There’s No Such Thing As Playing It Safe, Only Playing It Familiar

I know you believe that it’s possible to play it safe.

I know you have gone many years defaulting to what’s a safe bet, a sure choice, an easy guarantee. I know you have made many choices up until now that fit neatly within what you’ve decided is accessible and simple and steady. I know you have lived in a way that has built a comfort zone around the fears that were too sharp to process, and I know that if you have done it for long enough, that comfort has begun to feel like a cage.

I know it feels as though there is a safe way to move through life, but there isn’t — there is only a familiar way.

We build our concept of safety around whatever we are exposed to, whatever we get used to, whatever is certain enough that at least we know what we’re trying to manage. We build our idea of what’s easy around what we were around for long enough, and that is precisely where the growing pain occurs.

Deep down, we know that there is no such thing as playing it safe. We know that there is nothing that comes without occasional friction, and vulnerability. We know that anything we actually care about will put our hearts on the line. We know that if we dare to love what we truly love, we also risk losing what really matters. It is not that one path is safe and another is risky, it’s that we aren’t willing to risk what’s too meaningful to us, and so we remain attached to what we know wouldn’t hurt us too badly. 

We were not meant to only pursue what’s easy, we were meant to stretch the corners of our perceived limits and break through them. We were not meant to settle for the love that’s simple, or the one that just “makes sense.” We were meant to run like wild toward what sets us on fire inside, the people we are drawn to, again and again.

The reality is that there are actually only two ways to live: in accordance with our truth, and not.

We can either feel the stinging fear of trying for something we care about and getting turned down, or the heavy longing of feeling stuck beneath a life we didn’t choose. We can either spend our time around the people who we came upon by happenstance, or go out of our way to find the ones who make us truly feel alive.

When we’re young, we have a grasp on what’s right — the things that make us actually feel. 

As we get older, we allow the years to pass as we choose what’s safe, again, and again, and again. In place of the lives we were meant to live, we become a shell of the person we were meant to be.

I hope you will know that there is no such thing as playing it safe. 

I hope you will realize that what you might lose is nothing in comparison to going your entire life without gaining what was really waiting for you all along.

What’s safe to us is what is familiar, and what is familiar is what we’re around for long enough that it begins to feel like a part of us. Move toward the things that make you feel alive, and let your roots entangle with them. Adapt to the habits that move you forward, the people who inch you closer to who you want to be. It’s all waiting for you to leap. 

About the author
Author of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think and The Mountain Is You Follow Brianna on Instagram or read more articles from Brianna on Thought Catalog.

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