Recently, I have been thinking about limitations.
The self-imposed kind.
Why do I tell myself, “You can’t do that! You don’t have the credentials.” Or here’s another oldie but goldie. “You tried that before and it didn’t work. What makes you think that this time will be any different?” That one stops me in my tracks the minute it pops its ugly head up in my thoughts.
But then I look around and see all sorts of people who have tried before, failed, and tried again, only to succeed. Or folks who don’t have the college degree, but they hold a doctorate in courage and faith.
Why do I create my own self-imposed “gravity” that limits my dreams, stomps on my courage and deadens my excitement for the new?
For me the answer is as complex as it is simple (I assume that is true for most people – give me a shout out if you just nodded at that last sentence!) The bottom line for me is a deep-seated, forever-with-me sense of unworthiness. I think it is also called “Fear of Failure.”
But what if…fear is an illusion and you could never fail?
I have discovered through my reading of various materials and my own personal experiences that as soon as I step around the fear that I created, I could see that it wasn’t true. All it did was hold me down, like gravity x 1,000. All I had to do was step away from the fear to free myself to connect once again with the creative force that was waiting patiently.
When I am faced with a decision and I know one choice is dictated by fear, I ask myself the following question:
“What if…what I fear is just an illusion?”
Then I sit still very quietly and listen for the answer. When I know what it is, I always will know what to do.
“But I may fail!” My insistent monkey brain always shouts as the last resort. When I fall for this last desperate attempt, I do end up failing, because I did not step around, away from or beyond the rock of fear-of-failure. So the second step in my formula is always to ask the follow-up question:
That opens the door to my imagination to all of the infinite possibilities. Those far outweigh “failure” and have enough juice to get me going around the fear. If you still have problems after this second step, ask the logical follow-up question:
“How am I defining failure?”
Once you bring the imagined failure out into the light, it will shrivel up and disappear. Guaranteed.
And you just discovered your very own, personal gravity-buster. Works like a charm, every time.