In the past two years alone, I have started reading more books related to self-development. Many of these books are meant to encourage, inspire, and improve the lives of anyone who reads them. For me, the main focus for reading these types of books has been removing self-doubt and discovering my gifts, along with practicing a lot of self-love. There was a problem I ran into, when first starting to read these amazing books, however; I was not at that point yet where I believed that anything is indeed possible.
From the time we are babies up to our teenage years we are molded into what our teachers and parents lead us to be, but it changes as we get older. For example, when we are little they might encourage us to “follow our dreams” and tell us that “we can be or do anything” we want to in life. As we get older and are nearing the end of our high school career, we are often not being told the same message as when we were younger. Instead, we are encouraged to “go to college” so we can “get a good job” and become “responsible adults” who pay our bills. The focus shifts and we are no longer supposed to dream or believe like we did when we were kids. We are not told to “shoot for the stars” and that “the sky is the limit”. So now, like myself, you may have likely developed a mentality that is self-limiting, self-defeating, and truly believe whole-heartedly that not everything is possible and you must work hard for your money.
My goal here today is to address the idea of how we view ourselves and how we can overcome the barriers that have either been set up for us from a young age or that we ourselves have put in place. How do we get from an “I can’t do anything” standpoint to an “I can do anything I set my mind to” outlook in life? This is where the hard work comes in. The most difficult changes and growth I have experienced in my life have been related to my strong-held beliefs and my old ways of thinking that were molded into me and set in stone as a child. The past several years I have had to chizel away, little by little, until my true self has been broken free and taken shape out of much hard work and dedication. Changing your beliefs does not happen overnight, but over time.
The start can be simple choices like when there is an opportunity that arises that is a little out of your comfort zone and you notice it makes you nervous or even scared. This is when you face that challenge instead of avoiding it or running from it. Whether it is an oppotunity to try something new for the first time or doing something that you love but maybe takes courage. An example in my life is that I love to sing and play guitar. In fact, I write my own songs. When an opportunity comes to me to play in front of a live audience, it excites me and freaks me out at the same time. I start doubting my ability and wonder if anyone will actually enjoy my original songs or what happens if I forget my lyrics in the middle of playing?! How embarrassing that would be! This is the best time to change your thought pattern in each moment like this. Instead of thinking, “this is too much” and “what if I mess up?” I replace those thoughts with “I can totally do this” and “what if I am amazing and everyone loves my music”. Instantly, I feel better and turn my fear into confidence and enthusiasm and my doubts are diminished with more positive emotions. In each choice we make, we can slowly change the way we think from more negative and self-defeating to positive and encouraging. Though I am still a “work-in-progress”, while molding my thoughts each day, I am excited to see the masterpeice that will come out of this wonderful new change in habit. I am choosing to let go of what I am “supposed to look like” and “who I am supposed to be”; no longer having an image in mind of what I want to be, but stay open to the possiblilities (pun intended) to what I will become. I’m possible.