Today I’m thinking of projects, and ideas, and of being the kind of person who follows through on their ideas. Start to finish. Because for a long time I wasn’t that kind of person,and I couldn’t seem to figure out why. It leads to unhappiness, you know, having idea after idea, and bringing so few of them to completion.
Was I just a lazy person at heart? Was I a cynic? Was I really not as bright as I thought, and didn’t have the ability to do these things? None of this, as it turns out. I was just living with a self image that produced this habit, plain and simple.
We all are imprinted with a self image, a paradigm, a set of beliefs, by the time we’re two or three years old. It’s whatever the prevailing ideas and beliefs and circumstances are that surround us when we’re born and are little people, and obviously we have no choice about what those things surrounding us are.
This self image rules the outcome of everything we do. Everything. A person with a losing mindset won’t win even in the best of circumstances, and a person with a winning mindset will always win, no matter what.
Mazwell Maltz says in his fantastic book Psyco Cybernetics that you can not outperform or outrun your self image.
You can’t do that because one of the main functions of the brain is to ensure that your outer world lines up with your inner world. Things have to be congruent with your ideas about them, plain and simple.
So back to me and this habit of not following through on my ideas and bringing them into form. What kind of paradigm (set of beliefs) must I have had to be that kind of person? As I let my mind ponder this, and wander back through different circumstances-times when I had acted upon my ideas and created them, times when I hadn’t- it was easy to see what those beliefs had to be.
In order to be a person brimming with ideas, and then stuffing them back down again, I would have had to think that it wasn’t worthwhile to put in the time and effort to create them! That perhaps it was a futile endeavour, that it would all come to nothing. That I “should” be using my time for something else.
And that’s when the real kicker hit- that I “should” be using my time for something that would MAKE MONEY.
The proverbial lightbulb went on, but it was a bank of lights, like those huge lights powerful enough to light up a stadium.
My mind served up moments from the past when the world around me had counselled me against doing certain things that interested me in favour of something more “practical”. Something that was more mainstream, or that they thought would be more lucrative.
So…if I figured that my old self image was that of a person who didn’t follow through on her ideas and create the things she really wanted to create because she believed it wasn’t worthwhile or worthy….then maybe I should re-examine what meaning I had been giving to the word worthwhile. Of course, somewhere deep inside of me there it was, lurking. Worthwhile endeavours were those that made you money, or made the house cleaner, or got some chore done.
Now I know this isn’t true. I know that a day spent in the company of loved ones having fun is worthwhile! I know that feeding my soul on my morning walks is worthwhile! But somewhere in my brain I had linked up that spending time working on something was only truly a worthy pursuit if it would be financially successful.
That’s why I so often felt like I should be doing something else! That’s why there was that almost unheard little voice, more of a nagging unease actually, telling me to stop wasting my time! Because I felt guilty, wrong somehow.
All it takes to change is awareness. Awareness and practice. The instant I realized what ideas had created such a poor self image (“I guess I’m just the kind of person who doesn’t follow through on their desires”), I knew what I could do to create a more adequate and empowering self image.
I gave a new meaning to what is worthwhile. I gave up on the idea that every project I started had to earn money or it was a waste of time. I began to practice being the kind of person who is creatively prolific, who is keen to see her ideas come to life. That meant doing it now! Taking the images to be scanned to the perfect resolution for the book today, not just sometime in the future. Contacting the IG accounts to give a shout out to the book.
A person who follows through on her ideas KNOWS that they will be brought into form. She knows that all she has to do is take the steps along the way without stopping, and soon enough she will be holding that funny little book in her hands, or plucking those ripe tomatoes from her luscious oasis of a new home.
I couldn’t out perform that old self image, and realizing that freed me from beating myself up about all the times I’d failed. It wasn’t POSSIBLE to win within that framework!
What is possible is to change the framework, and live from a self image that is more realistic, way more than adequate
I am now the kind of person who follows through on her great ideas, from inspired start to glorious finish! I am the kind of person who values my ideas and my desire to create them into being, and I know that the time and energy it takes to do that is absolutely worth it.
I do it because it makes me feel alive and happy, and it is fun. I do it for the thrill of the experience, how one thing leads to another, and another, and then it is the creation making itself, and I get to be along for the ride.
We all get to be whatever kind of person we want to be. Yes, you can change.