A girlfriend and I were talking the other day about how uncomfortable it can feel to step out, express ourselves from the heart and allow ourselves to shine. With a hint of tongue in cheek, she shared how rare she realizes it was to grow up in a family who believed in the "special snowflake theory", where each person is celebrated for their uniqueness; no snowflake is like another.
This way of thinking runs directly counter to our deep survival psychology which seeks refuge and safety in sameness. On an instinctive animal level, stepping out from the crowd makes us feel like the mouse in the field that has been spotted by the hawk. It makes us feel like prey.
Staying small and blending in, while feeling much safer on one level, is torture to our souls which know that our life has purpose and meaning beyond surviving.
As we mature individually and collectively we need connection to the wisdom traditionally shared by sages and shaman, which in our culture looks like therapists and self-help books, that guides our souls out of expressions of fear into those of love. This is a shift our world so deeply yearns for.