Who is threatened by your success? Who gets scared when you let yourself shine? Do you crawl back in your box when you see the frightened look on their face?
Intellectually, we know that we are not doing anyone any favors by protecting people. Holding yourself back for another person to feel safe is obviously not good for either person. You need to break free, and they need to be pushed out of their comfort zone.
So why do we keep protecting other people? It is an emotional issue that goes deep. The primary charge likely occurred in childhood- typically from an insecure parent being threatened by the beauty of your being.
When you were young, you needed the acceptance of your parent(s) for survival. The risk of being awesome and beautiful was too high. So you molded yourself into something that was palatable for your parent(s) and the rest of your family. You learned to fit in. You learned to not rock the boat.
But you are not a child anymore. You are not reliant on your parent for survival. They may not even be alive anymore. It is just a habit or behavioral pattern now. You may have replaced your insecure parent with a new family member- or a boss or friend. So now when you shine or get ready to break free- it is them that becomes frightened.
So we crawl back in our box for them. All is well in Camelot again. Our relationship might not be able to handle it. It's not that big a deal to stifle our passion. We can tell ourselves our dreams are not that important. We could be happy and free. But as long as everyone feels safe and comfortable- it'll be alright. Until it's not.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.