Do you remember being asked this as a child and feeling elated when you would respond with an answer that was completely free of fear, judgement or reality? A fireman, an astronaut, a policeman, a mermaid!… At that moment you truly believed you could be anything you wanted in the entire universe- how empowering, how liberating, how alive that must make a child feel. When did we stop being these fearless, bold six year olds and turn into self doubting, insecure ass holes? Like, was this a gradual thing or did this happen overnight, cos either way, it sucks, and I want to be six again.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have said ‘I don’t care what they think’ or ‘I don’t care what people think about me’ and TRULY meant it? Because I can honestly say I have said both of those statements ferociously, to the point where I even convinced myself for a moment that I believed it, but deep down its never really the truth. Not until you learn to let go of you inhibitions and be one hundred percent, no rips off, the genuine article. Actually just be, yourself… scary right… Many of us probably think we are; most of us don’t stand in front of the mirror in the morning and consciously paint on a façade. We don’t plan to go into work and be someone else. We don’t plan to crawl into our shells and be riddled with insecurities during that morning meeting, or end up compensating by being the life and soul of the party at the office drinks on Friday… no, this is your subconscious mind taking hold. Making you think you ought to be something other than who you actually are.
This may stem much deeper than we realise. When you are ‘feeling a little self conscious’ in a social setting because you think people are looking at you, or are dressed better than you, or think you’re weird. Or being afraid to stand up and give a presentation to your colleagues because you think you are not good enough, they’re better than you, they have WAY more experience so I will never be taken seriously…. all of these beliefs are FAKE, where is your evidence? What is worse, is that 99% of the time these negative thoughts will hold you back. They will often prevent you from moving forward. A 2018 study showed that out of a population of 100 women surveyed 85 of them said that they wouldn’t go for a job promotion through fear of not getting it. Another study showed that people were too scared to start a new hobbies because they were worried they wouldn’t be able to master it, or they were worried that they would be judged by others. These false, and mostly negative beliefs are stopping us reaching our fullest potential (which by the way I don’t believe any of us ever reach- unless you’re Usain bolt, then perhaps ).
I am reading a book at the moment called ‘You are a bad ass’ by Jen Sincero. It was recommended to me last week by my Coach after a discussion around ‘fear of judgement’ ( ground swallow me up plz) and coming to a realisation that perhaps I care about what people think of me, how I look and how I am perceived by others more than I ever truly gave attention to. As soon as I heard the title of the book, and saw its shiny yellow cover, I made my amazon purchase (thank fuck for Amazon during COVID, and yes, I do judge a book by its cover, and boy am I glad I did). She talks about how “no matter what you say you want, if you’ve got an underlying subconscious belief that its going to cause you pain or it isn’t available to you then you either a) wont let yourself have it, or b) you will let yourself have it but you’ll be rill fucked up about it, and then you’ll go off and lose it anyway’. When I read this it was like a million light bulbs went on in my mind- does this resonate with you? Because it sure as hell does for me. I mean, I can give you example after example of how I applied these fake rules to my own life. One recent one being moving to Berlin. Living and working in another country was something I had longed to do from such a young age. I even told my Dad when I was 11 years old that I would move to Berlin one day, and to some extent I believed I would, but another part of me never really thought it would happen. I would always make excuses, or find reasons why I ‘shouldn’t’. I would convince myself that I had everything I needed already, why did I need to change that. Or, moving to Berlin would look irresponsible. People will think I am crazy… wait, am I having a pre-mid life crisis?… Why? Why do we do that to ourselves? It is limiting, and its self defecating.
Imagine if we all told ourselves we SHOULD do something. Or all of the reasons why we COULD do it! Because we are fully capable human beings, our options are endless and our potential hasn’t even began to be touched yet, we haven’t even scratched the surface… imagine. Imagine being as bold and as fearless as your 6 year old self, believing that one day you would be a brain surgeon, or a dolphin trainer or a princess. Lets stop living a life where we just ‘imagine’ and lead a life where you start DOING.
I’m not saying lets all live in a fairy tale. Trust me, I know this world isn’t pretty. I know its hard. I know we have responsibilities. I know some may have aspects of their life which make it seemingly more difficult to do certain things (financially, physically, mentally). But stop limiting yourself and then wallowing in your own sadness about how restricted your life it. How stuck you are. If you have the ability to physically make change then it is your subconscious mind providing you with false beliefs which is the main thing preventing you from moving forward. Jen Sincero talks about how the main source of these beliefs come from our parents, and their parents, or our over all childhood environment. Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs. There are also of course learned experiences, things we have gone through as a child, or somewhere along the way which has caused a specific feeling, perception or belief about a particular part of life. I was sitting in the park today and a little girl was being chased by her Mother, she was running away with her arms flailing, giggling with such elation and enthusiasm as she ambled around in a wiggly line secretly wanting to be caught. The same of which was mirrored by her Mother. They were both revelling in such happiness. Did the little girl learn how to be happy from her mother? In that moment I felt delighted for them both to be experiencing such joy, and then like a lot of these moments it was balanced, or rather it was crushed, by an overwhelming sense of sorrow. I had never experienced that. I had never been chased around in a circle by my mother (not that I can vividly remember anyhow). I had never been tickled so hard by my father that I lost my breath. I couldn’t recall having a moment like that little girl was having right there, and I couldn’t recall ever seeing my mother as happy as her mother was right there in that moment. So, what does that mean? That I should be unhappy about it forever, that I am doomed, or that I can never feel love? No, it means it happened. And I am not labelled by my past. I have the ability to change my future. And I am in the drivers seat in controlling my emotions and my thoughts (with the help of others… I cant take all the credit).
What I’m saying is that all of us are connected to this ‘limitless power’ and most of us are not even using a fraction of it. Instead we are caught up in the hamster wheel of life believing that this is all there is to life. But there is time! It is never too late to make decisions, to seek help, to travel the world, to be brave, to make change. If someone asked you what you want to be when you grow up, what would your answer be?
Mine would be, me.