Find Where You are Wrong.
I started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson recently. Chapter six is called You’re Wrong About Everything (But So Am I). He mentions instances from our past, like thinking the sun revolved around the earth, or when women believed that rubbing dog urine on their face would make them look younger. And it go me thinking, as we grow, we always learn that we were once wrong about something.
My epiphany while reading this chapter was how many times I was wrong about who I was, in so many aspects of my life. For example, in the past, I defined myself as someone who could only run in short bursts, because I had never learned to run long distances. And yet, I could run throughout a two-hour basketball game, as long as I had rest moments between bursts. When I was in my 20s, I decided to take a course that would train me to run a 5k. I have no idea what made me do it, but once I learned to run a 5k, I started to redefine myself. I now saw myself as a runner. I still didn’t feel like a long distance runner, but I was suddenly comfortable identifying as a runner, because I could now run long distances. A few years later, I ran a half marathon. I don’t have the love for the sport that some people do, but I can say that I did it. While I still won’t label myself a long distance runner. I have, in fact, run long distances, so clearly I was wrong in my definition of myself.
I’ve noticed countless examples of redefining myself throughout my own life, not just based on my physical abilities, but mental and emotional ones as well. For many years I was very shy and public speaking was definitely not my thing. Then I started working for a company that expected me to speak to all 700 of their employees at one time. And since I liked having a paycheck, I decided to get over the shyness. Again, I learned to do something I would have previously said was not a part of my personality. Those who hear me speak now can’t believe I ever had difficulty.
While reading Mark Mason’s book it really dawn on me just how often we label ourselves, which inadvertently holds us back. If we don’t take the opportunities to prove ourselves wrong, we simply don’t grow.
So, what view of yourself is giving you limitations that you don’t need? Just because you didn’t do something in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t do it today. ‘Can’t’ do yoga because you aren’t flexible enough? Grab a chair and do most of the class from a seated position. Burn everything you try to make in the kitchen? Throw on a YouTube video for beginners and accept that you need a little guidance. Start where you’re at, and learn to grow from there.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what parts of yourself you can challenge in the present, so you can create a new and better you for your future.