Stepping out from under the radar can be an enormous risk. Allowing yourself to be noticed for who you are, and what you actually feel, can elicit criticism, judgment, and blame. Therefore, actually avoiding this altogether often seems like the best possible alternative. However, if we want to connect with others, we don’t have any other options, but to step out of this space.
There’s great safety in staying small and out of sight. You don’t have the likelihood of being hurt, which can be very appealing. You aren’t likely to offend others, and you can largely avoid judgment from others. However, if you have any desire in making friendships or romantic relationships, staying small rarely works out.
We are constantly surrounded by illusions of work-arounds. These are ways we can stay out of vulnerability and avoid communicating who we actually are and what we actually want. The problem with these work-arounds is that they keep us small. Great examples of work-arounds that are used are online dating websites and applications. These are some of the most commonly used work-arounds that many people use. They give illusions of being able to stay out of the uncertainty and vulnerability when stepping out to start a new relationship. They also give us the opportunity to paint pictures of ourselves to others that aren’t accurate, but that we feel would be more attractive and even more loveable.
In the work we do in The Daring Way™, we encourage people to find ways that they can “show up and be seen,” which will lead to true connections. This means stepping into uncertain arenas and respecting the risks and fear associated with this. It also helps to show that no one is alone in this. We’re all wired for connection, and it’s understandable to try to obtain a sense of connection in a way that minimizes risk. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this. Therefore, finding support who will acknowledge their own vulnerabilities can help you to know that you’re not alone when you fail or you’re criticized or judged.
The best first step is to think of what a small step into vulnerability would be. If jumping out, being exposed directly into the middle of the arena sounds too scary, then take a small risk, and see how that works out instead. Many times people are pleasantly surprised to find out that it works out better than they thought it would. However, if it doesn’t, don’t go back into being small and hidden. Instead, use that support system to encourage you to go back into the arena again. In time, you’ll find the connections that you’ve been missing in your life.