Is There Power in Fitting In?

Do you know that fitting in can be a survival mechanism, which relates to the social nervous system?

We are used to think that under threat, we can only react in 3 ways: flight-fight-freeze. Well, this is not the whole story. Accordingly to the polyvagal theory developed by renowned researcher Dr. Stephen Porges, some pieces are missing in this equation.Fitting in relates to one of them.
Fitting in is also a reaction to danger. We behave this way when the only way to belong is to become agreeable and less of a threat by giving away parts of ourselves.
This response it's like a camouflage. Blending in with the environment or staying small, so that to avoid conflict. 

At least for myself, I know this strategy well.
Many of my behaviours, relationships and even career directions, had and some still have this pattern in it's wake.

Is there any power for me in fitting in, right now?
Although this sort of power had kept me safe at some points in my life, right now feels very crippling. 
Engaged with the career I love and a wonderful community of family and friends, when I need to become bigger, claim territory and market my work, I dread criticism and confrontation. 

Something in my chest gets heavy, restless. My throat and mouth shrinks and close. My voice weakens. I feel like running away. Or hide behind house holding stuff (believe me, there is plenty of that around here) and sink my ears into my shoulders.

But, I can recognise the underneath fear in here. Such as the fear of being rejected, hurt or of disappointment. I am more aware of my needs and the pattern as it shows in my physical body. I ask for help. And I carry some skills which resource me enormously. 

Because this is a survival response, located in my parasympathetic nervous system, in  it's ventral branch (the social side) I want to engage with approaches which are body-centred and have a embodied understanding of the nervous system.

If I am to stand my ground, set boundaries, differentiate and reveal my self without apologies -  I need to practice this slowly and within my nervous system capacity.
Increasing the nervous system capacity it's a practice. It requires consistency, perseverance and active participation. I can do this with someone, but no one can do it for me.

For me this is as necessary as worthwhile.
By increasing this capacity, I can tolerate more energy, sensation, expansion and pleasure in my body. It supports me to take risks without loosing myself.
It is my experience that getting out of this limitative and now disempowering pattern, can only lead to one thing: life! Lot’s of it.