A few weeks ago I listened to a friend, passionate about safe bike riding, speaking about how bikers seems to have a false sense of security – they feel safe when they aren’t, and lull themselves into complacency when they need to be alert.
I began to muse on how our society as a whole seems to have, in other arenas, exactly the opposite – a false sense of insecurity: from our politicians and political policies down to the belief that anyone with children must have a metal-clad SUV to drive their kids around in.
How often have I witnessed lately – and even participated in – people opting for solutions based on protection and nothing else? How often have I witnessed overly aggressive reactions to anyone disagreeing to such a stance? Before I became a therapist and life coach, I was often involved in leading teams to protect companies from potential disaster. I’m used to thinking about protection – probably more so than most others. And this may be why I can recognize this trend today.
As a former disaster recovery expert, I’ve learned that the best solutions to protecting ourselves from possible disasters are always the simplest ones: building in redundancy; ensuring that whatever backup solutions you have are seamless and easy to implement by anyone.
Ironically, experts tell us that we in the Western world live in a time of unparalleled safety. And yet we feel insecure. It may be that we are unused to feeling safe and suspect it. Or it may be that our expectations are unrealistic.
Whatever the reason, this false sense of insecurity is epidemic, and it generates mistrust. Even aggression.
What can you do about it?
- First become aware of what it looks like, and how it makes you feel. That, in itself, will help you begin to change your approach.
- Develop a healthy scepticism to anything that generates this false sense of insecurity, by learning to question it and determining its legitimacy.
- Once you have a clearer picture of what’s happening, you will also have a clearer picture of your options.
Just because we live in a culture of insecurity doesn’t mean we have to participate in it. Feeling insecure is disempowering. You don’t have to live that way.
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .