A dear friend said this in our GroupMe thread the other day, and it motivated the hell out of me. She was referring to someone else, but it TRULY resonated. Well, what she actually said was, "Become a star, b*tch," but I know that many would find that title off-putting and could place yourselves at risk for missing out on the next 1500 words....I internalized it like "D*mn, it really is that simple." I added it to my personal mantras immediately.
Language aside, what it truly meant to me was:
YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE.
SO JUST BE THAT.
Here's a quick story to explain why this is on my heart. I'm in school this week, preparing to change the world along with 12 other amazing doctoral students very, very soon. I sat at lunch the other day with one of my ultimate girl crush classmates and she was telling me how much she enjoys my ballsy articles and how much she wishes that she could write and get her thoughts out BUT…
She lost me at “but.” And here’s why-when I see this woman, I see someone who is intelligent, successful and a fighter. She has strong and informed opinions on just about EVERYTHING! I’ll hear some sexist or condescending bullsh*t in class and while I’m thinking, “Did this really just happen? Should I say something?!?!” I’m still sitting there thinking and she has already addressed it out loud...SO I was stuck wondering, how could someone like HER feel that there’s no audience for what she has to say?
And then it hit me- those f*cking self-limiting beliefs. They are the worst. I would've never imagined that a person I found so fascinating dealt with them too.
So What Are Self-limiting Beliefs?
In short, self-limiting beliefs are things that we tell ourselves that convince us not to access or express our true power - be it a goal, talent, passion, technical skill, etc. We convince ourselves of reasons why we shouldn’t or couldn’t do “it” and we accept it. It’s much easier to spot self-limiting beliefs in others before ourselves because we accept them as facts within our own minds, not realizing they are merely beliefs.
Now, not all self-limiting beliefs are bad. Some messages like "don't drink and drive," “don’t sleep with him” or "don't curse out your boss" are necessary messages in most cases. I’ll spare the in-depth lesson, but you can learn more about self-limiting beliefs here and here.
Okay…So How Do We Deal?
The following is a list of ways to deal with self-limiting beliefs.
Unpack the Message.
What does it REALLY mean? Who do you visualize when you hear the little voice in your head? Who do you associate these thoughts with? Is it your mom? Your husband? Your boss? Evaluate your relationship with this entity and determine if it speaks to a deeper issue in the relationship.For example:
“My family will laugh at me.”
"I'm too old."
“My best friend will think this is stupid.”
“My wife thinks we can’t afford it.”
2. Simply Tell The Voice to STFU.
Isolate the belief and acknowledge it for what it is. If your dream doesn’t require you to break the law, harm yourself, harm others or waste wine, just go get it. Grab it by the balls and don't look back.
3. What Does This REALLY Mean to You?
What are your values? What are your core beliefs? Does your passion align with these values? Ensure that they do. It’s easier to persevere when the work you do aligns with who you are at your core. Successful people are intrinsically motivated to do whatever it is they do. People know when you are intrinsically motivated versus extrinsically motivated. If those words are over your head, no worries.
Here’s an example:
My friend is a DESIGNER; she works HARD for her dream. Like…she is up all night, sometimes, perfecting garments and sketches, and I can tell that her effort and her love for this is IN her. It’s who she is; it makes her happy. She is intrinsically motivated.
I won’t give an example of an extrinsically motivated person, but if you take a look at the more sh*tty Instagram boutiques or online stores, you’ll notice who is simply regurgitating other folks' ideas, selling you clothes or goods that don’t match the item description once you receive your order - you know, shady or half-*ssed efforts like that. These types of people are more motivated by participation in trends that will make them money more so than creating a good or service that they feel compelled to share with the world.
4. Attend a Vision Board Party.
If you’re an introvert, order a VISION BOARD PARTY IN A BOX ,and do it alone. And thank GOD that’s a thing you can buy. Vision Board Parties are events where you can visualize your goals, place them on a board in collage form, and THEN share the board with other people. It makes the goals a reality once you state them out loud. Hold onto the feedback you receive when you share your goals. When the voices creep in to tell you that you can't do it - channel the thoughts of the enthusiasm you saw in your friends' faces as you shared your goals at the party.
