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Why do we shortchange ourselves?

When we finally build up enough courage to venture beyond our comfort zone, dipping our toes into a more joyful life, we end up retreating back into our complacent routines when our actions are questioned. We allow the opinions of others to chain us to a life of regret in which we then harshly judge ourselves. We doubt whether we can handle a different life, whether we even deserve it.

When we become vulnerable enough to express our deepest feelings to someone and they are rejected, we scurry back to the safety of being removed from the world. We allow our fears to hold us back, afraid of facing rejection, but removing and thus shutting out the possibility of someone receiving that true part of us and creating a connection that our soul deeply craves.

We allow ourselves to dream but shoot them down with the so-called reasoning of being practical and realistic. We allow ourselves to settle because of a history that we’re afraid to lose, even when that history doesn’t bring with it the hope of a better future. But what is realistic? What is the truth? What is possible? What is real for you? What are your desires?

When we feel something so true within, when our souls are stirred awake, when our hearts expand in a way that we didn’t feel would be possible again, too often we hide. We dismiss these things because of the voices—both internally and externally. We dismiss these things because we’ve become jaded from past experiences.

What are you truly afraid of? Why won’t you take the risk? Why won’t you venture into the unknown? Why won’t you allow yourself to be vulnerable?

Why won’t you welcome a change in your life which brings with it the possibility of something even more amazing than what you’ve been settling for?

Why do you hide your true self?

We are creatures of comfort. We think, why rock the boat if things aren’t terrible. We settle for good enough instead of great. We cower because we’ve been hurt. We run and hide because we’ve lost hope that there are people out there who would actually welcome our true selves. We don’t want to stand out for fear of being knocked down.

But why do you worry about everybody else? Do your own thoughts not matter? What about the people who are out there waiting to see the real you?

Settling for what is merely good enough shortchanges you from living your life all out. You shut out the things that want to become a part of your life when you close yourself off.

Perhaps you believe due to past mistakes you don’t deserve another chance, you don’t deserve something better. Maybe people have told you that you should just be happy with what you have. But you can have gratitude for what you do have and still know that you are meant for greater things. There’s nothing wrong with that.

So, how do you truly want to feel?

How do you really want to live?