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That Voice that Says "You can't" is B.S.

“Are you crazy?!”

“You’re WAY too old.”

“You’re WAY too young.”

“Only smart people do THAT!”

“You never follow through with ANYTHING. This won’t be any different.”

Any of these sound familiar?

Throughout this series I’ve touched on the outside forces that lead us to create self-limiting beliefs in our own minds (beginning with Part 1). These external factors include:

The way we see other people doing things (Part 2),

The way things “have always been done,” (Part 3)

And the way other people say we “should” or “shouldn’t” do things (Part 4).

All these outside forces come together to form a perfect storm that leads us to create that little voice in our heads that tells us we can’t or shouldn’t chase our dreams-

“You’ll fail.”

“Everyone will laugh.”

“You’ll disappoint your parents.”

“You don’t have what it takes.”

“Why can’t you just be happy with what you have?”

Deep down, however, we know that voice is bullshit. We know, even if we’ve forgotten. We know, even if we’ve built so many walls between us and our dreams that we can’t even see our dreams anymore… deep down, we know. That’s why we’ve tiptoed into the journey we’re on now.

Does that mean the limiting beliefs magically disappear?

I wish it was that easy.

No, those beliefs took decades to form. Understanding how they got there isn’t going to suddenly erase them from our brains.

But we’re different now. We’re armed with knowledge. We understand that all these external factors are SEPARATE from us, not part of us, as we always believed.

That’s an important distinction, so let me say it another way-

The voice in our head IS NOT US.

It’s a product of all the external influences, experiences and words we’ve absorbed, consciously or unconsciously, during our lifetime.

Think back to your earliest childhood memories.

(Shameless plug: if you need inspiration, read my book AND THEN SHE FLEW)

You see, whether we remember or not, there was a time when we knew no limits. The first time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a paleontologist. I didn't even know what a paleontologist was, I just liked the way it sounded- It sounded smart and important and exciting, and in my heart, I KNEW I was all those things!

Maybe for you it was a veterinarian or a pilot or a dancer or an astronaut or a doctor or a teacher or an astrophysicist or a full-time mom! Whatever it was, there was no voice in your head saying “You’re not smart enough,” or “That takes way too much effort. You can’t handle that.” That voice simply wasn’t there yet. And you know why?

Because that voice is not you!

It’s separate! It’s a voice we created in reaction to all our outside influences. And guess what that means (This is the exciting part!!!)–

Since we created that voice, we can UN-create it!

How freaking empowering is THAT?!

And it starts with calling BULLSHIT on the voice and on all the influences that created it.

It starts with becoming aware...

Becoming aware of our tendency to think everyone else knows better than we do. (This is a big one for me.)

Becoming aware when we assume that because someone we admire is doing XYZ, we need to do XYZ too.

Becoming aware of our tendency to mindlessly do things the way they’ve always been done without asking if that way makes sense for US.

Becoming aware of our gut reaction when someone tells us what we “should” or “shouldn’t” do.

Becoming aware of all these things when they happen, so we can stop and think…

“Is this right for ME?”

Not for her. Not for him… but for ME?

And if our gut feeling is “YES, it's totally right for me,” then great!

But if we feel that icky sensation in the pit of our stomach or that sense of dread or other feeling of contraction, then we know this issue merits more thought.

I want to say this too, because it’s important-

Doing what’s right for US isn’t always the easy thing. Sometimes it feels like we’re re-inventing the wheel or swimming upstream... alone. Most times it’s easier to go along with what others say or do, but…

Unless what’s right for THEM is what’s right for US, we will always end up right back at the same place, feeling as if something is missing…

instead of that wonderful place where our hearts come alive and we get out of bed excited about the challenges and dreams ahead of us. That place where the younger version of us dreamed we would be when we grew up.

Our dreams are that place. It’s not necessarily a physical place. It’s the place where we’re finally listening to our heart and our soul and we are finally truly LIVING.

People like to say that’s just a dream, and I suppose for those people, it will always be that- Just a dream.

But for those of us who are willing to do the work of stepping outside of the way things have always been done or the way other people say we should do things? That “dream” will become our reality.

And it starts by becoming aware.

Right now.

Xx Jen

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