How to make a difference in the world
"Every time I have an idea I look around and someone else has already done it.
I don't see the point in starting. Other people are already doing it better than I could."
Sincere words from a client (we'll call her Sue) scared of starting her own clinical practice. Sue's taken many courses, is very skilled at what she does. Has people clamouring to work with her at practice sessions and workshops. And unfortunately in this instance, she is very skilled at talking herself out of what she really wants to do.
Sound familiar? How often have you talked yourself out of starting something you really want to do, or tell yourself you don't really want to do it (even though deep down you know you do)?
There are many factors at play here. Depending on how deep you want to look, see how many of these relate to you: fear of not being good enough, fear of failing, fear of hurting someone, fear of letting people down. Get the theme of fear here?
This also taps into an old belief system on our beautiful planet. The gender sterotypes around a woman's role. For Sue scared to start a clinical practice, blending family life with work is a concern. (This equally applies to men with the notion of men being the provider). Yes, I know these are changing in our society, but they still prevail on the planet and are deeply held in our genetic and history levels.
Looking deeper is the fear of success. As Maryanne Williamson so eloquently describes: "It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure".
When asking Sue to imagine a thriving clinical practice, fears emerge of being overwhelmed, too busy, to busy for family, not enough me time.
Then there is the notion of who's fears are you listening to. Is that voice you're listening to really yours? Perhaps it's social conditioning, ancestral beliefs or historical fears. If you really know who you are, it becomes easier to recognise the voice of fear and its origin.
So what can you do when you find yourself limiting yourself before you even start?
1. Congratulate yourself for recognising you are doing it. This may sound weird, but actually a lot of the time people are oblivious to their limiting beliefs. They simply don't see them. The limitations they create become the boundaries through which we see life, except we don't even see they are there. So recognising you are limiting yourself is a really good starting point to finding those boundaries.
2. Ask yourself what you really want. You are so good at creating (after all, you've created these limiting beliefs). So often people hold regrets about missing the opportunities they really wanted by listening to the nagging voice that held them back. Give yourself permission to be one of those people that hold no regrets like this.
3. Set aside some time to go really deep and ask why you are holding those limitations and how they have helped you. Through doing this, you honour the reasons they are there. Sometimes appreciating what they have been doing is very powerful and freeing.
4. Invite yourself to create a different reality. Every time you catch yourself thinking or saying a limiting belief, simply cancel - clear the comment and invite a different possibility in. As Henry Ford said many years ago "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right". "Dn't find fault, find a remedy".
5. Finally for some inspiration, watch this TED talk about what one person can do.