It’s that time of year again where people create their vision boards, write out their goals/resolutions, and create action plans for the year. They have a definite energetic excitement around THIS being the year they achieve their goals.
Ambition is certainly a driving force to creating these steps, along with the thoughts of “I’m over this--I need a change”, “I’m ready for a change”, “I need to do things differently”, and “I’m tired of being tired”.
So, why do we build up such excitement, put so much thought and effort into our goals/resolutions/intentions to only peter out before the end of the first quarter of the New Year?
For some it’s getting caught up in the hype. Perhaps they have friends, family or co-workers who have rallied the troops, so to speak, and got them started on a new health and fitness regimen.
Maybe it’s driven from guilt----guilt and/or shame of not meeting last year’s goals, and wanting to right the “wrong” in their mind.
Maybe it’s driven from a life event that happened during the prior year (separation, divorce, marriage, death, birth, etc.), and as a result it’s generated this big call to action.
Regardless of the reason(s) it’s been my personal and professional experience that fear is the driving force for failing.
Ok, ok, maybe failure seems to harsh to read, so let’s say, "not following through"; “life got in the way”; “it was just too hard”; “I didn't have the energy”; “I didn't have the money”, and a big winner is “I didn't have the time”.
Can all these reasons be ‘justified’, ABSOLUTELY!
Let me ask you, how far has “justification” gotten you towards achieving your goals?
How far has “good reasons” for not following through gotten you?
Let’s take it a step further.
How much further have you sunk down in your health and fitness; your career (boredom counts as a downward spin); your debt; your unhealthy or lackluster relationship (or no relationship at all), etc?
There’s a theme I generally see in most areas of peoples’ lives, and that theme boils down to fear. Although it's not necessarily identified by the individual as fear, but rather it's moderately decorated in their story they tell themselves.
Stories they either consciously know and choose to remain victim to it or more often than not, its stories they are not even aware they are living their existence from.
One of the areas I blocked myself from for the longest time was career advancement. I had/have the work effort of a plow horse, the responsibility of a saint, and a dedication and loyalty of a warrior to its cause. As great as these qualities were and are, I could never seem to climb up the later of ‘success'.
I took continuing education classes, either given by my employer or invested my own money. I did the work of 3 people, and was always willing to help whenever and wherever needed. I’d interview for promotions, get put on a list and sit on that list until either I changed jobs or the list expired.
I can guarantee you I did all kinds of 'justifying' as to why I wasn't getting hired, but won't get into it. :-)
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
What I wasn’t getting in my “story” was the fact that I had a huge block around money.
To be truthful, to admit I had feelings of unworthiness about myself and money was too much to handle. So, I would say things like, “oh money’s not important to me”…..”money’s no biggie”……”people with money think they are better than everyone else, and I don’t want to be like THAT”.
It never occurred to me that being BROKE wasn’t a Gold Medal winner either. In fact, I couldn’t even afford a medal made of fool’s gold, yet it was exactly what I was doing----fooling myself or better yet “justifying” my feeling of unworthiness.
What happens when we hold so steadfast to our beliefs and convictions?
We leave no room for any other possibilities. For instance, I didn’t want to be broke all the time. I hated it! It made me feel like a loser. It made me feel like life had to be desolate, and no matter how hard I worked, it wouldn’t be enough.
YET, interestingly enough because my beliefs were so rooted in unworthiness around money and other areas of my life, I unconsciously judged others to justify my BROKENESS…..my UNWORTHINESS.
This judgment resulted in jealousy, insecurity, pettiness, criticism, and a whole lot of self-sabotaging.
Who would promote this character?
Believe it or not, I was bewildered for the LOOOOOOOONGEST time as to why I never got promoted because after all I was a ‘good’ worker.
Our limiting beliefs are not always as obvious as we’d like to think them to be. We often settle for the lesser limiting beliefs as being the cause of our troubles over the core (root) limiting belief because we don’t dig deep enough.
Holding a limiting belief that only serves as a stronghold on us for years and years seems impossible to rid ourselves of, and with the core limiting believe seeming so minuscule and long ago, we forget about it.
Early on we set our values around our beliefs based on our environment. Beliefs and values are not necessarily one in the same. Allow me to share another example. When I was working with someone to understand why I kept getting passed up for promotions, one of the exercises we did was elicit my values around work. This list consisted of many of the things I listed above in this article; however, this person took it a step further, and wanted to know more in-depth info around my values.
The list being created seemed to go on for pages. Eventually it became harder and harder to create because when it came to listing the things I wanted they didn’t come nearly as swiftly as the things I didn’t want.
After compiling this list of values and placing them in order of importance, there was one really huge thing missing from that list. I didn’t see it….no matter how hard I looked. After much pondering, focusing, pulling my hair out, and ultimately throwing my hands up in the air declaring, “I give up” was when I actually saw it--money.
Money was not even a value I held ANYWHERE on my list. It wasn’t like it was even ranked close to the bottom, it wasn’t a consideration AT ALL.
Just to keep things in perspective here, my core root issue wasn’t money but it was related to it. Because with more digging, and my willingness to be real raw and honest with myself, I was able to admit I didn’t feel worthy.
We build stories around our ‘core root limiting belief. It can be a story of victim. It can be a story of martyrdom. It can be a story labeled ‘realist’. It can be a story of ______________ (fill in the blank).
Because we are authors of our own stories, we also create a persona, as well as our outward appearance for our book's cover.
You can bet, for many of us, we make that a hardbound copy. After all it’s a collector’s item, isn’t it?
So, why do we fail at achieving our goals/resolutions/intentions?
Simply put: FEAR
Fear of the work that will need to go into achieving it. Fear of believing we’ve done everything and nothing works. Fear of it taking too much time, too much money, and too much energy. Fear of not knowing what will be if we do achieve it. Fear of looking weak or admitting we need help.
Here’s a few things I know to be true:
Fear is real.
We allow fear to holds us hostage and cripples us. We allow fear to limit us. We allow fear to choose our unhealthy relationships. We allow fear to choose our lack of health & fitness. We allow fear to keep us for asking for help.
In our fear, we allow judgment of self and others to control us. In our fear, we allow ourselves to be controlled by others. In our fear, we tell ourselves we are not good enough, we are not deserving, we are unworthy, we are _______(fill in the blank). In our fear, we feel we can’t ask for help.
How do we live fearlessly? Note: Healthy fear does serve a purpose. An example of ‘healthy fear’ is looking both ways before crossing a street in order to not be hit by a car.
Being a student of possibility is a great way to loosen the hardbound cover around that collector’s book you wrote so long ago.
Being willing to pull that book off the shelf, dust it off, and really sink your teeth into looking for the limiting belief……..NOT re-reading the story. You already know that story without even cracking a page.
As a student of possibility you are willing to do something different.
As a student of possibility you are willing to write a new book.
As a student of possibility you are willing to ask and accept assistance with your new book.
As a student of possibility you are willing to read another’s story who has achieved what you want to achieve, and model after them. Not by designing yourself to be a mini-me of them, but rather creating an authentic story about yourself with new beliefs and values.
If you are that student who is ready, and wants to do something different this year, then schedule time with me so we can begin.
To learn more about me, and the work I do with clients, please visit my website www.strengthinsensitivity.com. I also have a private Facebook page which offers valuable community support; it's called Be Your Own Hero (link - goo.gl/Nhh5zk).