Hide and Seek: Harm­less Game or Harsh Real­ity?

By Nata­sha Van­z­etti

Over our life­times we spend so much time mould­ing ourselves into who we think we should be, that we for­get who we really are. But worse than that, we let go of who we’re yet to become.

When I was a kid I used to love a game of hide-and-seek. I would play with my friends in the bush­land near my home or in my Grandpa’s sheds. 

As an adult I played with my kids, search­ing around the house pre­tend­ing I couldn’t see their feet stick­ing out from under the cur­tains or hear them gig­gling from behind the doors.

What I thought was a harm­less game was actu­ally a harsh real­ity. You see it turns out I’ve been play­ing hide and seek with myself for most of my life.

I’ve been seek­ing oppor­tun­ity and a path that would bring me the joy and ful­fil­ment I craved, yet hid­ing my true self in the pro­cess.

At school I stud­ied the classes I thought would get me ‘the good job’ not the ones that I was actu­ally inter­ested in.

I sought out pro­mo­tions in jobs that weren’t a good fit for me per­son­ally because they looked great on paper. 

I became really good at seek­ing, but even bet­ter at hid­ing.

Hid­ing from myself, and also hid­ing from oth­ers.

Even­tu­ally the game had to come to an end, but my lifelong habit of hide and seek was a tough one to break.

I would take two steps for­ward in my new dir­ec­tion, and then retreat and hide again. I kept slip­ping back into the com­fort of cer­tainty even though deep down I knew I wanted more. 

We think by play­ing small we’ll stay safe, but all we’re doing is hurt­ing ourselves. 

A few years ago I had an oppor­tun­ity to climb Mount Kin­abalu in Borneo. We’d made the first part of the climb and had grabbed a few hours sleep at the rest house. At 1.30am we were woken to eat and get ready for our climb to the Sum­mit. It was pitch black and as I looked up towards the Sum­mit I saw a trail of tiny lights lead­ing up to the sky.

At first I thought they were the stars, but I soon real­ised they were the head­lamps of my fel­low climbers mak­ing their way up the moun­tain. Each one was so small and seem­ingly insig­ni­fic­ant, but the more I thought about it the more I real­ised it only takes one star to have a huge impact in the world.

Some­thing with­in me stirred and I knew I wanted to make an impact. I wanted to cre­ate a ripple effect around me so each small step that I took would reach out and mul­tiply.

As the sun rose that morn­ing I looked out from the sum­mit at the world beneath me, I real­ised it was up to me to make a dif­fer­ence, and be the dif­fer­ence in my life. I could no longer wait for oth­ers to give me the per­mis­sion I sought or tell me what I needed to do. 

Only I knew what was right for me.

We aren’t in school any­more. We don’t have to wait to be picked for the team. It’s now up to us to pick ourselves, step for­ward and cre­ate the life we want.

To feel how we want to feel.

To play how we want to play.

To work how we want to work.

To live how we want to live.

You have to put your­self for­ward so the oppor­tun­it­ies you’re look­ing for are able to find you. If you stay hid­den in the dark with the rest of the stars, how will oppor­tun­ity know which one to pick?

You need to shine brighter by being hon­est with your­self and those around you about who you are and what you actu­ally want.

Join me to dis­cov­er how to step into the dir­ec­tion you want to take at the ‘Now you see Me…’ work­shop at the upcom­ing TEDx­Can­ber­ra Salon event on 25th March 2017.

This work­shop will help you get clear on your inten­tion and be empowered to go after what you actu­ally want to cre­ate. Ima­gine a life where you show up as who you really want to be, and embrace the ideas you have. A life where you feel cour­ageous enough to step into the power already with­in you.

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