"...I can't do this."
"...I don't deserve that."
"...I'm not qualified/ strong/ smart/ good enough."
"...My (biggest, wildest) dreams are unrealistic/ out of reach/ too good to be true/ just plain stupid."
"...I'm not ready yet."
Have you ever whispered any of those words to yourself? Of course you have! We all have. Our egos have been taking us for a ride for years, and it's time to check in with those limiting beliefs and really dive into what's going on.
We are all living on the same Earth, but we are living in our own worlds. We all have our unique perspectives, experiences, and stories. That's what makes us human. The experiences we live, day to day, create our own personal reality. These experiences shape who we become, what we believe, how we react, how we live. They define the stories we tell ourselves, what we believe to be true.
Think of our lives like a fresh notebook, filled with blank pages, just waiting to be filled with your lessons, successes, failures, and wisdom. Over time, those pages have been scribbled, doodled on, words crossed out, chicken-scratch in the margins and all.
Our stories are made up of past experiences, memories, and lessons learned. They are our judgements and attachments, our beliefs and values. They are our book of truth.
But what if they aren't? What if the stories we've been telling ourselves are just holding us back?
YOU ARE NOT YOUR STORY. YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAST. YOU ARE NOT YOUR STRUGGLES, FAULTS, OR MISTAKES. DON'T LET THEM DEFINE YOU.
What experiences are you allowing to define you? How are those definitions popping up in each moment? The only reason why these stories have strength, is because you allow them to manifest in your world over and over again. Once you realize that your past is just a story, it can hold no power over you.
When I was younger, I believed that I could do anything I set my mind to. That the world was my playground, and it was chock-full of possibility and wonder. I'd spend hours daydreaming, my imagination soaring high. Then I grew up. Suddenly, instead of being told that I could achieve anything I wanted, I was being told that the world was full of hurt, and pain, and you know, "Life just sucks sometimes." That the world isn't big enough for all of us to have everything we ever dreamt and hoped for. That you need to guard your heart. That sometimes you have to settle. That all dreams don't come true.
It was the switch from "I can do anything!" to "I couldn't possibly." and "Ha! Are you kidding? I'll never be able to make my dreams reality, I'd never be as good as ________, and besides, I know I'd fail. That's what people like me do."
I'd be willing to bet that you'd feel free. Limitless. Expansive. Like the world was your playground, and it was chock-full of possibility and wonder.
And even though there's hurt and pain in the world, life is breathtakingly beautiful, possibilities are always unfolding and showing up in unexpected ways, and there's so much more to be grateful for. And this world we live in? It is big enough for all of us. We no longer have to compete, chase, or beat anyone to the finish line. We are all unique, we all have so much to offer, and the world needs us to bring that to the table. Arm in arm. Cheering each other from the side lines.
And you know what? Dreams do come true. You just have to open your heart up to allow those dreams to come alive.
Want to go a little deeper? Dive in...
What are your stories? What are the things you tell yourself about you? What do you tell yourself about who you are and what is possible for you? What stories do you tell yourself about your relationships, family, body, money, and career? How do those stories affect you? Think about any time you've ever not taken a chance because you didn't think you could handle it or do it. Or any time you've walked away because you didn't think you deserved it/ were ready. Take a second and just notice how strongly you identify with them.
Know that what you're telling yourself are just stories. The only power they have are the power you give them. Each time you begin to tell yourself the same old story, the more you believe it to be true. In this moment, know that these stories do not exist. They do not have to exist.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
For years, we've been telling ourselves the same old song and dance. Chances are, even though in this moment you know those stories aren't true, you'll be reciting them later on. The point is, you have to break the habit. The trick to doing so is to get out of your head. Become conscious of the thoughts you're projecting. Ask yourself: What if this isn't actually true? What if I'm telling myself this because I've had this thought for so long and now I believe it as fact? What if I've just made this up? What are the real reasons why I can't live my dream/ find the guy/ make any money/ hold a steady job/ jump out of my comfort zone? (Note: Self-deprecating answers are just another story.)
Your turn: What do you think? What stories have been holding you back? How does it feel to realize that your past does not define who you are? Let's chat in the comments! I'd love, love, love to hear your thoughts. And if this post really resonated with you, I would be so thankful if you shared it around the web xx
Image via Superette