Have you ever said you wanted to achieve something only to have all of the negative voices in your head start listing off the million reasons why you can’t? Then you convince yourself that while it would be cool, you’re just not qualified. I mean, come on, what if you fail? What if you don’t know enough? What if you’re laughed at? What if the entire world collapses because you can’t do the thing that you want to do?!
Ok, maybe the last sentence was a bit over the top. But isn’t all of it?
We have all gotten into a terrible habit of flawing ourselves out of success before we even get a chance to start.
Flawing: the act of focusing on nothing but your flaws instead of taking action toward a goal
I have mixed feelings when I hear someone doing this to themselves. Heck, even when I do it to myself.
Part of me is genuinely sad. I hate that people don’t see their own potential. But the other part of me rolls its eyes and sighs dramatically. Come ON people – can’t you see that you’re doing nothing but giving yourselves an easy out instead of doing the hard stuff?
You are capable of doing so many amazing things, but you’re allowing fear to completely run the show and its impacting your entire life.
First, let me acknowledge a few things. That scary thing you want to do? I understand that it’s terrifying. There is a very real chance that you could fail. There’s a chance that you don’t know enough. There’s a chance that you won’t have the support you think you need. I totally understand why you’re thinking about those things and to an extent, they are important factors to consider. However, you’re forgetting an even more important part:
There is a very real chance that you’ll succeed. Have you considered that? Have you actually taken the time to think about the fact that you could actually follow through and do something absolutely and totally amazing?
It took me such a long time to realize that if there was a chance of failure, that meant there was also a chance of success. I had been beaten down so much that I honestly felt like my existence in and of itself was a failure. I convinced myself that maybe God hadn’t made mistakes before, but He did when He created me. I know that seems harsh, but I know I’m not the only one with that thinking.
It has taken years and so much personal growth to get me out of that place. But I’m hoping to help you skip some of that time and help you start moving toward your goals sooner rather than later.
You have a chance at success.
I want to drill that point home one more time before I move on. If you believe that you can fail, that means that somewhere, deep down, there is a part of you that believes that you can also succeed. I want you to focus on that point for the rest of this post.
For whatever goal you’re going for, I want you to imagine yourself succeeding at it. Close your eyes and imagine how you’ll feel. What the environment around you is like, what the people around you are saying. I know it sounds hokey, but bear with me. Then I want you to take a good, hard look at the person you have to become in order to make it happen.
If you’re honestly worried that you’re not good enough, then take a step back and think about what you need to be good enough. Now, I’m not talking about your worth as a person. You are already enough as you are, right now. I don’t care how fat you are, how broke you are, how tired you are, how lonely you are. You are priceless. What I’m referring to is where you’ll need to go, how you’ll need to think, what you need to learn.
When I decided I was going to go all in on being a bodybuilder, I thought about what it would feel like standing on the stage. I imagined how cut I would be, the muscles rippling over my body. I thought about my family cheering me on in the audience, how hard it would be not to burst into tears out of pure happiness. I honestly still do this almost daily. It helps to keep me going on days that I just don’t feel like it’ll ever happen.
But I’m not just going to wake up one day and be ready to stand on stage. I realized that there are things I needed to learn. I needed to learn how to train, how to eat, how to change both of those elements as my body changes. So that’s what I focused on. I still need to learn how to apply for a show, what the requirements are, how to get sponsors, etc. By focusing in on what I need to learn, I take it step by step and I’m no longer overwhelmed by everything that I don’t know. At first, the important part was learning how to train and eat so I could do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. I’m not at the point where I need to learn how to register for a show, but I’m aware of what I need to learn so when I get there, I know what the next step is.
I also realized that I had a lot of limiting beliefs that I had to deal with. Feeling like God messed up on me? Yea, that was a big one. Believing the lie that I was meant to be fat and I would never reach my goal was another. So I took a lot of time diving into that. I really focused on who I am now and who I want to be. I did a lot of personal development. I’ve read so many books, took courses, listened to podcasts, and talked to people about what it took for them to believe in themselves.
For every flaw that I could find in myself that I believed kept me from my goal, I found something that would negate it. I felt like I didn’t know enough, so I did research. I felt like I was too fat, so I sought out people who were once hundreds of pounds overweight and still killed it on the stage. I didn’t know how to train properly so I learned. I didn’t know how to eat properly so I learned. I didn’t feel confident enough so I learned how to be confident enough to go for it. I felt I wouldn’t have anyone around to support me, so I created a community of people that cheer me on.
This concept can be applied to just about every goal. It isn’t going to be easy, and yes it’s going to take work, but think about how amazing you’re going to feel when you finally do it.
So this is my challenge to you. Pull out a notebook or piece of paper, and write your goal in big letters at the top. Then I want you to write down every single reason you think you can’t do it. The list will probably be a lot shorter than you think. When all of these doubts and beliefs are swirling around in the chaos of your mind, it can seem overwhelming. Once they’re on paper, it’s much easier for you to see the reality of it.
Once all of your “why you can’ts” are written down, find a solution to every single one of them. If you can’t find a solution, then you haven’t gotten to the real reason. For example, if something you wrote down was “I’m not pretty enough,” that’s not the truth. The truth is that you don’t feel good about yourself and you lack confidence. So the solution to that one would be learning how to be more confident, which then leads to doing personal development and growing that part within you.
I understand that this is all scary. Heck, it’s absolutely terrifying. Because once you find the solutions to all of those reasons you can’t, you’ve got nothing else to hide behind. I totally get that. It’s going to be a lot of work. It’s going to take time. You’re going to need to finally get serious about making it happen. I go through that rollercoaster every time I set new goals.
But the more you do it, the easier it gets. I’d like to say that it becomes less scary, but I don’t think it ever does. But you become so much stronger than your fears in the process.
You are capable of so many things and I can’t wait to see all that you do.
What’s a dream you have that you’ve been flawing yourself out of? Are you ready to take action towards it?