Good Morning, Dear Universe!
It’s a cold, wet, dreary day outside; potentially slick and icy right now, but warming with rain tapering off later today.
My former self would easily tie my thoughts and emotions to something as arbitrary as the weather. Sunny and bright equaled energetic and hopeful; cold and dreary meant lethargic and forlorn.
Instead, I look out on this rainy day, and I see bare branches and fir trees all tipped with glimmering silver, rain drops reflecting the cool, steel skies. The vegetation can use this rain for the coming growing season. The rivers will run more full and more dynamically, a dramatic and inevitable consequence to this morning’s rain.
Yesterday I mentioned the power of giving yourself permission, Dear Reader. It can be fairly tempting to discount this advice, for a couple reasons.
One reason is that enacting this advice places responsibility and ownership in your hands, on your shoulders. This can be scary – especially when your confidence and belief in yourself is suffering or has been damaged.
What causes damage to our self-confidence and self-belief? It is the culture of thought that failure is unacceptable weakness. It is a culture of belief that judges and shames the innovator and risk-taker who tries but does not succeed.
It becomes safer and more comfortable, and we are more easily accepted, when we stop risking and stop trying.
Think about that baby attempting to walk, the bird learning to fly, or you believing you can swim. If momentary failure pre-empted the learning/playing/practicing of any new skill, the baby would only crawl. The bird would never fly. We would never learn to swim.
I talked yesterday about Truth being thoughts that liberate your soul. Which feels more true – that there’s magic and power in trying, in playfully challenging yourself to do new and wonderful things? Or does it feel like freedom to be afraid of failure and judgment, and to doubt yourself and your abilities without even testing them, without even trying?
Another reason you might discount the strategy of giving yourself permission is that you decide it just doesn’t work. But, I would query, “Did you actually do it?”
Our society has a habit of creating verbal constructs. We take thoughts and debate, hypothesize, theorize, and strategize, projecting imagined outcomes. This is a great way to feel like we’re really working on a problem, without really doing anything.
I get it. I’ve done a lot of living in my own head. But, it’s where I’ve developed all of my most-imprisoning stories. Thinking, and not doing, makes it really easy to imagine and assume failure, which supports the rationale – “Why try at all?”
Mike, my life coach, brought it to my attention that I followed that loop a lot. I would talk about something I wanted to try, or a project I dreamed of creating, when I would inevitably end with some thought like, “But, what if I fail?” or “What if nobody shows up?”
He would challenge me to imagine, “What’s the best that could happen? What if you succeed? What if they do come?”
I’ll admit that it felt risky, and like pretending, to imagine success. I was so trained to imagine failure, in order to avoid it, that it felt totally real compared to any fantasy story about me finding success in my life.
And so, nothing changed for a long time. But, I was learning, and exposing myself to new ways of thinking, even if I wasn’t implementing them.
Then, little by little, I started doing. Trying. Hearing Mike’s voice ask, “What’s the best that could happen? What if you succeed?”
I already knew how much I wanted change in my life, and I finally realized that, unless I tried new things, unless I did new things, nothing would change.
We don’t learn to walk without trying to walk, learn to swim without getting right down in the water, or learn to fly without letting go and spreading our wings.
When I talk about giving yourself permission, that’s what I mean. You can’t learn to create joy without trying. So, if you desire to be, or need to be someone capable of creating joy, give yourself permission to try.
“What’s the best that could happen? What if you succeed?” Want to perform a miracle, creating joy? Then take action and do. Join me for support, structure, laughter, and encouragement. The magic begins April 12th.
List ten things you haven’t tried, because you might fail. In a second column, for each item answer the question, “What if I succeed?”
Thank you, Spirit Guides, for helping me act, risk, and dare!