10 Nov “I could never do something like that”
This sentence has been repeated in my head far too many times. As I sit in the audience, I gain inspiration from speakers. I gain insight and sparks of my own creative potential. And for a split second I see myself standing on that stage. I can taste it. And yet my subconscious presses play on that old record. “I can’t do what they do.”
This limiting self belief has served as a plague on my growth.
And we all have one (or more). It’s along the same lines of that repeated line of “I can’t because I don’t have money.” or “I can’t because I don’t have time.” These justifications, or knee jerk assumptions, steal from me my opportunities. They rob from me my growth.
It’s an interesting place to be in; being able to look at the patterns that I’m replaying, knowing they no longer serve me, yet repeating them anyways. I still find comfort in them, yet I now know that:
A comfort zone isn’t always comfortable. It’s just familiar.
And so the record keeps playing. It seems relentless. Always some version of “I can’t.” Always some version of “I’m not enough.” The belief that I could never own a business. The belief I didn’t have something worth sharing. That I was an impostor. My knee jerk response of putting myself down held me back for far too long.
Until the pain of not doing became harder to bear than the pain of just staying in my comfort zone.
I needed growth. I was so over my broken record. And so I lept. I lept into a new career. As an entrepreneur no less. I did the hard thing. Only to find that as soon as growth happened, there was more growth right around the corner waiting for me. And with it came more pain. More fear. More limiting beliefs. More reminding myself that other people may be doing this but not me. I can’t.
Last week I attended an AWAKENING, the first in a four part speaker series offered by She Changed It. One of the speakers (Body talk specialist Holly Berezowski) taught us about what’s going on in your brain when you’re falling on old patterns or limiting beliefs… they’re basically lies (or “un-truths”) that you’re telling yourself, to keep yourself safe.
This is an action of the subconscious. Your subconscious mind replays old patterns.
Your subconscious mind seeks the path of least resistance, which is to do the thing that you’ve always done. To talk yourself out of it.
Holly offered us the most simple tool for bringing yourself into your prefrontal cortex, or your conscious brain, so you can make a better decision.
It’s as simple as placing the two fingers from each of your hands on your forehead in between your eyebrows. A physical inviting of the senses to the front of your brain. The theory being that once you have engaged the conscious brain, you find yourself able to craft a new story – to visualize yourself doing the thing that you didn’t think that you could do.
And from there, what happens is really cool. And here’s why:
The fact is, our nervous system doesn’t know the difference between reality, and a story that you’re telling it. If you spend your time replaying old traumas, if you spend your time creating conversations that haven’t happened, your nervous system reacts exactly the same way that it would if it were really happening. So in this new space, of inviting yourself to function from your conscious mind and write these new stories, you can allow your nervous system to relax, and maybe even believe that you can do the hard things.
Now this is just one of many many tools I’ve picked up along the way in terms of feeling the fear and supporting myself through it.
But the biggest lesson that I’ve received in doing this work,
is that the work is never done.
If you want to live on a growth path, and overcome your demons, then you need to repeat the pattern of growth. Over and over and over again, until it becomes your truth. I’ve repeated and beat into myself this belief of “I can’t” for 32 years. Stands to reason it might take a few kicks at the can to get over.
As tech leader Janice Taylor (another wonderful speaker from the event) put it, we are all born with a problem that we are meant to solve. And we solve it over and over and over again in our lives, so that we may teach others how to solve it more quickly.
And so I’m taking ownership of my problem. My belief that I can’t be up there. That I’m not as good as those other people doing the things. And I will continue, for the rest of my life, to prove myself wrong. I’m learning that I have to be okay with this. It’s my Dharma.
And so I work to simply fall in love with the process.