Coming Out of the Shadows
Here we’ll explore the beauty and freedom of creating our best lives and what it means to live boldly as ourselves. How can we come out of the shadows and open up our universe? Let’s dive in.
When is the time you felt your best? This question often makes people scan their brains for big moments and life events, but for right now I’d like you to close your eyes and ask yourself: When did I feel good? Feel amazing? Feel free? Remember exactly how it felt. Recreate the moment in your mind. Where were you? What was the temperature like? Could you feel the cool breeze across your face? Get into the specifics of exactly how you felt. Now…what if you truly felt that it was possible for you to live in this way, more and more steadily until your life was one long smile? It is possible. It’s what happens when we step out of our comfort zone and out of the shadows of our darkness.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Plato
Time and again it has been found that, when it comes down to it, people don’t want to change. It’s uncomfortable and it can be scary. Leaving your old self behind includes releasing parts of you that you’ve had all your life. Like a friend you’ve known since primary school with whom it’s just easier to continue to be friends with, whether they add anything positive to your life or not. But only from a place of discomfort can we grow. So I invite you to leap with both feet into the unknown – because the unknown is where growth (and endless possibility) lie.
One of the reasons this big of a shift is so difficult for many is because there is a lot of identity we must give up when we choose happiness. Victim, for example, is a strong identity that can be harder to let go of than we imagine. By letting go of, or unbecoming, a victim, there is suddenly no one to blame. You alone are responsible for what you do and how you do it. It’s healthy to have this reaction at first, but I challenge you to push past it. And I promise you the freedom is worth it. Write down a list of every ‘thing’ and every ‘one’ you are. Which of these do you want to un-become? Who do you want to leave behind? Who would you like to become instead? Start with the parts of yourself you love and expand from there. Hold yourself accountable by asking yourself before you make a decision: Who is this decision serving? Someone I want to become or someone I want to un-become?
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Helen Keller
When you go through the discomfort of the unknown and begin “un-becoming” what no longer serves you, while becoming who you want to be, a time will come that you must decide to leave the darkness behind and step out of the shadow of your pain and discomfort. But this is what it means to live boldly. The actual definition is: “Not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.” Living boldly means creating the freedom for yourself to decide before you do something that the outcome (including how others may perceive you) does not matter; what matters is that you did what you felt was right. You begin to know that you are doing just fine; more than fine… you are giving yourself permission to thrive.
If you want to learn more about being your best self, in this 3 Part Series we’ve gone over the irrational thinking and the negative effects it can produce in our mind and subsequently, our lives. You can read about our tendency to irrationally compare ourselves to others and tips to overcome that pitfall. Then explore self worth, how we came to believe what we do about ourselves, and how important it is for us to take charge of a shift around it. Remember to give yourself a break, you’re doing great. Now go live boldly.
If you, a friend or family member is suffering from these and other similar issues, check out some of my other resources and blogs on the topics of self-care, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so I may offer some help.
To your good mental health,