Just for a minute, try to imagine what it would be like to see yourself through the eyes of a child. Remember or not, we all did this at one time. After all, there is a little girl in there somewhere. She is your best friend, your confidant, your endless source of creative ideas. But first let’s look at ourselves through the eyes of who we are now…a grown ups, maybe middle-aged women.
The first things we tend to notice are our flaws: double chin, muffin top, thinning hair, big feet, weird laugh, nervous tick, too fat, too skinny, too nice, too mean, or too critical. Wow! That wore me out just typing it! Just keepin’ it real, ladies. Why do we do that when we look in the mirror or think about ourselves? Do you really think that little girl sees or cares about any of those flaws or short comings? I’m thinking…not. She’s too busy living and playing to bore herself with things that don’t matter or don’t really impact the big picture…her big picture.
Let’s break it down…shall we?
What happens to make us so self-critical? Self-doubting?
It’s a combination of things really. First, think about the disappointing times in your life. The ones that etched a hole in your soul. You remember them…how could you forget. The boy who wouldn’t even look at you, let alone ask you out. The child who told you she didn’t want to be seen with her mother because it’s too embarrassing. The time when you came in second or third, when you knew you could have won first place. When you didn’t get the job. These times can damage our innocence…our childlike hopes and dreams. Have enough experiences like this, you are changed deep within….for a long time. And we keep thinking as this broken person until we change our minds. The second thing we do is hide from ourselves. We get used to seeing the beat down shell of a woman; she is the image we’ve lived with. The authentic woman we denied is hidden. We are too afraid to let her see the light of day; after all, she might make things too difficult. We are literally afraid to be great, to be our best, to be ourselves as the little girl sees us. And, we make this OK.
You see that small child collects those disappointments; she grows up with them; she molds them into strong beliefs; she follows what and who is put before her often. Only, she isn’t a child anymore. She is a woman. That woman forgot how to shake off the icky stuff. She forgot to live and play, how to ignore the lack and flaws. She is who she believes she is. No more- no less. She is limited to her vision of who she is. And, what if who she sees in the mirror is just a figment of her imagination? What if she is really nothing like who she believes she is? What if her limiting beliefs keep her from being the real woman who is held captive by a lessor person?
I can’t tell you if this has happened to you. I can tell you it’s likely. We all have areas of our lives that are hindered by limiting beliefs. It’s impossible to live on this planet without having experienced something that shook your world enough to make you doubt yourself. Thankfully, some of you likely had wonderful parents and mentors in your life who helped you to balance those times, to make sense of them. And, if you didn’t, here you are with a choice: Do I keep my limiting beliefs about myself or do I change them?
Changing Your Mind
The first thing you need to do is acknowledge each limiting belief one-by-one. Write them down. Try to recall where the belief came from in the first place and write that down, as well. Making peace with the past is the first step to changing your future. Next is full out awareness of how this limiting belief is affecting you. What is it keeping you from? How is it stopping you from being the person you want to be? This exercise is so powerful! I remember the first time I did it. I cried. The fact is, I couldn’t believe I allowed myself to stay down for that long because of something I made up in my mind. No one made me believe it. No one forced me to reinforce it over the years. No, that was all me! Just like it’s all you!
The Child’s Mind
Children are pure windows to the human soul. They are the energy of life itself. The fact that we see ourselves unable to still be childlike because we’re all “growed” up is a limiting belief in itself. Think about it… How many times have you said “no” to yourself because you couldn’t possibly act or do such a childish thing? We criticize ourselves before we even do anything to warrant it. We make WAY too much out things that don’t matter. The child just is. Just does. Just acts. Just lives.
What Does She See?
When the little girl looks at you…at me, she sees a larger version of herself who wears pretty colors on her face. She sees a strong woman who can do pretty much anything. She cooks, cleans, reads with passion, plays catch, drives, goes to work, makes the house really pretty; she is perfect, not to be compared to anyone else. See doesn’t see fault…at least not for long. She forgives and disregards mistakes with ease. She hasn’t made a list of wrong doings to reference later. It’s all about now, this minute. She sees a future, dreams dreams, makes plans to grow and rock the world. She loves you. She is you.