I often hear others describe their lives from the view of limitation, I have done this myself. We often perceive things to be far harder or more complex than they really are. Why do we do this? It serves us to do so, it gives us a reason to not start that which we most want or desire in our life, it protects us from attempting something we might not achieve and then protects us from the pain of failure.
Recently I have become more and more intrigued by the level of discomfort we will put ourselves through in order to protect ourselves from what we believe we cannot do, be or have. Our capacity to do, be and have is far greater than we routinely challenge ourselves to accept. We hear a lot about life not being a dress rehearsal and that we only have one shot but can you honestly say that you live by that creed? To do this would be to embrace change, and to challenge yourself daily in terms of your physical limits and the limits of your beliefs. It also asks us to embrace fear, to know that when we feel really afraid of making a change or taking a step towards our dreams or goals that we are on the right track. We are afraid of failure, of disappointment, that we will discover our limits are closer than we hope and dream they are.
Recently I have observed that my own fear is around not being able to do something perfectly…I like to get things right. In the A type, Perfectionist, goal seeking world that is the sales environment I work in, this has served me well. I am proud of what I have been able to achieve but I am coming to realise this fear mechanism that I have become so comfortable with, that has encouraged me to explore how to get things right, is limiting in me in other parts of my life. In a high performance sales environment getting it right is valued, encouraged and rewarded but how about in personal relationships…can we ever be a perfect friend, a perfect lover a perfect partner. Relationships, friendships and love are all about vulnerability, allowing someone to see our weaknesses, and trusting that they will accept us anyway. Relationships take work and practice and getting it right isn’t always the way it’s going to turn out. Sometimes we learn the most about ourselves from getting it wrong.
I have realised that if I apply the same limitations to my personal life that have been the making of success in my working life then the joy of connecting, being cared for, caring deeply for another becomes awkward, and good intentions miss the mark. I recognise that in its fullest extension the fear of not getting it perfect could prevent me from even attempting new relationships.
So as I feel the closing of another year today and acknowledge what I have achieved, what I have healed and what I have learned I also resolve to start afresh. To allow my fear to stand beside me as the new year unfolds, embracing it, allowing myself to be comfortable with the discomfort of it. Trusting that the process is teaching my brain something new, a new pathway is being created. A pathway with less limitation, more Joy and more love.
Bring on 2015!