Tell me if you’ve every experienced this:
You’ve had a great day, week, month, or even a great year. The moves you’ve been making are starting to pay off and things are really looking up for you. As you think about your goals and dreams, you’ve noticed you get an increased fluttery feeling in your stomach because now more than ever, you see yourself actually accomplishing that One Big Dream. While you’ve always believed in yourself, it always seemed so distant because you knew you still had a lot of work to do. But with the way things have been working out lately…the doors that have been opening…the chance meetings with influential people…this is actually becoming real. You dreams are actually unfolding right in front of you. And yet…
…you sense yourself doing something weird. The closer this gets and the more real your dream becomes…
…the more you start doing crazy things! Little self-sabotaging things. And they truly are little at first — procrastinating on an important project, not following up with that important person who offered to help — but they bother you nonetheless. You have no idea why you are doing this — you know your behavior flies in the face of what you say you want. “I’m being stupid” you tell yourself. “Ugh, snap out of it!”
But it’s so hard to stop! It’s like this force field that’s sitting over your life! The closer you get to that One Big Dream, the more tempted you are to do dumb little things that make absolutely no sense. If you don’t get a handle on it soon, you fear you will ruin your opportunity. And the more you think about ruining this, the worse the problem gets…
Have you ever experienced this?
Introducing: “The Resistance”
I used to do this A LOT a few years ago. I almost felt like I had two people living inside of me! There was the Courtney that wanted to succeed, who knew all the right things to do and daydreamed about that One Big Dream night and day. And then there was this other Courtney, this crazy girl who, at the last minute, would do something stupid and risk throwing the whole dream away!
Steven Pressfield, author of the bestseller, The War of Art, personifies this phenomenon as The Resistance, a pesky anti-muse that shows when, and only when, you are on the verge of doing something great.
Over the past few weeks, I began to feel this self-limiting craziness creep back up again. Lately, things have been going really well for Think & Grow Chick. I’ve been blessed to see a lot of growth with this blog and connect with some really great women online. Others are starting to recognize and commend the work I do here, and for the first time in a while, I feel *really* close to my dream. I feel like I’m on the verge of a major turning point.
And at the same time…
I could feel The Resistance lurking again! “Not again!” I thought. How was I going to overcome this?
How I Almost Limited Myself
Lately, I’ve met with someone wonderful people both in-person and online who have encouraged me towards my dreams. Whether it’s GG Renee of All the Many Layers who encouraged me to write a book or Pauleanna Reid who reached out and offered to help me start coaching other women, I’ve been astounded with the influx of support I’ve received! Yet, in talking with all these encouraging people who are literally cheering for me to make my next big move, I found myself doing one small but strange thing:
I would say something like, “Really? You think I can do that? Wow. But I don’t know how…”
“I don’t know how.”
It seems like such a harmless statement — like I’m just stating a simple fact, but the more I thought about it, I realized “I don’t know” and statements like it are actually The Resistance in disguise. If you don’t know how to do something, you figure it out. “I don’t know” is not a valid excuse.
Limiting beliefs such as “I don’t know” slip in among other thoughts unnoticed at first, like a virus remaining camouflaged among other healthy cells. But if you allow such a thought to sit there, it will start to poison everything it comes in contact with. And you will find yourself acting in strange, self-sabotaging ways. You’ll begin subconsciously acting as if that limiting belief is true, which is what used to happen to me.
How to Stop the Resistance
Once I realized this, I was both angry and mortified — I’m supposed to be the self-help girl extraordinaire…what do I look like walking around limiting myself??? How hypocritical is that?
So immediately began banishing limiting thoughts from my life by writing them in my notebook every time I felt one creep up. I would write it down, see it for the ridiculous statement it is, then tell myself the exact opposite. So if I felt myself begin to think, “Well I don’t know how to do that” I would stop myself, write it down, then tell myself, “No, I DO know how to do that. And if there is something I don’t know, I can figure it out!”
This little practice has helped TREMENDOUSLY! Here’s a list of the top limiting believes I was tempted to tell myself — banish them from your life today!
Beliefs to Banish
- “I don’t know.” (No, you do know. You know enough to get started. And if you don’t know, you can figure it out.)
- “I’m not talented/smart/rich/connected/whatever enough..” (Neither were the people who actually did it)
- “Well of course she could do that, she’s [insert lame excuse here]. I don’t have that so…” (Everyone has an “unfair” advantage. Find yours.)
- “I’ll start when [insert future situation here].” (No time is the perfect time, start now!)
- “I’m scared.” (There is no courage without fear. You can do this.)
Talk to Me:
Have you ever experienced “The Resistance”? What limiting beliefs have held you back in the past? Let me know by leaving a comment!