To be more you must first believe that you deserve more.
Let’s pause for a moment then read that statement again. To BE more you must first believe that YOU DESERVE more.
Have you every taken the time to audit your thoughts on what you deserve? At work, at home, in a relationship, in a friendship, in life? Until recently I never gave this more than a fleeting thought but as I’ve been reflecting on my life experiences over the past few years and thinking about how I want to live going forward I’ve had to confront my beliefs about myself, my abilities and the things I think I deserve. Ultimately I’ve had to ask myself the question; are the things I want and the things I think I deserve one and the same? Unfortunately, the truest, most authentic answer to that question was no.
We live our lives with a plethora of beliefs that have been molded and shaped by our life experiences, especially in childhood. And while these beliefs are often never verbalized they form the undertone of every decision we make and nurse the fears that tend to keep us trapped in an endless cycle of struggle. I will share with you two limiting beliefs that I am working on deleting from my life; the first is that you must work hard for money and the second is that some people (people like me) were not destined to be rich. I was forced to admit to myself that I believe these things as I was struggling to write a 5-year plan for my life about a week ago.
I started off great and managed to write out a few pic picture goals that have been resting on my heart. Immediately thereafter I started breaking these down into smaller milestones and tasks. You see I pride myself on being a planner so I’m all about breaking everything down and creating an action plan. But soon after I started I got stuck and despite my best efforts I simply could not go on. It was easy writing all these big ideas down but when it came time to delve deeply into what I would need to do, how much money I would need to earn/save/spend/invest and ultimately who I would need to BE to achieve these goals I choked up.
So I paused the 5-year plan, gave myself a new project to focus on and moved on. If I was sufficiently distracted this wouldn’t matter anymore and I wouldn’t think about it again until maybe the end of December when I would pick it back up in a panic as the realization that this year and by extension this decade are coming to an end.
But the universe had another idea. Over the course of two days the Universe gave me three gentle nudges that forced me to examine these two limiting beliefs and revisit my 5-year plan with a new appreciation and vision.
Nudge #1 – Trying to keep up with my reading goal for the year I
was buried in John Acuff’s Finish and enjoying every minute of it. As a chronic
starter I took up this book to see if I could learn a thing or two about
finishing some of the projects that I’ve put on pause to revisit later
plan for example). Chapter 6 of this book zones in on getting rid of the
secret rules that guide your life and as I read it I couldn’t help but wonder
if Acuff secretly knows me as he could’ve been writing a manuscript about me!
He uses one particular example that resonated with me; if you grew up hearing that rich people are evil; you will subconsciously live your life with this belief resulting in you feeling shame instead of joy about your own success and you will subconsciously self-sabotage as you try to stay away from becoming rich in an effort to remain “good”. As I read this chapter I kept thinking of my lifelong belief that persons with some of the most powerful stories in this world went through some unbearable struggles to get there. Deep down somewhere I believed that in order for ordinary people to be successful they had to go through these struggles, in my mind all other rich/successful people were either born with it or made it in some unscrupulous way. And since I was not born with it and I refuse to compromise my values clearly my success had to come through some struggles.
Nudge #2 – I went on YouTube as I usually do to watch some random motivational videos. Yes, sometimes I have to psych myself up to get through the day! Anyway, the video I landed on was of Lisa Nichols telling her story about how she hit rock bottom and bounced back from that. I thought to myself, I’m not at rock bottom I’m doing alright actually but I kept listening none the less as her story is one of those powerful struggle filled stories I mentioned earlier. But then Lisa started talking about transforming our lives by correcting the lies we have been telling ourselves about ourselves. As Lisa spoke about one particular lie she used to tell herself; I paused the video and sat up in my chair because I felt like she was talking directly to me. The lie she said, is that you have to work had for money.
Just moments before I had been thinking about how hard I work and how hard I’ve always worked. I’m doing ok but I work very hard between the day job and the online virtual assistant gigs and now the part time business I’m starting; hard work is my way of life. Lisa went on to talk about teaching herself that if you set it right, you don’t have to always work hard, in fact your money can work for you while you sleep or vacation or just take a break to be a bum for a day. I got out a Post It note, made a quick jotting then allowed the video to continue playing.
“I do not have to work so hard for money if I set things right! But what are these things do I need to set?”
Nudge #3 – I’m a sucker for motivational quotes and sometimes I randomly google motivational quote to see what famous person had something to say regarding whatever it is that may be on my mind at the moment. The morning after I watched the Lisa Nichols video I asked the good and faithful Google for quotes about beliefs and achievement and google shot back at me with the words of James R. Bell. “We cannot achieve more in life than what we believe in our heart of hearts we deserve to have.”
Ok Universe, I hear you.
That morning I spent more than two hours of my work day just writing and I finally made some real progress with my 5-year plan and got some much needed clarity through that writing session. I recently started a part-time business and although I’m in it, I was not 100 percent in. This business has the potential to make me stratospherically successful, but I was doubting myself and doubting the business. Did I deserve this potential success? Maybe I didn’t think that I did.
You see, until now I have never imagined myself as a business owner. I grew up in humble circumstances in rural St. Ann, Jamaica. My goal was always to make it out and as far as I knew making it out meant getting good grades in school, going to university then finding a good job. And I’ve done all that so by this standard I had already achieved everything I had set out to achieve in my life. Imagine that… It’s no wonder I was not able to complete my 5-year plan. What was I planning for when I was already living at the summit of my limited imagination?
So that morning as I wrote I decided to do a few things. First I decided to forgive myself for the limiting beliefs that I have been holding on to. Then I gave myself permission let go of these things and be open to dreaming new dreams, believing new ideals and setting new goals. And as I dream my new dreams I will daily affirm that I deserve every good thing that is coming my way.
Like Tony Robbins says “The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself” so it’s time I start telling myself and the world some new stories. Stories of who and what I am, stories of what I will BE in this this world and all the beautiful blessings that I so richly DESERVE!