Once upon a time …
I was a woman trapped. Like a character in a fairy story who’s locked in a tower, enchanted by a spell or like a hero in legend who has a destiny and purpose they don’t comprehend. I’d spent a lot of time wondering what my true purpose was and dreaming about what my life could be like. And dreaming. And wondering. And … well, not actually doing anything to change the way my life was going. Not trying to free myself from my imprisonment. What I DID do was keep telling myself that I lacked discipline or motivation (which was a very handy limiting belief that kept me trapped).
Until I found this magical solution.
The secret to breaking the spell is in that sweet spot where “What if?” meets “Why not?” because it’s in that place that our drive for adventure can conquer our doubts and fears. In that place you can become the heroine of your own life; beginning the metaphorical journey from where you feel unhappy or feel that you don’t fit in, to a new land where your talents and skills are fully recognised and rewarded. Like the heroes of myth and legend you’ll face trials and adversity. There’ll be challenges en route and possibly some demons to slay, but often those legendary journeys call on skills other than brute force – such as cunning and cleverness, wit and wisdom – and learning who to trust and who just isn’t on our side.
So how did I set out on my own journey?
Lots of people said to me that I was brave (or foolish!) to pack up and go to live in Italy. I’d only been there once and I didn’t even speak Italian! In fact, my dream was not so much about Italy, it was about living in another culture somewhere in southern Europe. More than that I wanted to find a way of living my life that felt true to myself, where I could step out of what had felt pre-determined and find my own path.
It’s amazing how many people I’ve met with the dream of living in Italy; and what began to fascinate me was the question ‘What’s stopping you?’. What had stopped me doing this before? Why did I spend ten years dreaming about it when, in fact, the only thing holding me back was myself?
Ask yourself these questions:
In that lovely little Venn diagram up there are the two questions you need to ask yourself.
What if I gave up my job …
What if I sold my house ….
What if I left my partner ….
What if I went part-time and worked more on my writing/own business/learning to be a juggler …
What if I believed in myself enough ….
Yes. Why not?
Get big pieces of paper if it helps and put each question at the top. Then just write down everything that comes into your head. Everything. Go with it. Don’t judge or dismiss anything that pops up. Write it down.
Now see what you’ve come up with. Then ask yourself where these things have come from; are they things you truly believe about yourself or about life and the world around you, or are they things that other people believe? Or things that you’ve been told? Maybe you even think you’re waiting for someone or something to rescue you from your enchantment?
Now you know what’s stopping you, you can begin to take action. At first it will probably be small steps but that’s OK. Not many of us are brave enough to jump right out of the tower! You can begin to plan your escape though …
Set your sights on the faraway place or magical kingdom of your dreams. But keep your intention on the journey and the next steps you need to take. Those mythical heroes often had to make detours to acquire something necessary for the completion of the quest, so you may have to gain some new knowledge or skills to get you where you’re going.
And here’s the third question to ask yourself:
WHAT IF what you need isn’t more motivation or discipline but to let go of what (or who) doesn’t serve you or help you towards your goal? These are the things that having a guide helped me to discover. Maybe I can help you too?
What’s stopping you at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!