Who you think you are, is just stories you tell about yourself, to yourself, moment by moment. It’s probably the most important story you could ever tell. ~ HT Lee
What determines the success, fulfilment and meaning you get out of life is the way you see them. The beauty of your picture is determined by the frames you use – the inner filters and lenses of which you see the world with. And perhaps the most important frame is the one you see yourself in.
What you make of the world around you begins by how you see yourself. That matters more than anything because how you see everything and everyone is always in relation to how you see yourself first.
Your self-concept is your experience, self-images and input of stories from the people you encounter from the day you were born until now. Most importantly, it’s the stories that you believe, and the ones you keep telling yourself over and over.
Your expectations in life is set at the level based on your self-concept. You get what you believe you deserve. What you believe, essentially comes true.
For example, if you expect people to dislike you, they will. The opposite is as true. Your mind sets the expectations because of your self-beliefs, and then you automatically act on them and create what you expect to happen, happen. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How you see yourself, in time, becomes how others come to view you also.
You Are More Than Who You Think You Are
Who determined the boundary of your capabilities?
Who set the ceiling of your potential?
Who knows where is the limit of your greatness?
Who knows for sure who you can truly become to be?
The answer – Nobody.
When you think you’ve reached your limit, tell yourself, “I don’t know that”.
When you think you’ve exhausted all your creativity, ideas and resources, tell yourself, “I don’t know that”.
When you think it’s impossible for you to achieve what you’ve set out to achieve, tell yourself, “I don’t know that”.
Nobody, not even you, knows the extend of your own capabilities and who you can truly be.
There’s an ice-breaker game I love to play in small groups, where everyone takes turn to pour a little water into a cup until it’s filled to the brim. The idea is to squeeze in another drop and not let the water in the cup to overflow. And everytime the next person thought there’s no more space for even a single drop of water without causing the cup to overflow, they’d surprised themselves, over and over, to see that there’s always room for one more drop…. there’s always more, more, more. The lesson of the game is – when you think you know the real limit, you don’t!
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ Christopher Robin, Pooh’s Grand Adventure.
Self-doubt is when you believe and accept the stories that underline your insecurities.
The opposite of self-doubt is not an unwavering rock-solid self-belief that you can do absolutely anything in the world and not fail. No, I like what Jamie Smart said in one of his exclusive courses, “The opposite of self-doubt is more of a curiosity of what’s possible and a willingness to find out what you’re capable of. A willingness to not know and to discover experientially what’s possible for you.”
Deep inner confidence isn’t about knowing you can do anything, it’s about knowing that life is big, that we’re all capable more than what we think we are. And the only way of finding out what you’re capable of is to experiment for yourself.
So, whenever self-doubt creeps in due to a “failed experiment”, don’t take yourself and the bad feelings too seriously. You may beat yourself over your mistakes for a while. Again, don’t take yourself too seriously. Ultimately, it’s how you see your efforts that serve your intentions to move effectively in the direction of where you want to go, that matters more than some temporal setbacks. It’s how you narrate the story to yourself.
You’re a natural story-teller. But let your stories about yourself be guided with intention, in purpose and by wisdom. Let the curious explorer in you take charge and be the author of the amazing story of you.
“Somewhere in there, in you, is a being, greater than you can imagine, that is seeking expression in the world.” ~ Michael Watson