When You Sense Danger.
Trust your instincts! We use 5% of our brain consciously, 95% is subconscious and that’s not even including the trillions of cells we have in our body that are connected and have a nervous system. Your body is wise—it has a wisdom that stretches back 70,000 years to the days when Sapiens started roaming this earth—a big part of that wisdom was sensing danger.
Unfortunately, in our chaotic lives, swamped by hundreds of conflicting messages, we are now the product of years of subliminal conditioning and have been socialised into ignoring this wisdom. Yet we all know the feeling I am talking about: a sense that something is not right. It may be a strong feeling of physical danger, or a deep, quiet feeling that we are being misled or lied to.
I calm my mind by watching my breath and letting the noise fall away—giving my internal voice some space. In this space I ask, “what am I feeling? What do I know is right for me?”
Do not listen to the chatter in your head that says it’s all in your imagination, or it can’t be substantiated so it doesn’t exist. Please do not ignore a feeling that tells you to exit because you are worried about being inappropriate or ruffling feathers.
Many moons ago, I gave myself permission to believe this voice, even if I didn’t know why; to accept it was my subconscious wisdom reaching out to keep me safe.
When You Are On The Edge Of Doing Something New
Right here, out on the edge where the outcome is uncertain, it feels almost groundless.
If your comfort zone is screaming to quit, to get back in your box—don’t you dare, don’t listen to that negative voice, or to anyone around you that has a personal agenda to keep you where you are.
Slap down the fear monster, learn to use discomfort as your guide, high-five yourself when you feel totally freaked out and take a moment to acknowledge your bravery. Anything new, everything new, feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Skiing, losing weight, kicking an addiction, talking about feelings, divorce, changing careers, a new city—almost everything new feels unknown and often totally wrong. Expect this and embrace it, you don’t have to like it, you just have to stay with it and the unfamiliar will become familiar and you will build belief in yourself.
As A Parent Or Caregiver
It seriously is such a full on time, being a parent; never in the history of raising small humans has there ever been so many eyes on us, so much advice and SO much judgement. Couple that with the one-sided stories we all share on Facebook and it is very easy to doubt ourselves as caregivers.
If you are at all like me, you will have had times when you have known what is right for your situation, your children—but, because of the tsunami of advice given, you stop, freeze like a rabbit in headlights and then feel plagued with doubt.
I have two boys, Jet and Rush, they are both full on. I am not the perfect parent, I love them to the moon and back, but I also yell, swear, forget things, make wrong choices and get pissed off with the ref on the other team! It doesn’t matter; who you are matters, not the contents of their lunch box.
My great piece of advice here—which is actually advice to myself—is: shut it out and listen to your heart. Believe in your love for your little people and let this be your guide. You will always be in the zone when you are putting the needs of your children first and coming from a place of love.
When Your Creativity Is Busting To Get Out
If there ever is a time to truly believe in yourself, it is when you are wanting to express yourself creatively. Seth Godin talks about creativity as creating work, I love this description. Whether it be paintings, business strategies, pottery bowls or personal training programs; it doesn’t matter, it all comes from a place of personal creativity. Stepping into that space and saying, “here look, I made this, do you like it?” takes guts.
Especially at the beginning, when most of the time we are not actually very good at what we are doing—the only way to get good is to start and keep going. Doing this, beautiful friends, takes courage and on the other side of courage, is EVERYTHING!!!!
Here’s the clanger: you need the belief to start; once you start, it builds your belief. You have two choices: don’t start and die with your song in you—which is stupid because you are dead a very long time and you don’t get a second chance—or start and maybe not be that great at first, but keep going. Get better and better, you’ll accrue your time and skill, then you’ll hit your magical 10,000 hours and by then you’ll be an expert. You have to start—there is no other way.
When Everyone Is Saying NO, But Your Heart Is Screaming YES!
Why do people not want us to change?
They don’t want to look at themselves.
There is nothing quite like someone we know getting fit and healthy to make us look at our own health regime. Apply this theory to almost any kind of change or courageous act—like leaving a relationship, quitting a job or starting something new—we can’t help but look at ourselves, for good and bad.
People don’t want to be forced to examine their own choices. Consider how much effort a group of heavy drinkers will put into getting a mate to start drinking again if he has managed to quit!
Your decision may impact on their lives.
I’ve done this myself, I’m pretty sure we all have from time to time, given what looks like well-meaning advice that actually masks an agenda of our own.
They love us.
I do believe most of the time people are coming from a place of love and caring; our friends and family are worried if we make life-changing decisions, we will get hurt or the cost will be too high. The advice they are giving is based on their beliefs and experiences, not yours. They are projecting their fears and insecurities onto you. Do some critical thinking and consider their agenda when someone is pouring cold water on your great idea!
Get better at choosing who you turn to for advice and encouragement; if someone has a track record of only focusing on the negative—don’t go there. Make a conscious decision to surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Self-belief is a tricky master, if you have loads you’re probably doing all of the above already; if you don’t, taking belief-building action can seem very scary. You must start small; the only way to continually build your self-belief is to continually prove to yourself that you will follow-through and do what you said you were going to do. Set yourself up to win by making small, achievable steps in the right direction. Take the time to feel your wins, however small they are; attaching positive emotions to your successes, strengthens these practices.
I believe in you.
Paula Gosney and the Belief School Team