him and say thanks. But usually, there’s no need for his barking. Big dogs, he’s not too fond of or men, but they’re not all as bad as he believes to thing they are.
He sees everything and everyone as a threat. And he’s taken on the role as my protector – so now the poor thing has double the responsibility, falsely taken on this responsibility.
I’m having to teach him and explain to him what is a real threat and what isn’t.
The same goes for your mind.
How DOES a small group make you feel?
Preferring to stay alone?
Either an experience created a negative map in your mind or, you’ve never had an experience with a small group and are worried.
It’s moments like these that help you grow because it adds new details and information into your mind to use at a later date.
“You can’t erase the past, you can only learn from it and decide what to do with this information.” – dh
For the most part, you stick with what you know and you don’t let another experience prove the past ‘wrong’. But wouldn’t it make it easier if you did?
That moment in the past was created out of the person that you were back then. Now, you have a deeper understanding and are different. You’re older. More experienced.
Letting the past dictate your safety is like you still eating Cocoa Puffs for breakfast knowing they’re not as nutritious as you may have been led to believe back in the day.
You’re never a prisoner of your mind, though it feels like you are at times. Your mind is a sponge, it absorbs whatever it can. It’s up to you to sift through the junk.
If there’s something that’s holding you back from whatever goal, or desire you dream about, why wouldn’t you want to step outside of yourself for one second and see the possibilities of doing things a little differently?
To bring it back home, should you feel anxious thinking about a get together, or meeting new people, step outside and see yourself from above. You’ve tackled much scarier moments and here you are.
Experiences are endless. Stop limiting yourself by only sticking to what you know.
Your mind will begin to map out new patterns. Patterns that can be useful for you in the long run.