So many people decide that who they can or cannot become, what they can or cannot do, even what they can or cannot think about themselves is based on their past experiences. This is simply not true!
As a small child you had never walked before, yet you learned to walk. When you played sports, played an instrument, sang, acted in a play, went to work in your first job, you didn’t know how to do any of those things before you did them. Think about that. I remember the first time I wanted to play a violin, the first time I wanted to sing a solo, the time I decided to bicycle 500 miles when I hadn’t ridden more than a short distance years and years before. In fact, I couldn’t ride a traditional bike because of an auto accident I had when I was 38. My husband and I, without any experience, decided we want to learn to sail. All these things are things that you and I had never done before. We had to look towards our future to learn to do them. There was no experience in our past that told us how to do these things. We had to learn. We had to become a person that we hadn’t been in the past in order to do these things. Really think about that!
It’s like the ads you see for entry level jobs. No experience required. Your life, your entire life, is no experience required to become who you want to be. Do you get that?
Why then when you are asked: Why is your life the way it is? Why do you think and believe what you think and believe? Why are you the way you are? Why are you afraid to try to do something new, you answer from your past experiences? Most people reply because: “It is how my life has always been.” “It is what I have always thought and believed.” “It is how I was taught to be.” “I can’t because I’ve never done it before”. “I don’t know how”. Yep! That’s right and all of that is you looking back into your past to try and create your future. Stop that!
The answers to how to create the life you want and become who you want to become aren’t back there. The answers aren’t in your past. They are in your future. You haven’t created the answers yet. You haven’t figured out how to do it yet. This is great news! Your future is a blank slate. Really it is! You can create whatever you want. You can learn to do anything you want to do, be anything you want to be, think anything you want to think, believe anything you want to believe. It doesn’t matter what happened in your past! It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do! It doesn’t matter what you have thought or believed in the past! That is all in the past. It is done. It is over. (Disclaimer: that doesn’t mean that if you have experienced abuse or trauma in your, life there isn’t healing work to do. There is healing work to do. It isn’t a matter of just getting over it.) However, your future is not determined by your past! The saying today is a new day is true! You can choose to use each day to become the you that you really want to be. To do what you really want to do. To think and believe what you want to think and believe.
I hear you saying: “I don’t know how.” That’s ok. Here is how you do it:
- Stop asking: “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?” These are past focused questions. No one can tell you who you are or what your purpose is. Your past cannot tell you who you are or what your purpose is.
- Start asking: “Who do I want to become?” “What do I want my purpose to be?” Do you see? This is the best news ever! You get to choose! You get to decide! There is no right or wrong answer. It is totally up to you. The answer is in the future that you and you alone create. Hooray!
- Stop thinking you have to figure out how to do it. Just go do it and learn how to do it along the way.
- Think of your life as a play or a movie. Have you ever seen an actor study for a role? They rehearse, the memorize their lines. Then there is the dress rehearsal where the stage is set for the scene and all the actors are in their costumes. Often actors stay in their costumes and in character for the entire day even if they are only on stage or being filmed off and on for a few moments.
- Become the writer, director and actress of the play or movie that is the life you want. Choose the result you want to create. Decide who you want to become. Then ask yourself: “How would I think, feel and act if I was acting as if this result were already true, as if I was already that person?” In the Star War Movies, we didn’t see the actors playing Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, and Princess Leia walking around saying “I’m trying to figure out how to be Luke Skywalker.” “I don’t know what Princess Leia would say or do.” No, they had memorized the script and they became Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo and Princess Leia and that’s who we believed they were!
- Practice, practice, practice! Understand, there were hours and hours maybe even months and months of practice for the actors to become the characters that we believed them to be in the movie or play. Just like the actors, you have to practice what you want to think, feel and do. Have you ever watched a new TV series from beginning to end and then went back and watch the first episode? I have and what I noticed is the actors where clunky, stiff and not as believable in the first episode and they were in later episodes. The evolved. They grew into their role. They became the character. It is the same with you. Practice everyday the thoughts, feelings and actions that will create the results you want. It will seem difficult at first. You will be clunky and stiff. You won’t be as believable to yourself in the beginning. But overtime you will believe yourself. You will become the you that you want to be in the life you want to create.
- Stop seeing obstacles as failures. See them as a way to evaluate, learn and tweak the life you are creating until it works for you. When I decided to bicycle 500 miles in 10 days, I thought I could simply get on a recumbent bike and ride. Guess what? It didn’t work that way. I damaged my left Achilles tendon, damaged my left knee and ruined a joint in my right foot badly enough that eventually I had to have not one but two foot surgeries. People told me I should quit. They said it wasn’t possible for me to ride 500 miles. I could have quit. I could have seen these obstacles has failures. Instead I used them to evaluate my training, tweak my training by hiring a personal trainer and a physical therapist. I recovered, trained and rode 500 miles. Creating the results in your life are no different. You are going to experience obstacles along the way. You are going to experience difficulties. People will tell you to quit. Don’t quit. Failure is only failure if you quit. Evaluate, tweak, get help, keep going. You will reach your goal.
- Successful people seek help, coaching, mentoring and support. You will greatly increase your chance of success by getting the help, coaching, mentoring and support to become who you want to be and create the life you want.
Here it is in a nutshell: Who you are becoming, the life you want to create is not defined by your past! You get to create who you want to become and the life you want to live. Think, feel, do (act) your way to the you that you want to become. Practice, fail, evaluate, tweak, get help, coaching, mentoring, support. Keep going. You got this! You can do it!
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