The single biggest factor in determining whether you will live a dream life is your belief in whether you can. I say “a dream life” rather than “your dream life” deliberately, because most of us don’t even dare to dream the kinds of dreams that are possible.
You might be able to point to heavenly holidays, idyllic relationships and dream lifestyles, you might even have put together vision boards and begun to visualize these things, but they mean squat if you don’t actually believe you can have them.
I remember back in 2008 visiting the Australian Zoo, run by the Irwin Family, and the thought struck me that Steve Irwin, nicknamed ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, had lived and died doing something he was completely passionate about. The idea of getting paid to do something you love, something that was so different from the everyday work world I was part of, opened a door to possibility within me.
I began to look around, the world is filled with people doing things ‘out of the norm’. The simple fact is that you can get paid for anything in life that adds value. Aside of the more traditional creative endeavors you might think of (like gardening, writing, painting and cooking) there are people being paid to move icebergs and dress elephants; there are even professional bridesmaids, mourners and cuddlers!
It may be that you have begun to realise some of your dreams, or have had past successes, and then just when you are starting to ‘live the dream’ you sabotage it in some way. But for many people they are simply unaware of their dreams.
My world, when I worked in corporate roles, was filled with people who came to work for a pay check and perhaps a bit of social life. I remember a conversation with an old boss, who was quite visionary, as we contemplated on the future of the call centre, “can you imagine” I said, “if we gave these (hundreds) of people free reign to choose, and support to grow into, roles they were truly passionate about?”
This is the world I want to live in. A world where people are tuned in to who they are and what they want in life, a world where people believe it’s possible to have anything they can imagine, because they can.
All that, but for one thing – a limiting belief. In other words you don’t think you can. Even if it’s possible for others
Earlier in the week I was listening to an online seminar about the self limiting beliefs we have. When the speaker asked if any of us had ever felt that, as kids, we needed to behave perfectly all the time in order for the people around us to feel happy, or if we had constantly received feedback on what we could be doing better, it resonated.
Others might have felt their accomplishments and achievements were ignored or that their siblings or friends were rewarded when they weren’t (but felt they deserved to be). In those early years we soak things up like sponges, and not through the words being used. As parents, it’s usually in our well meaning, our desire to teach our children the ‘right’ ways to behave, that we inadvertently communicate “you are not good enough”.
There are many versions of this playing in people’s minds, like “if I try, I’ll fail” or “no one will want me”, but they all add up to some version of “I’m not worthy”. And over the years they have, like magnets, attracted many stories and examples through your experience to back these thoughts up, to strengthen them into subconscious beliefs.
There are many ways to overcome these, but it starts with being aware that these subconscious beliefs are there. It is not important that you uncover the root of your unworthiness, in fact, once you are aware of it, it’s more important that you pay as little attention to it as you can. The more attention you pay something, the more energy you are feeding it.
Instead, use this principle in your favour. Start to create new beliefs, ones that serve you better. Start with “I am worthy” and list as many examples as you can think of about the great things that are in your life, or have happened in the past. There are many ways to create new beliefs; it’s a question of finding a technique that works for you.
A belief is just a thought that you keep thinking. It will take time to foster a new belief, and it will require focus, like anything new you learn. Right now, I’m fostering some new beliefs about money and, in addition to the technique I shared in the last article, I now spend some focused time each day tending to that small flame within, the flame born of hope and possibility.
Once you’ve identified a new belief you want to foster, surround yourself with supportive people. Like giving up smoking, or losing weight, it’s hard to go in a new direction if you are surrounded by naysayers. These days it’s easy to find people of similar interests online if there’s no one immediately obvious in your life. However, once you start to practice your new belief, you will soon attract more like minded people to support you and help you gain momentum.
So what beliefs do you hold about yourself that are holding you back from living your best life? What are the dreams within you that would enrich your life and that of those around you? I hope you will look within for the answers because it’s the kind of world I’m sure we all want to live in. It starts with you, just believe you can.
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