You know what’s awesome about people who attend Vision Board Parties? They’re wine drunk too! They ALL have goals too. You can be honest and vulnerable and receive the support and, often times, connections you need to support your goals. There are also opportunities for accountability partners. Another plus is that these parties almost always have cocktails and hors-d'oeuvres.
5. Kill The Excuses.
Everyone can tell when you’re making excuses. They’re just being polite by tolerating the conversation. It's weird. Don't be weird. Believe in yourself.
6. To Hell with Social Constructs.
We live in a society where for whatever reason, women are made to feel less than. We are treated like we don’t matter as much in many environments. I have always believed that any dominant culture that attempts to demean you unprovoked, sees something in you that threatens their security. Know that. Keep going. It isn’t personal.
7. Step Your #SQUADGOALS Up.
Do you spend time with people who encourage you or tear you down? Hold on…let’s back up a bit. Do you have friends? Get friends. Make sure they’re the right friends. You need a circle of people who are motivated. They should also respect and understand your goals.
And yes I do realize that #SquadGoals is very 2015. Don’t email me.
8. Guard Your Dreams against Villains. They are here to destroy your goals.
Everyone has that negative friend or two who never has anything positive to say, yet never follows their own dreams. I don’t recommend unfriending them but I do recommend being very selective with how much you share and to what degree. Sometimes envy, resentment and other negative thoughts can take over a person with nothing of their own to look forward to. Yes, even a person who loves you. Take a proactive approach to it.
9. You’re Not Going to Die if You Fail.
I promise. Take failures as lessons. Seriously, I am an entrepreneur and sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I mess up in school. Sometimes, I am a sh*tty girlfriend. I'm still here. I own my mistakes, and I keep going.
The anxiety about it is the most difficult part. And you know what else - how do you know you can trust a person or service that hasn’t failed? You don’t know your strength until you are faced with adversity. That’s where character is built and demonstrated.
Contrary to what we tell ourselves, there is no huge press conference held to announce your failures. Unless you’re Britney Spears or someone fancy like that. She bounced back and so can you. Also, consider this:
If you own up to your failures, NO ONE can throw them in your face.
"Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom." -Patton
More often than not, if it makes you uncomfortable, it’s the RIGHT move. Stretching outside of your comfort zone requires discomfort. You can stay comfortable if you want, but there’s nothing more insufferable than being around a frustrated mind. Let your mind do what it was meant to do.
Spoiler alert: Stretching will suck just before it gets awesome. It will suck a lot.
Visuals are important when combating self-limiting beliefs. I do not work for them BUT I strongly recommend buying a Mantraband. Mantrabands are bracelets that have mantras on them that cover several areas in life. You can gift them to a friend or collect them for yourself. I wear mine as a constant reminder of who I am and what I stand for.
#NAMASTE #FOLLOWYOURBLISS #FEARLESS
Because sometimes I forget.
Okay so why did I write this? I wrote this because life is stressful. There is so much war, sexism, racism, socioeconomic division, job stress, financial stress, local levels of shade, etc out here to f*ck with your Zen. I am a hardcore advocate of enjoying life by any means necessary -and am a constant work in progress.
I have my own struggles and I sometimes hate taking my own advice. I mean, h*ll, look at me. I am more than halfway done with a degree program that I cannot even afford, constantly driving 300 miles away while being an entrepreneur and a full time employee. I want it all. I am going to get it. This is the STRETCH before I get to my true Zen. I would never recommend anything to you that I wouldn't do myself. I have to #WHOLEASS this sh*t.
Many of these points are based on personal experience. We aren’t going to survive out here without internal happiness. Follow your bliss.
So what do you think? Did I nail it? Did I miss anything? What resonated with you? As always, thank you for your energy. Please share it with someone who needs it.