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How Can I Embrace -
and Risk -
How do I let go of past perceptions, beliefs, habits, etc
and become open to finding my passion?
Let’s first look at the old perceptions, beliefs, and habits…
For whatever reason, you seem to feel that the way you have been relating to the world is no longer working for you. These old views seem to be holding you back. So the first question you need to chew on is…
Why? Why does the old stuff hold you back?
You can spend years analyzing your old belief systems, categorizing which ones do and do not work for you, looking at how they came to be, and even assigning blame to various people, institutions, and circumstances that programmed you to think that way in the first place. In the end, what matters is not HOW you got these limiting beliefs or even WHAT they are, but WHY are you still holding on to them?
The actual process of changing your mind is a fairly easy one. That is your goal here… to change your mind about how life works, about how much you are capable of achieving, about whether or not you are worthy of some goal, about whether or not it is selfish and too decadent to live a life filled with passion, etc. You want to change your mind. So why is that so hard to do? The fact that you are asking how to do it implies that you know on some level that you are ready to do it. Deep down, I suspect that you have already changed your mind about these things. What you want is permission to act upon these new beliefs.
You have paid me money to give you permission or more importantly, to teach you how to give yourself permission to be happy. You are not completely happy right now, you want to make changes, you may or may not have defined what those changes might look like, and you want more passion and fire in your life. Nobody ever says, “I want to live a dull, boring, and meaningless life.” However, most people do live dull, boring, and meaningless lives. Why? Because they do not give themselves permission to live any other way.
Deep down, there are only two motivators…
fear and love.
Yes, of course you have heard this before. A lot of people think it is “love and hate” but we only hate that which we fear. We hate it because it scares us, threatens us, and challenges us to see things in an uncomfortable new way. So, what does this have to do with not letting go of old ways? Both of these motivators can be seen in how and why we hang on to things that no longer serve us.
Love. Love of our children, spouse, parents, community, etc. We will sacrifice our dreams of happiness if we believe that it is for the greater good. How many mothers have put their professional goals aside to stay home with small children? How many husbands have passed up job opportunities because their families did not want to relocate to another city? How many of us throw away our dreams of exotic vacations so that we can care for our elderly parents? Love is a very powerful motivator and we will give up our dreams of happiness if we feel that it is the more loving thing to do. Therefore, the thing to ask yourself now is…
Can I have my dreams of passion
AND still be a loving hands-
of my family, community, etc.?
Do not worry about defining your dreams or defining what being “hands-
Fear. Fear of negative repercussions. We are often taught by religious organizations that bad things will happen to us if we focus on our own pleasure. It is so engrained in our culture that even people who claim NOT to be religious believe that there is something inherently bad about wanting to be happy. We worry that we will burn in hell, that our friends and family will think ill of us, that we will bring on bad luck or bad karma, that nobody will love us, that emotionally abusive people will berate us, etc. Sometimes, we also convince ourselves that if we are happy, that other people will have to pay the price for our happiness. “My kids will suffer if I go back to work.” “My aging parents cannot possibly get by without my sacrifices.” It is made to look like love is the motivator, but it is actually a fear of something bad happening to someone else that motivates us.
Fear fuels the Inner-
What are you afraid of?
What is it that you think will happen if you did change your belief system? What
bad things are you trying to avoid? Are they real issues or make-
Until you can answer both questions with “Yes, I can be happy and still be a loving
member of my community.” -
Look at your own story. What point is there in holding on to the beliefs that got you there… and hold you there? There is no logical reason NOT to change, but we will psychologically make up reasons because we are afraid of imaginary “what if” scenarios and we think that giving ourselves permission to be happy somehow harms the ones we love. It is not as if there is a finite amount of happiness allotted to each family and if you take too much for yourself, then someone else in the family will have to do without. The truth is, the happy people in life actually inspire others and encourage others to also find their passion and bliss.
So how do you let go of the old ways?
You give yourself permission to use the new beliefs that inspired your desire to let go of the old ones. Rather than focusing on the old ways and how they hold you back, focus on the new ways and how they can help you to move forward. Focus on the new beliefs and lifestyle patterns and how they can help you to help others. You have to role model happiness, passion, joy, and love BEFORE you can teach it to others. Therefore, if you need to… tell yourself that you are doing this for those you love. It is not selfish to want the ones you love to be happy. So, look at it as if you are volunteering to be a guinea pig trying out the new ways so that your family does not have to waste their valuable time with silly new ideas that do not work.
Give yourself permission to explore and experiment new ways of living life until you find what it is that you would like to pass on to those you love. You are doing research on behalf of your loved ones. That is not selfish. Somewhere along the way, when you are focusing on investigating new ways, new beliefs, etc… you will come to realize that the old beliefs no longer have control over you.
You cannot let go of one philosophy of life BEFORE embracing a new one. You have to reach for the new one… and try it on for size, see how it fits, how it feels. Keep doing that until you find a wonderful way of life that really truly works for you. In the process, the old ways will simply fall away as distant memories.
Sometimes, while experimenting and exploring new ways of doing things, while being a curious student of life, we come to realize that what we originally believed in was actually “correct” all along. There is nothing wrong with exploring the world only to find out that home is where the heart is and that what we grew up with is what actually feels right.
You never lose your old ways, so you never lose yourself. You simply give yourself
permission to add to your knowledge base, add to your comfort zone, and add to your
You are not ending one way and then beginning another, you are simply adding more methods to your portfolio so that you have more ideas how to role model, share, and teach “passion” to others. Therefore, there is no reason for internal battles over guilt, fear, and selfishness.
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