Have you ever been asked for your “10 year plan” or even your “5 year plan”? Questions like this have always made me so uncomfortable. I’ve always thought these questions were a bit misguided and closed-minded. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have goals and to set your actions in motion in order to achieve your goals. However, to make a solid “plan” seems very self-limiting to me. How often do you find yourself thinking, “Well, this isn’t going according to plan.”? When we define our paths and futures in plans and absolutes, we are closing ourselves off to be able to embrace the wonderful experiences and opportunities that the universe most definitely has in store for us. The fact is, we like to plan things out because it makes us feel safe. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we don’t have a plan for our futures we will just wander aimlessly through life without any purpose. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Self-limiting beliefs are a set of values and beliefs we’ve developed over the course of our lifetime and have been shaped by nearly every experience we’ve ever had. Self-limiting beliefs are usually long-embedded, negative, beliefs we have about ourselves, the world around us, success, money, or anything that we often hear associated with stereotypes. Examples of self-limiting statements are as follows: “I am not attractive.” “I am not funny” “I’m not smart enough for a promotion.” “It doesn’t matter how hard I try; I’m not appreciated.” “I’m the black sheep of the family” “Humanity is hopeless, and I’ve lost all faith.” Self-limiting beliefs always have a negative connotation and quite often are accompanied with “always” or “never” phrasing. Quitting the use of “always” and “never” when referring to yourself and things you do or believe is a key to freeing yourself from limitations for, not only your future, but your present as well.
Going with the flow
The words we speak have power and when we say them out loud, the vibrations of the spoken words and the energy of our negative thoughts are put into the universe and start to embed themselves into our own belief systems. In my own life I’ve found that if I can avoid using these words when I speak, I am leaving myself open to whatever may come my way. That’s not to say I don’t catch myself saying “I would never do that.” or “You always do this.” but the more conscious I’ve become of keeping these words out of my vocabulary the more I can notice and correct myself whenever I do say them. Adopting this conscious practice into my daily life has opened up so many opportunities for me that I may have otherwise missed had I been following a “plan.” Sometimes, the unexpected, and how you react to the unexpected, can be the biggest blessing!
A different path
Had you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I’d be living in a beach town in Thailand, practicing energy healing and life coaching I would have said, “You’re crazy!” My plan was to stay in the corporate industry I had been working in for the previous few years (which I loved, by the way) and still be living in suburban Atlanta, raising my family, and living the “American Dream.” Back then I would have NEVER thought or dreamed about my future as a healer. But, because I slowly started to gain awareness of the limiting power of “always” and “never,” when the opportunity came to move to Southeast Asia I was hesitant but I embraced it. And now I’m hooked! I’ve found a passion that I never knew existed before because I had been so closed off to any scenarios that weren’t directly correlated to the “plans” I was making.
Fear is normal. We all feel some fear when big changes or unexpected things disrupt our daily routines. Let me say this again, fear is normal. To embrace the new you don’t have to get rid of the fear, you only have to summon up enough courage to face it and keep going. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” I find this proverb so profound because we don’t know what amazing, life-changing experiences lie on the other side of fear until we open ourselves up to possibilities and start walking toward them.