People want to be happier. More fulfilled.
People want to feel more connected to themselves and the world around them.
So what gets in the way?
Let's break it down.
THOUGTHS AND BELIEVES THAT GET IN THE WAY OF WHAT YOU WANT:
Who am I to pitch this idea?
What right do I have to ask for more?
Maybe I should just be grateful for what I have. . .
I don't want to seem too full of myself.
I'm not ready!
I don't know where to start.
What if I make a fool of myself?
What if I fail?
I feel like such an imposter.
Would it help you to know that people from all walks of life struggle with imposter syndrome and fear making a total fool of themselves?
Including movie stars like Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and Natalie Portman.
Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once told a reporter: I have written 11 books, but each time I think, 'uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.
LUCKY FOR US, THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.
You can feel competent, worthy, and deserving.
You can live everyday with intention.
You can bypass negative self-talk.
You can handle everything life throws at you.
You can do things you never thought were possible.
You can discover how strong you truly are.
You can try something new.
You can expand your horizon.
You can create a life you're truly wild about.
You can step into the unknown with courage and confidence.
You can remember that you've got nothing to lose.
You can meet and overcome challenges and temporary setbacks. You can change course, move on, and gain new ground.
Practical example: By ditching the phrase: WHY ME? and replacing it with the empowering question WHY NOT ME? the impossible suddenly becomes possible.
Or you can simply think, 'I've got nothing to lose.'
Cultivating a mindset that says YES! to whatever you want is easy, but it requires repetition, mental discipline and practice.
YES TO STEPPING INTO THE UNKNOWN
Since happiness is not a destination, but a journey, and since the journey will look different for person to person, it means that in order to pursue what makes us happy, we have to be willing to step into the unknown. We have to leave our comfort zone. Outside the comfort zone, inside the uncomfortable zone, we face new challenges. We master new skills. We stretch. We wake up. The idea here is that there is a whole range of new experiences waiting for us that are not to be found in our comfort zone. You know you’ve left the comfort zone when it feels like you’re pushing the edge a little bit. Things are challenging, but you discover new sides of yourself and start to connect with them in a deep and meaningful way. Now you’re widening your circle of opportunities and options.
YES TO BEING HAPPY
Do what makes you happy and stay away from the rest. That's what my friend Newall Hunter thought me, and I couldn't agree more. If you don't follow your bliss, who will?
YES TO OWNING YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Innovative, insightful, and impressive people (especially of the female kind) are often uncomfortable with their own success. They sweep their achievements under the rug by saying things like, 'Oh, I didn't do anything. I'm nothing special. I've just been very lucky.'
Can you imagine an Olympian gold winner say, 'I just happened to, I don't know, accidentally fall across the finish line ahead of everyone else. It had nothing to do with me. I was just lucky, I guess.'
YES TO FORGING YOUR OWN PATH
Don't limit yourself to doing what looks right. Maybe you want to give away all your belongings. Maybe you want to create an empire. Everyone have their own unique path. Honour yours.
YES TO CHANGING YOUR MIND
We change to adapt to an impermanent reality. That's a fancy way of saying: It's okay to change your course. You can change your mind and alter your plans. It doesn't mean you're doing life wrong, it means you're growing. In the words of Joseph Campbell, 'You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.'
YES TO CELEBRATING YOUR VICTORIES
What you celebrate grows and creates forward momentum, so don't save your victory speech for the 'big' moments. Success is not one single big moment anyway. It's an unfolding. It's a multitude of choices, and experiences, and action steps happening RIGHT NOW. Notice those. Celebrate those.
Also, I've noticed that when we don't celebrate our wins we forget about them. My friend forgot she scored an interview with Annie Lennox. I forgot that the Norwegian Queen once described me as, 'The one who always fixes everything for me.' (My one and only Olivia Pope moment.) A fellow author sort of forgot that her book got translated into five languages.
YES TO BEING GRATEFUL
Gratitude makes it possible for what you have and what you want to join forces.
It also helps you notice what's already stacked in your favor. You probably have more opportunities and resources than you think. That's true for all of us.
YES TO NOT BEING READY
I'll tell you a little secret. I've always felt crazy under-prepared and under-qualified for everything I've ever done. I've also never thought it mattered much. As a young girl I remember telling myself, 'If this was a movie, what would make it more interesting? If the heroine (me) faced the challenge and went for it, or . . . if she shrunk away and went home?' Being committed to an interesting plot propelled me forward.
Now I understand that 'not feeling ready' is a sign that we are on the verge of something new and amazing. It's not a stop sign, it's a portal. What's more, when we have the courage to step into the unknown and take a leap of faith, previously hidden resources and answers make themselves available to us. It can feel super magical, but it's just what happens when you honour your dreams and aspirations.
I once asked my teacher how aspirations work. 'They just do,' he said. 'Do you have a better question?'
YES TO ASKING FOR MORE
And in case you were wondering, there is no contradiction between loving what you have, and longing for more. These two are, in fact, excellent dance partners.