What would happen if you regarded your most natural state of being as abundant? How might you live each day? What would it feel like? What would your thoughts be?
Many of you, like myself, consider each day a gift – most of the time. Sure there are times when we might get into a funk and feel less like expressing gratitude (even though this is the perfect and probably the most crucial time to do so), but for the most part we recognize that life is not to be taken for granted. Now I want to be super truthful here – this is not everyone’s story and if this is not yours, it’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you if you are having a difficult time feeling gratitude or really even willing to acknowledge how you’re feeling. This week I was in a professional development session that provided me the opportunity to listen to a mom that had lost a son to suicide. She talked about how in her and her family’s search for answers, they uncovered that their son was indeed not willing to talk about what he was feeling for years out of shame for having those feelings in the first place. She ended her presentation by encouraging us all to talk and to encourage our students and children to talk, talk, and talk. There are no feelings that you are immune to because of your age, your gender, your intelligence, your income, nothing. So please feel and then talk the truth about how you’re feeling. It is the only way to move through the dark and deep ones that can be too much to carry on our own.
Now that I’ve explained the importance of talking about how you’re feeling, go back to my first questions. If you regarded your natural state of being as abundant how might you live each day and what would that feel like? What would your thoughts be? Unfortunately, as we grow out of childhood, we form limiting beliefs about ourselves and put up barriers constricting our abundance. We forget about the days when the sky was the limit and we embodied glorious ever-changing imaginations. I’ve written before about those childhood days and why they are so important to bring to the surface to examine years later. Not all of us experienced carefree childhoods, which again is something I acknowledge and appreciate. Yet, it is the time in our life that we were most likely to have experienced our own abundance before we started forming beliefs about our capabilities based on the feedback we were receiving from those around us. Anything from a peer calling you names to a parent that allowed you to do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. You learned something about yourself and what those around you thought of you, or at least your perception of that.
Life scripts and limiting beliefs
As adults we basically embrace life scripts that we tell others about ourselves. They usually sound something like this – “oh, but I’m no good at numbers”, “I can’t cook – everything I make burns or tastes awful”, “I’m terrible at relationships”, “I’m not focused”, “I never finish anything”, “I’ve never been good at (fill in the blank)”. Says who? Says YOU. That’s who. Now, if you follow that life script day in and day out, there is a reason that the feelings you experience are either frustration, anger, or anxiety around the areas that you have limited yourself. You likely avoid situations or topics as a result. What if you started tweaking those life scripts even just a little bit to allow for more space, opening up to your abundance that has been closed off by the stifling wall you built through that life script? Crack that wall just a bit, push on it each day, and you’ve got a door. It’s much easier to walk through a door than bang up against a self-built wall. Keep knocking on that crack and the whole wall will crumble down.
The first thing you will need to do is to listen to yourself when you are in conversation with another person. What self-disclaimers do you offer? Do you apologize for something unnecessarily? What are the words that you use to describe yourself? Are they limiting? This is not me trying to convince you that you have the ability to be an NBA superstar or be the next president of the United States (although – maybe you can!). This is about you listening to how you talk about yourself to other people and if you notice that you are living by a script that either could very well be inaccurate or just hasn’t been revisited in a while, take note and do something about it. I’ll share a simple example with you. I don’t know when this started, but at some point I started believing that I could never remember where I parked in a parking lot. I caught myself saying to myself (in my internal talk) and to others that I just always get “mixed up” or “completely forget” where I’ve parked. You know what I noticed about this thought and statement? That it made me feel anxious. Every time I was leaving a store to find my car I’d feel a bit of panic set in because I’d hear myself say, “agh, I can never remember where I park!” and then I’d have to calm myself down and try really hard to recall something about the place I left my car. You know what I’ve done since I noticed this about myself? Now when I enter a parking lot I think, “I’m going to remember where I park and I will do that by parking near a structure that I can easily recall”. Then I purposely take note of a structure I’ve parked by or the number/sign that I’m near – whatever is relevant in that lot. I no longer tell myself or others that I’m forgetful or absentminded about my parking. Simple, but effective. Pick a life script or limiting belief from your own life and what you’re going to do to change it! Please share it with all of us in the comments below!