“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever felt like you’re not living to the potential that you know for sure is in you? Do you sometimes feel as if you’re living in a prison within your own life? Or maybe your life is like a movie, with you being the main character who continues to fall short of your own ideal expectations?
There’s really no reason to answer these questions, because I know we all feel this way at times along life’s journey. Some more intense, some less, but either way the thoughts tend to creep into our psyche’s when we least expect them to. It’s like a voice telling us we can’t, we shouldn’t, we’re not capable or smart enough.
It’s not enough that we hear the voices, but sadly we often listen and even put the messages on auto-replay, so that we can continue to listen to words of defeat, doubt and suspicion. To the point that our lives are seriously impacted.
I don’t need to tell you how it works. Just look at the list of decisions we fail to make or the ones that we do, out of fear. The career opportunities that fall short due to what we may deem as lack of confidence, the relational issues we tend to avoid because we simply rather not face the outcome or we become ambivalent, and more importantly, acknowledging the diverse and complex inter-workings of who we are, why we are and what we are.
Just the idea of digging that deep creates tension for me, however I know that in order for me to live a better and more purposeful life, there is no choice but to press towards it. So where do we start? Well I start with first trying to understand what my real concern or fear is at the core level. I ask myself hard questions that allow me to identify and expose the raw truth. I recognize through my current relationships what really is bothering me, or even making me happy.
What I (we) do next is the critical step. The ability to really own our lives and live freely in them is all contingent upon us taking the necessary steps. And when I say steps, I don’t necessarily mean they will be sequential, nicely ordered steps. I wish they were, but life is messy and tends to not work in that fashion. Kind of like the weather.
So perhaps one day it looks like a hard conversation with yourself filled with care, thoughtfulness and compassionate reasoning. There’s no reason to attack or condemn yourself at this point. This is a time for self-discovery and understanding. Learning about the why, the what and the how.
It will take time, and as each of our journeys are unique, have patience and allow the process to take its own course. Fear should not dictate our responses, only the truth. And what I have learned is the truth is usually closer than we recognize. We just need to acknowledge it and act on it, without becoming overly concerned about what should happen next.