So last week I met up with a colleague, primarily to explore how we could work together but also to catch up as I’ve known her a long time. Now anyone who knows me knows that I’m a lover of heels and was wearing my favourite boots and almost as soon as she saw me she commented ‘I love your boots Andrea’ which she then followed with ‘I don’t wear heels anymore I’m too old!’
It stopped me in my tracks (metaphorically) because 1) she’s in my age group (so early 20s!)
2) she’s incredible fit – she does loads of sport etc so no physical reason why she couldn’t.
3) and who decides how old we are when we are too old? How old is too old, I wasn’t aware there was a number for certain things!
I’ve always taken the view that the only person who limits me is me, and so I intend to wear boots like this until my orthopaedic consultant tells me I have far too many pins in my ankles and he’ll have to chop my ankles off! Which I know is an exaggeration, but I’m hoping it makes a point, that until there is a very good reason for not doing something, why would I stop doing it?
Seriously though, the more I sat with it the more it got me thinking about how the rules we create for ourselves, often limit us and simply serve to make our world smaller and smaller, long before our world has to become smaller and smaller! And how many times do we believe these statements that we make as a fundamental truth about ourselves without question.
I hear so many, and they are usually really easy to spot as they often start with:
I am …..
I don’t like…..
I don’t do…..
I’m not good at….
I’m not the type of person who….
Just think about it, how many times during the day do you describe yourself in a negative way and make decisions (even micro ones) based on these beliefs? How long have you had that belief for? How current is it? How true is it, really, for you? How many opportunities do you turn down? Missed out on? How much smaller is that belief making your world?
Now often it’s argued that these aren’t simply thinking, these are fact, based on hard, concrete, evidence of years of experience, believe me I’ve probably heard them all, but save for physical limitations I’ve had clients do things they never thought possible when they see clearly that the beliefs they’ve had for so long were simply something that they were thinking and wasn’t the hard fact they thought it was!
So often a thought pops into our head, and it seems so real, seems so logical, so believable that we adopt it as a truth, something we live by, but when we prod it, explore it, unpack it, it simply falls apart and we see it as the illusion that our thinking creates. Our mind clears leaving us with a certainty of knowing exactly what we are really capable of (which usually far exceeds our thinking).
I’ve often been referred to as a bit of an anarchist when I challenge client’s rules, and yes, I know I am a bit of a rebel, I have to say it’s served me well, but I prefer to think of myself as someone who is curious about what would happen if I simply didn’t believe everything that I thought. Curious about what would happen if I relied more on my gut feeling that I would be ok, rather than following my more fixed thinking. So if you are finding that you are living by your own ‘rule book’ I invite you to do the same, be curious about what would happen if you simply let the rules go and relied on your gut feeling more – maybe you’ll find yourself wearing the boots that you’ve been saying you’re too old for!
FREEDOM OF MIND + INSIGHT + ACTION = SUCCESS