How to feel safe and banish the illusion of security
Five strategies on how to feel safe in this crazy world and an explanation of the illusion of security that we are all led to believe exists but really doesn't.
When I was a little girl, I thought my parents were supposed to provide me with an environment where I could feel safe. As an adult, I thought getting a good job and having lots of belongings was what provided the feeling of being safe and secure. This article is about this illusion of security that we are all fed to believe but it isn’t true.
In the case of my parents, the environment they provided was the opposite of safe. Instead, it was one of constant fear, negativity, poverty and all kinds of abuse. They failed as parents to provide me with the basics that all children deserve to have and that is a loving and safe environment to grow up in.
Even if you were blessed to have had loving and kind parents, sometimes it’s impossible for them to shield you from everything dangerous in the outside world. As a child you may have experienced things that were beyond your parents control or outside their control such as accidents, predators or natural disasters.
So really, no matter how intent your parents were on keeping you safe the idea of safety as a child is, more often than not, an illusion of security.
Then we grow into adults and are convinced by society that getting a ‘good’ job will provide security. The problem with believing that, is that it’s not true. I had what would be considered a ‘good’ job with a six figure income and all the trimmings. While I was on vacation travelling through Italy I received the news that the company had folded and with it, all of my commissions that I was owed.
What I have learnt is that no job in this world is ‘secure’ because there is a thing called change that is the only certainty. The economy can change, industry can change, people can change. The moment you think you are secure in your job is the moment you need to be concerned. It’s the only thing, besides death itself, that is certain…things can, and often will change.
I used to think that having lots of ‘stuff’ provided me with security and I guess it does because if anything changes you can always sell your stuff to get by but this too is an illusion of security because, as anyone who has been through a natural disaster can tell you, it can all be gone in an instant. There could be a fire, flood, earthquake or any number of unexpected occurrences and you could be left with just the clothes on your back.
So, what is security then? The truth is that all of these things can give you an illusion of security but real security comes from knowing that no matter what life throws at you, you can handle it. It’s a sense of personal power and a quiet confidence in your capabilities that is something that we are all born with but somehow gets lost along the way.
The good news is that it can be harnessed and like a muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it becomes. Here are five ways that you can grow that sense of being safe within yourself rather than the illusion of security:
- Reference past experiences – Now I don’t want you to have to go out there and experience all of the things that might hurt you in order to know that you can handle anything. You don’t have to! Instead, look back at what you have handled in the past as a reference for what you are likely to be able to handle in the future.
- Learn from others – I have the firm belief that if someone else can do it, then so can I. So look to learn from others who have been through similar experiences. With the internet these days it is easy to find someone who has successfully navigated pretty much anything you might have to face in your life.
- Choose what you watch more carefully – Watching the news will only feed your fear of all the things that could harm you. Every day there is disaster, sadness and madness dramatised in front of you. Instead, choose to watch more empowering programs to give yourself the sense of safety and you will find there is more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ in the world if you choose to see it.
- Practice asking for help – It is so much harder to feel safe if you are trying to do it all alone. Knowing that you have the ability and the support around you of having people you can ask for help from if you happened to need it, will create a sense of security for you. Build a network of people around you and practice asking for their help.
- Understand the feeling of fear – The feeling of insecurity is just that, a feeling. When you aren’t feeling safe the feeling you have is created from fear and just like every other fear, it is simply a signal for you to evaluate if it’s real or not, and then take action. If it genuinely is a situation you may get harmed in, then take action to get out of there and if it is a fear that is made up in your head, then take action to set your mind straight with the truth. Understanding how fear works will support you to feel more secure within yourself.
Fear really is at the base of all of our negative feelings and being afraid that you aren’t safe in this world is one of them. I hope this article has been helpful to you to understand how to feel safe and banish the illusion of security. If you would like more information on how to master your fears then click here to download the five steps to facing fears.