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Honey, we need to talk.
Who hasn’t felt their stomach drop to their toes when you hear those words?
It’s always bad news and you’re never ready.
But this is what you came here to get.
You want to believe that change is possible and you’re looking for help to make it happen.
So I’m going to deliver some tough love – because you deserve it.
It may sting at first, but I promise you’ll feel better by the time we’re done.
My job is not to talk you into anything. You have to want it badly enough to get past everything that’s holding you back.
I’ll hold your hand, I’ll give you tools, I’ll be your #1 cheerleader, but it all starts with you. Say it with me.
The pity party is over.
The biggest stumbling block to your ability to achieve the things you dream about is the little voice inside your head that is telling you that you can’t.
“I failed every time I tried it!”
“Why are bad things always happening to me.”
“I could never do it as well as other people have.”
You are so filled with these programmed messages that you don’t even need others to reinforce that you’ll fail. You’re doing it all by yourself.
Negative messages are programmed into you from childhood.
When a parent says “Oh, Jane is our science genius! And Lucy is our dreamer. She’s great in dance & art.”
What do you think the chances are of Lucy going into the STEM field? Or of Jane becoming an artist for that matter? Both girls have been receiving messages about what they are good at, and by extension what their parents think they’re bad at.
Advertising is insidious in how it targets you at a time when your analytical brain is not turned on.
You’re idly watching commercials while you much on a snack and wait for your show to come back on and some snarky politician spouts off about what a horrible human being his opponent is. Your mind isn’t analyzing his statement, you just take in the message that the other candidate is a terrible human being.
We’re programmed by the messages our families, our community and the world at large put into our heads.
How we react to society’s messages is the key to how we come to think of ourselves.
Over a lifetime, we believe that we’re good at certain things and bad at others. We usually do the things that people believe we do well. But it’s likely that we never really tried to do the things that we didn’t excel in as children because we already had the idea implanted in our minds that we are bad at it.
But you can turn that around.
What’s most important is that the pity party stop.
Right here and right now.
My family moved to 2 different countries by the time I was 13. My schooling took a hit as I had to learn new languages, cultures and school systems.
I struggled most with math and after seeing poor grades, I got the message loud and clear.
I was bad at math.
From that point on, I tried to avoid math classes whenever possible.
Without even realizing it, we shape who we are by the thoughts we produce.
It was as a senior in high school that I discovered that my future college required basic Chemistry. And Chemistry required Algebra! In a moment of folly, I talked my counselor into taking them simultaneously and hoped that I could somehow squeak through.
And that’s when my luck changed. The Algebra teacher sat me down after class and explained how hard the challenge ahead of me was. Why did I wait so long to take Algebra, he asked?
“I’m really bad at math and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to,” I replied in tears.
The teacher shook his head and said that he didn’t believe that. He said he’d get me through Algebra with an acceptable grade but that I would have to agree to an individual plan that included tutoring and extra work.
Over the course of the year, and with his help, I quickly caught on to the basic math concepts I’d never learned properly and mastered the class.
I didn’t just pass. I got an A in both Algebra and in Chemistry.
It turns out that I was not bad at math.
I had convinced myself so thoroughly that I was that it took that experience for me to recognize that negative self-talk for what it was.
A lie I’d taught myself to believe.
Negative messages and self-pity harm us in ways we can’t see always see.
We avoid opportunities because we believe we’ll fail.
We under perform because we don’t believe ourselves capable of more.
Our relationships suffer as we distance ourselves from people because we don’t want them to judge us, so we give only just so much of ourselves.
We are not grateful for our gifts. We judge the value of our life by what we don’t have instead of what we do.
We live a small life and we dream small dreams because we don’t believe in ourselves and our ability to be … more.
Let go of the idea that life has to be fair, that you were dealt the short end of the stick, that everyone is out to get you, or that everything would be so much better if you could just catch a break.
You are the master of your life.
The only difference between you and someone who has made their dreams come true is that they believed in themselves. The didn’t stop at obstacles. They figured out how to go over, around or through them.
Let me tell you a story that I’ve only ever shared with a few people.
My youngest daughter passed away at age 4 from a brain tumor. We fought valiantly and tried all kinds of treatment options, but ultimately the cancer won.
She died at home with her family around her and so much love filled that room in those hours.
In the hours afterwards, we sat in the living room and quietly told stories about my daughter, memories shared between people who loved her.
And then someone made a joke.
I can’t remember what it was, but it was funny.
And I laughed.
I immediately stopped and thought to myself “Your daughter just died! How can you laugh?”
But something was triggered in me that day.
Although it would be months before I laughed again, or even functioned for that matter, a seed had been planted.
I knew that a time would come when I could laugh again. When I could be happy again.
And just knowing that was enough to carry me through those dark days.
The power of a laugh gave me the strength to live, knowing that one day life would be worth it.
You can choose too.
You are not what happened to you, you are who you choose to be.
If you keep telling the same sad story, you will keep living the same sad life.
The Pity Party is OVER!
Do one thing today to mark the changes ahead.
Something that is about positivity, not any of the things that have been holding you back.
Buy a journal and start writing all the things in your life you’re grateful for.
Sit in the sun and let yourself really feel the warmth on your face.
Watch a comedy with someone you love. Laugh.
Make a list of everything about yourself you like.
Embrace the changes you want to make.
Be at the helm of your life as you embark on this voyage.
You can do this. Take the first step out of the past and move forward. I’m here for you.
You can start by joining the Plotting A New Course community for support, tips and exclusive content.
Sign up and I’ll send you 10 Easy Ways You Can Find Time To Pursue Your Goals, a quick guide to finding time in your busy schedule to pursue your dream.
Believe in yourself!