“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” ~ Unknown
This quote completely resonated with me last night. I am always working on creating the better version of me, through discovery, through learning from mistakes, through observing those who inspire me. I used to only ask “what’s wrong with me?” “What do I have to fix?”
In business, we spend a lot of time focused on fixing leaders and their flaws. We put people through assessments to better understand their personality and how that shows up at work. We ask for feedback to understand how others are experiencing a leader. It tends to focus on who you are now so we can understand who you need to be to be more effective.
Very often you cannot really change someone dramatically since they are hard wired a certain way. We can all tweak our reactions to situations and we can all modulate so that we show up a little differently, but really changing comes with a lot of work and understanding of the wounds that are deep that we have not healed that may be affecting our behavior. Most don’t really want to go there. Many people put those wounds in a closet to never open the door again!
Reading this quote put this entire philosophy on it’s side. Instead of trying to figure out what is about you that is holding you back, is it really more about your own thoughts of what you are deficient in, or who you are not?
I spent some time last night really thinking about who I thought I was not (that really is a mouthful and sounds as if it is poor English, but I’m going with it!). I spent some time focused on what is holding me back from continuing to evolve and being the best version of me based upon this quote.
Here is what I came up with.
- I’m not beautiful or sexy by the standards that are set in society. So this holds me back from being more flirtatious, and having confidence to meet men and date. So this type of thinking is definitely holding me back from meeting my heart’s desire, my soul mate.
- I’m not fearless. This one holds me back a lot. I am afraid of a lot! I am afraid of trying a lot of new things, and make excuses as to why I can’t do something before I ever attempt to do it. I found this one a lot when I was working out with a trainer. She would give me something to do and my first thought was “I can’t do that!” She would push me and modify so that I wouldn’t get hurt and then I would do it. In fact a friend of mine was recently sharing an adventure they had gone on and all I could think of was “I could never do that with you, I can’t.” So I assume I already failed before I even try. Yoda comes to mind, “do or do not, there is no try.” I try things or think about trying things instead of doing.
- I’m not tough. Another that holds me back a lot! Many people who have crossed my path think I am a tough jersey girl. I had a boss once who asked me if I chewed nails for breakfast because of my tough exterior or talk. Oh boy! That couldn’t be furthest from the truth. I do not have thick skin and I get hurt very easily. So I say all that and yet I handle everything that comes my way and survive it all. In fact I generally thrive after a big disappointment or change. I figure it out. My brain tells me I’m not tough but my history and experience and where I am today tells me I am a lot tougher than I give myself credit for. I know I am sensitive, but that is who I am. I may need to let go of thinking I’m not tough. I am, in my way.
- I’m not good enough. For who? This is the one demon I am fighting fiercely right now. As you know from last week’s blog this is coming up loud and clear with my reduction of comfort food. I’m starting to realize that the person I’m not good enough for is me! I think I should be different. Why? Because I am single again at 53? Because I am alone? Because I didn’t have children? What makes me not good enough? Why do I continue to tell myself a story about not being good enough just because something doesn’t happen the way I want it to.
Through some of the work I am doing now, I am realizing that there is no answer to these questions. I have this standard in my head that I cannot really articulate that says I am less than others. This is the standard that needs to be released. This is the negative energy that keeps me from being my best version of me. This is what is holding me back, thinking I am not good enough. This is where all my work is culminating, changing the story I tell myself, changing the reaction to situations and finally thinking….I am more than good enough!