For years, I convinced myself a college degree would ensure respect and people of authority would listen. If only I had an education… I would be able to accomplish all the things I dream about. Write a book, own a business and feel like I had a purpose. Mostly, I wanted to feel respected. This is my story of limiting beliefs, and how I over came them.
In my mid 30’s I started on a path towards a college degree. This would be the new me, respected because I earned a college degree. It was my magical golden ticket to success. Taking one class at a time, mainly because it was math and I knew it would be hard for me. I was also cleaning model homes and taking care of the kids… time was limited. Unless I wanted to opt out of sleeping; one class was my limit. Class after class was one step closer to gaining respect. While I was taking college courses, I bid new cleaning jobs, hired team members and taught myself how to build policies and procedures. I spent hours in front of the computer learning how to build a business and manage team members.
If only I had a degree, I wouldn’t need to work this hard, or so I thought.
When the housing industry crashed in 2008 it was clear my cleaning business of 18 years would be phasing out. I started working in our Construction business, reinventing myself in marketing where I doubled company revenues in the first year. I Googled everything I could about social media and marketing, all while taking online college classes. I studied on the road, attended conferences, ran meetings and back to the room to finish home work. I was grateful for the trips back east as it gave me more time on the plane to study. Soon I was recognized in the industry and met with local and national real estate organizations for best practices in social media and marketing.
During the process of working and taking classes, I was involved with Non profit real estate organizations. I was asked to be the marketing chair and co- chair at policy day for national diversified real estate association conferences. Appointed on the national advocate board and asked to several others. Work and traveling was taking up most of my time, we needed to save money and I took a break from college.
Yet, in my mind I had failed. Ashamed and disappointed because I could not finish my degree. The narrative in my head was so different than what others would see in me. I wondered, why are they being so nice to me, do they think I can give them something? Do they think I already have a degree?
It’s amazing to me that a small part of our past can change the course of our future. I was so crippled by my limiting belief of needing the respect from others, my mind would not acknowledge my worth. The entire time I was trying to gain respect from everyone by earning a college degree, in reality I was succeeding. I was already a business owner, and sitting on a national board; I was respected. The limiting belief that I needed a college degree to be recognition was blinding me. How could I not recognize it? How could I seem so confident and yet have these self destructive thoughts in my head?
I did not come up with the term limiting beliefs, however until I attended Date with Destiny with Tony Robbins I had never put a label on what I already knew and felt.
So, here I am working hard for a goal I had already achieved. I could not recognize that I was limiting myself, instead, I was beating myself up. My outward appearance was self-confidence, while the inside was full of self-doubt. Have you ever felt like you were spinning your wheels, wondering; why am I struggling?
As you can predict, when I graduated from college, no magic happened. No sudden change in how I was perceived and nothing within me had changed. Why? I was undeniably proud of myself, this was a big deal. Here is why I was still the same little girl with the same limiting beliefs. The degree did not change how I felt on the inside. As I mentioned above, I attended a six day event called Date with Destiny; taking us through why we believe the way we do, what emotion is attached to the story we tell ourself, and how to change our story. Until I recognized this part of my past, I was unable to release the emotion associated to the event.
Like the scene in the movie clueless- Cher is walking in Beverly Hills and the fountain water shoots up… she realized “I’m in love with Josh” That was me. The light bulb when on and I knew…I am respected! Happens to most of us, events from our past provides the narrative that stays with us. To move forward we must change what the event or experience means.
We are not the victim; we are survivors, Champions of our own life.
Since that time, I go ALL IN, understanding that I will have setbacks. I no longer feel uncertain about my future, no longer controlled by the fear of the unknown or the limiting belief that I needed respect from others. Wait for it……I RESPECT MYSELF. I still feel insecure sometimes, only now I don’t stay in that mindset for long. The past no longer has the negative hold it once did.
If you have an idea or a passion to pursue, GO ALL IN! don’t worry if it doesn’t work out! We are afraid of uncertainty which creates fear; embrace the unknown.
If you have a moment from your past that is defining you, say it out loud, don’t give it control of you and your future. The Tony Robbins event worked for me, and changed my perspective. Here’s the truth… most attempts at achievements or goals have setbacks, moments when we don’t feel respected and are frustrated with ourselves. Remember no big leap needs to happen, one move will get us to the next; until one day we have achieved our goal.
For this week my one step to a healthier body is no sweets, I don’t go for the big leap anymore it doesn’t work for me, I take little steps. Still have a diet coke to curb the sweet tooth, or maybe a gram-cracker but no desserts at every meal.
What is your one step?
Looking to create goals for the new year? check out why I recommend writing your accomplishments down first.
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