I’m so glad you’re here, I wanted to talk to you specifically, the person who just decided to try the next strategy on productivity, who just read that book about how to REALLY be happy, who woke up really early this morning for a run for the first time in a month because you’re sick of feeling lethargic all the time. You’re the person that has a fire inside them that never died out, even though it always feels like it’s 10 steps forward and 11 steps back.
I wanted to share my adoration and my love and my sense of belonging to you, as many had tried for me for so many years. These words may just be text on a screen, but just as a beloved teacher and a treasured student share a bond of learning together, you and I are both for each other on the same journey of self-growth.
I know it seems like I’m talking to everyone or no one. But I’m not talking to the people who found “success” early on and decided that achievement for achievement’s sake was the end-all-be-all. The ones who never forged their own path, the ones who decided that a safe life was enough.
No, I’m talking to You, the Person, who despite growing up feeling like less than everyone else, despite all the dark days of self-loathing and depression, despite the toxic people pervading your space, despite the countless people you’ve tried to please, the strategies you’ve tried, the countless hours of work you’ve put in desperately trying to change for the better, has never let any of these passing challenges touch the fire that burns within them; the fire that tells us that we can be better, that we can be happy, that we can achieve great things in the service of others to make the world a better place, that we can be worthy of the love that is offered to us no matter how much we tell ourselves we’re not.
If this is true of you, we’re the same soul. Let these words hit you with the love that you’ve felt you’ve had to work for your whole life. The truth is you never had to work for it, you were always worthy of it from the very beginning.
“Worthiness has no Prerequisites.” — Brene Brown
I would encourage you to think of all the work you’ve put in to improving yourself, to getting better, to being happier. Every action and intention you had has been worthwhile and has paid off so much more than you know. You’ve grown that fire inside of your heart, everything stems from that heat. Your awareness of it fills you with longing to make your dreams a real in front of you because you know that there IS a better life out there for you, a life totally your own. But it seems like there’s something stopping you from that dream.
How many times have you looked back on a day where you did fill your potential? Wasn’t the work itself so much easier in the end than you thought? It was the Fear that gave you pause before you even acted, or decided to act.
I would posit to you that Fear is the immediate thing stopping you from consistent action. It isn’t laziness or lack of knowledge or resources. I know this because I spent the better part of my life searching for this wall. It felt like trying to win an obstacle course with a blindfold on. How could I get better if I didn’t know what the obstacles looked like?
So I traced the outlines of the wall with my hands, felt the cement at its base, and dug into the ground to find its root. Why is this fear controlling me? How has it grown into this impassable wall?
This wall of fear had been mortared, reinforced, and created by my Beliefs.
We create Beliefs when we’re very young, in a world of black and white. We assign meanings to events, meanings to ourselves, and meanings to our value as people when we aren’t old enough to go to Junior High School.
How well do you think your seven-year-old self analyzed the events of your childhood? Do you think that you were able to look on those traumatic or stressful events with your parents and teachers with nuance and wisdom? I will tell you that I did not have that ability until I was much older.
But no one has to tell us if we believe something or not, it is a gut feeling that has informed our worldview and dictated our view of ourselves. We might be reticent to accept that we have negative beliefs about ourselves, but the truth is these beliefs are almost universal. The belief “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy” are extremely common, but our awareness these beliefs and their effects are not.
How might the belief “I’m not competent as a person” affect your career? Even if you do good work, have you ever found yourself worrying whether you’ll be “found out” by your colleagues or your boss? That you are hiding the fact that you aren’t good enough THROUGH your work and dedication to your job? How might it feel if you knew you were inherently competent as a person, that your professional worth wasn’t contingent on each and every project? How might things be different?
Alternatively, have you ever felt like you weren’t worthy of a romantic partner, or worthy of their affection? Have you ever had the thought “what could they possibly see in me?” You might not have realized until now that you have any of these beliefs.
That is ok. You aren’t blind anymore. You know what your wall is made of now, you know where it is and what it is. You can stare at it in the face.
How do I get rid of these beliefs you say? That is the million-dollar question. I will tell you.
You have to go to those moments where you felt those beliefs form, and realize that those events had no inherent meaning, that the beliefs you formed came from YOU, NOT the events themselves. The idea that you are “not good enough” is not set in stone anywhere, it is not THE truth.
This may seem hard to accept, you might find yourself obstinate in your old thinking. The crucial point is that in these childhood events, it my have seemed like you SAW your beliefs in these events, but think. Did you ever really see the beliefs? Or did you see the events themselves?
We assigned meanings to all of these events in our life. But the power we have is that we can assign different meanings to them now.
I highly recommend the “ReCreate Your Life” program by Shelly Lefkoe for a whole process on getting rid of your beliefs. (I’m not associated with them in any way, nor will I receive any money or compensation for recommending it). I’ve just found that the Lefkoe method works, and I feel more liberated from my negative beliefs than I have ever been. It’s not another quick fix, it’s the root of all those anxieties we’ve felt in our lives.
Our engine has been revving up for years now. Fear has held us back from progress. Our beliefs are the fuel and backbone for this fear. When we eliminate the negative beliefs, the fear subsides. And we hit the ground running faster and farther than we had every dreamed we could.