“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
When I explore below the surface of many situations, I repeatedly find that my greatest barrier to growth, expansion, and taking positive action is…ME!
One of my favorite yoga teachers frequently reminds us to “qualify” ourselves. That sounds like a rather strange request, but think how many times we avoid a certain action because we don’t believe we are up to the task. We don’t stretch beyond our comfort zone to apply for a job we’ve never done before; take a risk to go against cultural norms even when it feels right to you; take the leap from perpetual student to leader or teacher.
We find lots of ways to disqualify ourselves: we don’t have enough training or experience; we could never do it as well as someone else we admire; we are too something- young, old, fat, thin, shy, sensitive, inarticulate, etc.
How do we step beyond all the limits we place on ourselves and begin living as though we are all sparks of the divine?
Notice your unique style of disqualifying yourself
Sometimes we hold ourselves back in very subtle ways and it is up to you to ferret out and begin shifting those old habits. Pay attention to the stories you are thinking in your head when faced with a challenging situation. Write down every time you speak in absolutes like ‘never’ and ‘always’ that lock you into one way of being. Notice how you judge yourself in comparison to others you admire. Some may benefit from working with a Counselor to help you unpack and rewire those habitual thought patterns and fears.
Accept praise graciously
All too often we brush aside or discount positive feedback from others. Every time you receive a compliment, place your hand over your heart center, take in the positive intent, and let the person know that it feels good to be appreciated.
Celebrate little successes
It may be hard to trust your personal qualities and power because successes pass by with little fanfare. Let’s say you have a particularly ornery boss and you managed to diplomatically make your case to get a small change for the office. Celebrate with an outing, meal, or gathering with friends to mark your success!
Establish a new practice of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-ing your comfort zone
Begin by making a list of areas in your life that feel stagnant, frustrating, stuck. Next brainstorm (alone or with a trusted friend) 5-10 very specific action items under each area- with no editing for how “doable” or scary that action seems. Pick one action item a week to try. Remember that this is not an exercise in how to do everything “right” or “perfect”. Some will work and some won’t, but taking the actions begins to train you not to stop at your traditional edge of comfort.
by Dianne Fish, LPC512.636.7500 www.facebook.com/AustinSerenityCounseling