Growing up my world was scary.
I encountered repeated traumas. I watched my mom drink to excess and turn into a monster. My parents fought nightly, the screams reverberating through the walls as I tried to sleep. I was seven when I watched Mom being arrested for a DUI. The world was scary, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
In her work Brené Brown says
“Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There’s a reclaiming that has to happen.”
Right now, I’ m in the middle of that reclaiming.
For years, I struggled. I watched the people around me excel as I stalled. I turned inward, thinking something was wrong with me. That I was unmotivated and not strong enough. As I began my healing journey, I began to realize it was something different. My environment growing up taught me that risk was dangerous. I had a limiting mindset, and that held me back.
I lacked the room to be vulnerable. I did not reach out and try new things because they were scary. My childhood had shaped me for survival, not growth. Life was already full of risk and fear. Play it safe was my motto.
But that held me back. I carried that limiting mindset into adulthood. I quit when things got hard. I did not reach for my goals. I settled for the first job that came my way to be safe. I allowed people to mistreat me because I thought something was better than nothing. I did not pursue my passions.
because the risk involved terrified me.
But lately there has been a shift.
Over the last few years, I have been working on healing. In late 2018 I hit rock bottom mentally. I realized that something did not change I was in trouble. I started the hard work of healing. Slowly I started to move into a healthier place. As I have gotten better, I have felt my attitudes and mindsets shift.
I have started to move out of my safety mindset. I took little risks. When those paid off and not threatened my sense of safety, I have moved onto bigger risks. Instead of “I can’t do that” it has been “What is the harm in trying?” I am learning that I can take risk, and the bottom will not fall out under me. That knowledge has given me the confidence to be vulnerable. That has led to an incredible amount of growth in my life.
That vulnerability has allowed me to move forward. I am currently debating two job offers for positions in a field I am passionate about. Yesterday I finished my application for graduate school. I am finally reaching out for more. What is amazing is that I am finding success. After so many years of holding back, it is incredible empowering to reach my dreams.
After so many years of making myself small to survive, I am spreading my wings. That limiting mindset is falling away, and I get to experience how beautiful life is.
The world is not scary anymore.