One of the reasons that I resonate so well with Brené Brown’s work is that she doesn’t do the ‘how-to’. She does the Why. Why we don’t live fully, loudly, boldly. Why we settle…in so called ‘safe’ places. What is between us and all those visions of ourselves, lives and relationships that we, so very desperately want – yet fall short of obtaining. The 30lbs we just can’t seem to get off. Relocating to that town that’s been calling our name for 5 years. Returning to school to pursue a dream. Leaving the spouse that no longer fills us. Getting up and singing our hearts out at karaoke! (whatever/whichever – it’s never too small!!) I tell my clients, my children, friends – anyone who will listen….Look, I wish I could just shake my ass, have fairy dust and glitter pop out making everything bad go away, bringing you sunshine and rainbows. And it doesn’t work like that. It’s up to you to figure out what is between you and that vision, dream…the way you see yourself L I V I N G!!!
You can pick up any number of Self Help, How To, Relationship for Dummies type books that will tell you what to do. You already know to put down the cookie and do the workout – so then why aren’t you?
It’s that voice – that incessant little voice that sometimes is murmuring or out-right shouting in our ear…our head…running through our thoughts that tells us the list of reasons why we can’t. It vomits up half-truths, judgments, criticisms & fears. Sometimes it is out right lying to us. And sometimes, it also tells us how awesome we are. How we can do it!! Go for it!! You’ve got this!! I look fantastic in this!! If you want it – then work for it!! It cheers us on, supports & reminds us of what we actually can do!!! So what’s up with the psychotic voice that beats us down and then lifts us up, then runs us over and then takes us for the ride of our life?
It’s protecting us. Keeping us safe from perceived harm. Red light Green light. In this case Fear based language STOP!!!! Supportive, OMG how awesome are WE? GO!!!! This voice is just a symptom of the root cause, which is our beliefs about our self – that has been developing since birth. For some, pre-birth. Every experience that we have ever had is stored in us. The good, the bad and the ugly. And we have developed beliefs about those experiences….some beliefs are positive, supportive and true. And some – not so much. It’s the understanding that our experiences….big and small….positive and negative…..have been defining how we see and what we believe to be true about who we are and what we are capable of.
This is important. Take a minute to really absorb this. Farther back than we can remember….our everyday experiences have been the building blocks to which we have built our identities. Not just consciously. Subconsciously. And that is what is driving your actions today. The years of subconscious beliefs generated by our experiences. Ok, here’s a simple example….
You’re in the school play – you’re 10 years old. It’s show time!!! You get out on that stage and FREEZE! Forget your lines. Just stand there staring. People are whispering lines to you. You see the teacher encouraging you. And you begin to hear the snickering….laughter….your eyes land on that kid you don’t like. And they don’t like you. You can see the smirk on their face. And you run off the stage. And the voices start – what was I thinking being in the play. I can never show my face in school again. I’m such an idiot. Everybody is going to make fun of me! Your teacher, family and friends keep telling you that’s it ok. These things happen. You’ll get it next time.
You’re in the school play – you’re 10 years old. It’s show time!!! You get out on that stage and FREEZE! Forget your lines. Just stand there staring. People are whispering lines to you. You see the teacher encouraging you. And you begin to hear the snickering….laughter….your eyes land on that kid you don’t like. And they don’t like you. You can see the smirk on their face. And then you hear your name. It’s your best friend and they have a huge, you can do it smile on their face. You look back to the teacher. Still encouraging you. You hear the line again. And you repeat it out loud. At first you’re a bit shaky. Clear your voice and start again. You’re friend’s still doing the whole ‘you can do it look’. You get through it. When you leave the stage you’re thinking…It wasn’t the best, yet you did it. Your teacher, family and friends keep telling you how awesome you were. You don’t feel like it was awesome – but it was ok.
In each of these scenarios, at a subconscious level – some beliefs were built. Now…imagine this child as they grow. Depending on their immediate support systems, friends, family, teacher….the continual way they are either supported or unsupported will continue to add to their already developed belief. Either by enhancing it or changing it. In the first scenario, if the positive reinforcement is continued the child is more likely to attempt new things and allow themselves to be seen. However if their reinforcement is negative…teasing in school, from friends, family ect….the belief that they’re not good enough is being reinforced. You can imagine how it builds from there, compounding further as they go through the positives and negatives of life. Their choices, actions, ect…
Fast forward to today. We are, our lives (who we partner with, where we live, jobs, friends) are a direct result of the subconscious beliefs we have been building our entire lives. That’s the pile of junk between you and that life over there that you want. And you cannot get around, get over or bury it. You’ve got to dig into to it to understand what it is. Then you get to use all those awesome How-To’s!!! Otherwise you’re going to keep beating your head against that same pile of crap. It may come in different disguises… however, it’s the same crap.
I tell everybody and continually remind myself – that we have to question everything about ourselves. Tear into the crap, not to sit in – but to become friends with it and know it. And then challenge it when it decides to get between you and that goal. That life. It is the requirement to living a fully joyous life. XOXO