Are you constantly playing it safe?
How is that impacting you and your life?
Resources & References
Related episodes & posts:
How to do the thing that scares you (that you’ve been avoiding)
How to stop shrinking (because of who you think you are)
The moment you’re faced with uncertainty
Is it riskier to avoid risk?
“One of the most important things that you can do in your life is only make the decisions that actually expand you, that scare you, that take you to a much farther place than you have before… because almost every decision you make either expands you or contracts you.”
—Kyle Cease, The Horrifying Illusion of Security
Aili Kuutan: Are you constantly playing it safe? How is that impacting you and your life?
Aili Kuutan: You're listening to pure light, where we explore how you can believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. My name is Aili. I'm a coach, writer and yoga and meditation teacher. This is episode 125 and it's about the illusion of security.
Aili Kuutan: I talked a bit about playing it safe in the last episode, in that avoiding risk can be a way of trying to avoid emotions, especially intense emotions related to the possibility of rejection or failure or something like that. And to put it another way, staying in your comfort zone is a way of stifling your experience of life. It's a way of trying to keep your emotional experience within the realm of what you already know, so it's a way of not rocking the boat in order to avoid outcomes that you may not like.
Aili Kuutan: So how does this relate to the illusion of security? Every choice you make is either rooted in trying to create safety and security for yourself and stick with what you already know, or in trying to create a new reality and build a new future. Playing it safe doesn't actually create security. It just creates the illusion of security because in your mind, you've minimized risk. You've chosen the path that creates the external conditions that align with your beliefs about what security is, so it seems safe, but it's an illusion because it's an idea in your head. It's a mental projection. It's not necessarily true that the safe path will provide security.
Aili Kuutan: You won't necessarily feel more secure just because you're making safe choices and your inner experience won't necessarily change when you try to create the external conditions that you associate with security, because what can happen when you have ideas about what security is, is that it almost becomes like a checklist. Like, do I have a stable relationship? Do I have a job with benefits? Do I have money in the bank? And then you start to go down the list and you can go check, check, or see what's missing. And when that's how you define security – as something that you can evaluate in your mind, based on your external conditions – it can become a moving target, because you can always change your mind.
Aili Kuutan: Let's say, for example, initially you think that security is making like $50,000 a year... and then you make $50,000 a year, and then all of a sudden that target goes up. Now maybe it's $70,000 a year. And then when you hit $70,000, it becomes $100,000. So the way that you feel internally doesn't necessarily change whenever you hit whatever that definition of security is, because you usually feel any different. So you're going to change the target and make it something higher.
Aili Kuutan: So security is something that becomes like a moving target that's constantly expanding. And at the same time, you're shrinking into a lesser version of yourself because you're containing your aliveness in a way, because when you're making the safe choice, by definition, it's not the courageous choice. So life will inherently have uncertainty, no matter which path you choose. It's not like when you play it safe, the world's going to reward you with things, staying the same forever. Things that are totally unpredictable can happen, even if you choose the safe path. So given that, what do you want to choose? The thing that seems safe or the thing that makes you more fully alive?
Aili Kuutan: The highest form of security is knowing that you can handle whatever comes your way, that no matter what external conditions present themselves in your life, you will be okay, and you will not only get through it, but rise above it and come through even stronger.
Aili Kuutan: That sense of resilience and knowing that you'll be okay comes from connection to self and trusting yourself that you'll be able to handle it. True security is something that you can only find within yourself. It comes from that connection and trust that you have within you.
Aili Kuutan: I was curious to see what would come up if I Googled the illusion of security and I came across a video from Kyle Cease. In it, he said: "One of the most important things you can do in your life is only make the decisions that actually expand you, that scare you, that take you to a much further place than you have before, because almost every decision you make either expands you or contracts you."
Aili Kuutan: When you're constantly playing it safe, you're containing your own expansion. You're setting the limit for what's possible for you within your comfort zone and robbing yourself of the opportunity to grow. And when you play it safe all the time, you put other things at risk, things like your own growth and evolution and the possibility of finding security within you through connection to self and trusting yourself that you'll be okay, no matter what happens.
Aili Kuutan: If you enjoyed this episode, share it with someone else. I'll include a link to that video with Kyle in the show notes, which you can find at purelightpodcast.com. Thanks so much for listening until next time, may you be guided by your light.
Get new episodes by email
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.