Many of my clients know what they want, but they don’t go for it. Here are some of the most common responses when I ask them why:
- “I’m afraid I can’t do it—that I might fail.”
- “It’s selfish to do what I want.”
- “What if this isn’t what I’m supposed to do?”
- “I don’t deserve to do what I want.”
- “What I want is the easy way out. My true calling is meant to be hard.”
- “It’s not what my parents want for me, and I don’t want to disappoint them.”
I dealt with many challenges and traumatic experiences in my growing-up years, but one of the good things my parents did is generally let me do what I wanted to do. My father encouraged me to take risks. In fact, he was a role model for me in that way.
Coming from a poor family, I learned early that if I wanted something, I had to go for it.
Here is what I’ve learned about the false beliefs that hold many of my clients back:
1. “I’m afraid I can’t do it—that I might fail.”
So what? Everyone who has ever gotten anywhere has failed, sometimes numerous times along the way. The real failure is in not going for it, not learning from failures, and not getting back up and continuing to go for it after you’ve failed.
2. “It’s selfish to do what I want.”
It’s very sad to me when people believe that they are supposed to sacrifice themselves for others. It’s not going for what you want that’s selfish—it’s expecting others to do for you what you are not doing for yourself that’s selfish. Also, it’s selfish to go for what you want at the expense of others—not caring about the effect you are having on others. But if you go for what you want without harming others in any way, what’s selfish about that? On the contrary, that’s self-responsible!
3. “What if this isn’t what I’m supposed to do?”
Who’s to say what you are supposed to do? How can anyone else know what you are supposed to do? Your own soul knows what you came here to offer our planet. What brings you joy? What has heart and meaning for you? This is what you are “supposed” to do. As Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.”
4. “I don’t deserve to do what I want.”
Are you allowing your ego to judge you as not good enough to do what you want to do? Be aware that the ego, or wounded self, is a programmed part of you—programmed with many false and limiting beliefs. Try tuning in to your intuition. That part of you will say, “Go for it! Of course you are good enough to do what you came to the planet to do!”
5. “What I want is the easy way out. My true calling is meant to be hard.”
How did we ever get programmed to believe this? Actually the opposite is true. What your soul wants is generally easy for you to do. My soul always wanted to be a psychologist, and helping others is natural for me. People started coming to me for help when I was 5 years old!
6. “It’s not what my parents want for me, and I don’t want to disappoint them.”
That might be the case, but you may want to explore why having your parents’ approval is so important to you. Do you really want to live your life following their agenda rather than your own soul’s agenda?
One of the greatest regrets people who are dying have is not going for it—not doing what they really wanted to do and not opening their heart to love fully. Do you really want to be on your deathbed regretting that you didn’t go for it?
Originally published on Mind Body Green