top of page

Safe Is Not The Opposite Of Danger It Is About What Is Familiar

Written by: David Bingley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor David Bingley

As with all things in life, we have a literal and perhaps a one-dimensional view of the words we use and what those words specifically mean to us. Take the word safe for example. What does safe mean to you? Does it mean risk-averse, not being in danger, out of harm’s way, protected? Taking that a bit further, what is a safe place? What does that mean for you? Is it home, a specific place, being with specific people, having security on the front door? 

Man inside the house standing at the window

Pulling apart a word and diving deep into what it means for you, the motivations it inspires and the feelings it provokes is important. We need to look beneath to identify that. It is important because there is a chance that it will mean something else to another person. Conversely, by looking deeper into the word we are crystalizing our understanding and deepening our relationship to that word. Perhaps to the point that we are actively demonstrating what that word means to us.


We need to do this with all words and their specific meaning to us as an individual to identify our truth and unravel any distortion and misconstruction to have that clarity through self-awareness.


The reality, I have found through coaching numerous clients from all around the world is that safe for most of us is the familiar, doing the familiar, being in the familiar. It is what we gravitate to in our behaviors and actions. Most of which are unconscious. 


We need to identify our patterns, preferences, and routines. Many of us have been in some sort of routine or another since birth. Anyone who is a parent will have come across the notion of establishing routines for our child. Routines that will help our children feel safe, loved, and protected. Allowing them to learn and thrive.


As a Coach, I have witnessed countless times the nuances in the meaning of different words, but when it comes to feeling safe often it manifests in our maintaining the familiar, keeping to the status quo. 


When we do this, we tend to avoid or resist change. It is an unconscious behavior, habit, or baseline. And in doing so we may miss opportunities to develop or grow. It might manifest in our internal dialog supporting familiar tendencies to keep our heads down, not get noticed, and not get put on the spot. Beliefs and behaviors we have been told, advised by loved ones or those we respect. We have taken the advice to heart and embodied that in our behaviors and actions.


The more we do this the stronger our resistance or sub-optimal baseline gets. This means that if we become aware of these tendencies, patterns, or habits through coaching, life experiences, or epiphany we have put a spotlight on it. We have become aware of what was previously hidden or unobserved. We have witnessed and acknowledged its existence. Now the brain can get to work and start to highlight it for you through seemingly random occurrences or coincidence. Signs if you will.


Random and coincidence it is not. It is the brain actively looking out for these signs and bringing them into sharp focus for you. It is your choice then to identify them as opportunities to reflect, learn, and change. Ask yourself questions like: What did I learn? What can I do differently? How am I showing up? What is that impact on me? What is my impact on others? How do I want to feel? And, how do I want to show up?


Take some time to reflect on this question. What does safe mean to me? Then look at the context or perspective. How did you pose the question to yourself and how did you interpret it? Was it specific? What is motivating that? What is underneath that? What if you ask it in another context or lens? 


Explore this question at work, with specific stakeholder relationships, with personal relationships, and so on. You will find that you will be nuanced in perspective with each situation. Similar and close enough for them to have merged. This tends to hide or cloud the issues, so they are not clear. As it is easier to bundle them all together.


Going deeper: What is your default tendency to be safe? Feeling safe? How is this impacting you physically? Mentally? Emotionally? How is this influencing your choices? Behaviors? Beliefs? Actions?


In doing so you will be able to widen your perspectives and evolve. 


Knowing what you know now… what would you do differently?


In-Vision Coaching… taking small steps to live large.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

David Bingley Brainz Magazine

David Bingley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David Bingley is an expert in Leadership and Empowerment Coaching, working on mental/emotional fitness and self-awareness. By exploring perspectives to define purpose and direction (our vision, mission and ambition for ourself and the world) to how we frame ourself and embrace our values so our intentions and actions are aligned. David founded In-Vision Coaching as a platform to assist people to empower themselves, take control of their life using the strategies, frameworks and structures he developed to fine tune for peak performance. You may work with David in 1:1 coaching, team coaching or specialist workshops, taking small steps to… LIVE LARGE!



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page