Mindset: Past vs. Present
Imagine you have a time machine. You can use it to go back to any point in your life. You can’t change anything, but you can observe. You see the major moments, all the milestones, and all the time in between.
Today, in the present, you’re feeling less than empowered. Maybe you feel stuck, or like you’ve accomplished all there is to accomplish and you’re not even sure why. It didn’t bring you any happiness or satisfaction. Instead, you checked each accomplishment off your list. Now you’re not sure what’s next, but you know you want it to be meaningful and fulfilling. Maybe fear is holding you back, or maybe you just don’t believe that you have what it takes to make a change.
So, now, go back in time, knowing what your present feels like. Go back until you figure out where it all began.
If you go back far enough, you’ll discover a time when outside influences had yet to take hold. Now, I know not everyone had a happy childhood or were loved and supported by their parents. Still, knowing that, if you go back far enough you will find a younger you that felt unconcerned about how the world would view you. You were unencumbered by society’s expectations.
For me, I felt as if I could do anything I chose to do when I was a little girl. The possibilities were limitless. I felt that I was strong, capable, and intelligent.
There was a shift as I grew. I began to see the expectations placed on women. We were to be many things, and all of them at once. I no longer felt as if I could do anything. Instead, I felt pressure to change myself to fit inside this box. I felt as if I could do a lot of things, and probably even many of these things that were expected, but suddenly my worth was attached to how well I accomplished this specific list.
I had a new list of descriptors that was formed for me, full of things that didn’t necessarily agree with who I was or what I wanted. But, as many of us do, I never stopped to think about if I wanted these things to be true for me. I thought of them only as goals that I should strive to achieve.
I began to try to make many of my natural attributes less so I would have room for more from this list. I was trying to shrink myself down to fit in this box that had been made for me.
Fighting Your Way Through
If you’re like me, making yourself less of something that is a natural part of who you are so you could become more of something else entirely didn’t turn out well. Instead of realizing my own strengths and playing to my natural abilities, I continually tried to be something else. I was always reaching for something just out of reach, and I was constantly finding myself to be not enough.
If you use that time machine, I’m sure you can find several instances in your life when things just weren’t working out and you weren’t sure why. You’d done everything you were supposed to do, but the result was still the same—you felt like something was missing.
Other times, you tried your best but everything still fell apart. You thought you were being who you’re supposed to be, but each step you took was like trying to walk through deep mud. There was so much resistance.
Your mindset in these scenarios was one of determination. You must fight to be everything you’re supposed to be.
Embrace a New Mindset
All of my perceived failures (because it felt like failure even when I had succeeded but it provided no satisfaction) left me feeling like I was lacking. After all, I was the common denominator in all of my life events, right?
After a lot of internal work to uncover the issue, I realized that I had been pushing aside and ignoring many of my natural abilities. I had stuffed them in the corner of that box I had put myself in years ago. I was ignoring my abilities, my intuition, and my desire to live my life motivated by inner purpose.
I began working to embrace a new mindset—that I am everything I need to be. I have everything I need to be happy, within myself. I have free will and I am capable of self-determination. I can do what I’d like to do. I am not lacking.
The Hard Work
Changing your mindset from one of insufficiency to overflowing sufficiency isn’t something you can do overnight. There is no magic wand that will take you from where you are and safely deposit you on the other side, happy, fulfilled, and full of purpose.
It’s going to take effort on your part every single day.
But first, you have to uncover what it is you would like to do, or your inner purpose. Think big picture. I would like to eat ice cream, but that isn’t contributing to my overall purpose. This is the hardest part of all, because you have layers upon layers of assumptions you have to tear away.
Back to the time machine. If you go back and observe, you’ll discover that the shift in your mindset happened gradually. There was a point where it began, and then another moment where the feelings of “I am less than” were reiterated. You slowly shaped your mindset day after day, failure after failure, unsatisfying year after unsatisfying year.
Where Do You Begin?
I always tell my clients to start by getting alone and very quiet. You must be in a place where there are no distractions. You have to be able to hear yourself, to really listen and wade through the noise and surface. You have to dig deeper than ever before.
If even as you’re reading this, you hear a voice telling you that this is silly, a waste of time, or it isn’t for you, silence that voice. That voice is speaking from a place filled with fear.
As you take the next steps to change your mindset, you will hear that same voice. Sometimes, that voice is speaking from fear, and other times it may be guilt, self-loathing, disappointment, or more. Your inner dialog is important, and as you chip away at the surface and begin to dig deeper and deeper, you will encounter so many things you have to be prepared to steel yourself against and not let the feelings stop your work.
Do the work. Embrace the emotions. Feel each one. Examine it closely. Then change your mindset. You are enough. You are worthy. You do deserve the work.
Investing in yourself isn’t selfish—it is the framework for the rest of your life.
I am here to help women exactly like you on their journey to a life that is full of purpose and satisfaction. If you’d like to know more, contact me to schedule a call so we can get to know each other.
If you’d like some support on your journey, join me and a community of like-minded women who have come together to put in the work and create a more fulfilling life.