They say growth happens when you uncomfortable, when it is harder to stay where you are than move forward. Growth means taking a leap of faith at times, or tapping into your courage and confidence knowing that you need to do something different to get a different result. All of this requires staring fear in the face. It could be fear of failure, or fear of the unknown or perhaps fear of no longer being in complete control. Whatever the fear is, to grow we need to stare at it, pick it apart taking away what frightens us and seeing it for what it is, our inner critic telling us “No, you can’t” or “No, you shouldn’t.”
The mindset of lack, of “I’ve never done something like this before, I can’t.” Or the mindset of “I shouldn’t” or “I should,” really can affect our actions. Thoughts create emotions that then guide our actions. If our thought is I can’t, we will feel some negatively charged emotions and we won’t. If our thought is I shouldn’t, we will feel some fearful risk adverse emotions and we will either regret that we didn’t or turn away from something that could have changed us. We wouldn’t grow.
Can’t and should or shouldn’t are words we should remove from our language, perhaps they would then be removed from mindset. “I can’t” takes our power away, it lets fear control us. Should or shouldn’t causes us to second guess our intuition, ignore our inner voice and causes us to stay still or regret what we didn’t do. We “should” all over of ourselves. “I should eat healthy.” “I should save more money.” “I should do exercise,” All thoughts that are passive, and that create feelings that very often are about what we aren’t, what we aren’t able to, and we very often stay stuck.
Imagine if we changed that mindset to “I choose.” “I choose to eat healthier.” “I choose to exercise.” Feel the difference in those words. You are in power of the decision. You are no longer at the mercy of your fears, you get to consciously make a decision. So, if I choose to eat that chip, I consciously chose it and then I won’t sit back and feel guilty for eating it or frustrated about my weight. My weight became part of the choice.
Stepping into the unknown and allowing for growth is both scary and exciting at once! I have a good friend who recently decided to sell her house and much of her stuff and move into an apartment in New York City for a year. There were lots of fears, and as she put it she was “stepping out of her comfort zone.” She knew New York the way most Jersey girls do, but had never lived outside of suburbia. She had some friends in the city but none of her closest who used to be a quick car ride away. She could have easily talked herself right out of this with the mindset of “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t.” She easily could have let a mindset of lack and fear stop her. Instead, the growth was too important to her, she knew it was time to try something different and allow herself to face those fears.
Her first 3 months have brought her new experiences, new friendships, and even a budding career as a movie extra! It has also shown her what she is capable of, and she’s grown. She didn’t allow fear to stop her, she took a risk!
So many people allow fear to stop them. So many people don’t grow because they are afraid of becoming that uncomfortable. If we remove some of these thoughts and change our mindset to “I choose,” “I will,” and “I can,” we will grow in ways we never expected. Don’t just let life slide by because you are afraid of failure, embrace the growth and view failure as a step to where you want to be. Standing still means you are surviving, you aren’t living!
I choose to live. I choose to try new things. I choose.