A friend of mine achieved an amazing feat last night. For the first time, she moved into and held side plank in yoga class.
This may not sound like a momentous occasion to you, but she’s been telling herself for years that she couldn’t do it. When you’ve worked up that kind of disbelief, the satisfaction when you finally do it is huge!
I heard the news just after our fourth call for the Quit That Shit! program. In the course, we’re digging deep into creating the careers of our dreams and last night was all about the negative beliefs that block and stop us – so it was perfect timing.
At some point we all fall prey to our own limiting beliefs.
They sound something like this:
- “I wish I could do that, but I can’t”
- “Maybe if I had more money”
- “That’s not how it’s done.”
- “I’m not qualified / certified / knowledgable enough”
- “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
- “You won’t amount to anything if you don’t ….”
I do it all the time. In fact, I unwittingly spewed out a limiting belief on the course call.
A participant mentioned a TV personality she admires and I responded “I bet if you ask her, she’d complain about the salary; that kind of TV doesn’t pay well.”
Woah, woah, woah!
Here is woman tenderly moving into the vulnerable space of exploring her most secret vision for herself and I trample all over it.
And I’m not the only one! Parents, teachers, well-meaning friends, media messages – we’re bombarded by other people’s world-views our whole lives.
Some of it’s helpful – stepping in front of cars is dangerous. Some of it’s not – going into business is risky; good guys don’t win at the stock market; you can’t do anything without a degree.
As human sponges, we’re constantly absorbing what we’re told.
Sometimes, we’re aware enough to filter out what isn’t helpful. But sometimes, we don’t know what to think or expect, so we take on someone else’s beliefs and fears without realizing we’re selling ourselves short.
Because that’s all it takes.
One little voice – one seed of doubt – and you can spend years using it as your rationale for why you shouldn’t, couldn’t, or haven’t pursued your dream.
Because, why bother? It won’t be worth it anyway.
Except it’s always worth it.
Getting close enough to taste your dream is what life is about.
But that doesn’t mean you have to buy it once you’re there. Get close enough to make your own decisions – to figure out if it’s really everything you hoped and expected or if the nay-sayers were right after all.
Decide based on your own first-hand experience of what it’s like and what’s right for you.
When I reached my dream career in the government, I could’ve stayed in for life. I could’ve used my skills in some other manner and continued to move up the ladder.
But that wasn’t my dream. Sure, I could’ve made it my new dream, but that path wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (for me), so I moved on to another dream.
Now I envision flying around the world, teaching and sharing with others, and spending time enjoying fresh foods and sun on far-flung beaches.
If I get there and it turns out I’d rather stay home instead of camping out in luxury hotels, then I’ll change my mind and follow that dream.
But don’t let someone else’s fear of failing – or succeeding – stop you from trying.
Don’t believe the assumptions and fears that you’ve heard from others – even people you respect – without checking them against your own experience and belief system.
And if you really want to catapult yourself towards your dreams, let go of the people who are happy to just yell “watch out! It’s too dangerous!” from the sidelines.
Instead surround yourself with people who are going to say “finally! what took you so long? I knew you could do it” when you get there.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!