When I was young, I really thought that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to. So when I was young, I dreamed big, thought big and took big risks. But somewhere along the way my courageous mindset got plagued with doubt. Let’s face it. Most of my big talk as a young woman was not backed by commitment, hard work, tenacity or determination. I talked big, but really, I wasn’t prepared to put in the hard work required to bring about the excellence that big, badass dreams need in order to be successful.
The thing is, instead of recognizing early on that I wasn’t willing to do what was required, I pointed my finger at circumstances and blamed them for my lack of success. I blamed my mother and my absent father for 90% of my failings. At the time, it felt like the correct path, and so I muddled through countless hours of therapy and healing sessions, shadow work and ceremony, attempting to decondition my old mental and emotional programming.
While healing my early childhood wounding did tons to clear my psyche of its shadows and debris, I still found myself dealing with catastrophic failures, when it came to pursuing my big- ticket dreams. Gosh! When I look back over the last 20 years, I can easily identify five or six times when I made big plans and I set out to achieve them, only to find myself dealing with devastating loss, instead of drinking from the cup of victory. So why, after all my therapy, chanting, meditating and clearing, was I still suffering such devastating loss whenever I went for a big win?
I Can’t… My Blockage to Thinking Big
What I found, after all the healing was done, was that I had tremendous strength of self-efficacy for small-stakes goals that required busy work, and not a lot of creative thinking outside the box. But for the big things that mattered to my heart– those things that were generated from the depths of my passion and that fueled my desires, the attitudes, thoughts, behaviors and choices, that would require me to be far from my comfort zone… the things that would challenge my emotional and intellectual safety and cause me to face my greatest desires and my greatest fears, all these caused my feelings of self-efficacy to utterly break down and shatter like crystal.
Basically, I spent years living my life dancing around what I desired, instead of going directly toward it. For example, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to go to live in Italy. So what did I do? I spent a year in Spain, Cambodia and France. I could have gone to Italy then, right? I was just a country away. But instead I went to Croatia… for almost two years! And even while I was there, Italy kept calling me. And I found myself taking trips to Slovenia, Costa Rica, Romania and Greece. And finally, during one of my powerful morning meditations, I decided to look squarely at my desire to move to Italy and to confront the fears, doubts, worries and concerns that were holding me back from pursuing my true dream. What I found was a strange feeling of “I can’t,” tainting my energy.
I was afraid of the idea, and I couldn’t get my head around it. In the past, when I would think about where I wanted to live, I would try to imagine myself in Rome or Florence, and instead of getting that heart-warming excitement and anticipation, I would feel a genuine aversion to what I was seeing. Deep in my psyche, I would hear a little voice whispering, “You can’t.”
And when I would try to imagine myself at my farmhouse retreat in Tuscany, working in the garden, cooking in the kitchen and coordinating duties with my team members, I would try to work on a mini-business plan, which is something I feel very comfortable doing for both online businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses. Instead of feeling eager and enthusiastic like I normally would, I felt that same aversion, tinged with self-doubt and trepidation. I remember looking up at my scribbled notes and the thought that rose into my mind like a whale rising from the depths of the ocean was, “I can’t.”
Your Relationship with Self-Efficacy
I can’t is the enemy of self-efficacy, and it is the main reason why I kept meeting with loss and failure when I reached for my biggest goals. I was happy to work hard, but the hidden belief, I can’t, was always going to block my achievement. This is a Law of Attraction Universe, so the material world reflects the inner world, by calling to our three-dimensional experience whatever is a match to our inner life (our beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, and of course, the choices we make). My inner world has historically been a liminal place of starts and stops, where I was reaching for things, and either falling short because of inadequate training, or simply losing interest and giving up before the fruits could ripen.
Self-efficacy is partially your belief in your ability to do something. However, when you look at it deeply, you come to see that self-efficacy is a sort of inner-personal manifest destiny. It not only involves your belief in your ability to get something done, but it also brings to the forefront of your mind:
- Your perception of your place in the world.
- Questions about your personal capability, reliability, determination, commitment and follow-through.
- Issues regarding trust in your talents and skills.
- Your particular challenges to access both the internal and external resources that can supplement you where you need help.
- Awareness of your support system and your ability to allow yourself to be supported.
- Your ability to step away from your individual perspective to gain a broader view of yourself and the situation.
- Your ability to trust in the bigger picture, as you move back in, to address the small details and particularities of your quest.
- The health of your relationship with worthiness. Do you deserve to have the success you desire, even if you put in the work to attain it?
Do Some Shadow Work
What I have experienced over the last year, is an awakening to my personal relationship with self-efficacy and the subsequent healing of that relationship. What I want to do is challenge you to explore your relationship with self-efficacy and to see how “I can’t,” might be sabotaging your success.
In your journal, do an exploration of your relationship with self-efficacy. Look at each of the questions and statements below and write down whatever comes up for you.
- Before we begin, please write down two or three of your really big, important dreams.
- What is your place in this world? Why did you come here?
- Explore your personal capability, reliability, determination, commitment, and follow-through. What do each of the above qualities contribute to the achievement of your dreams? In what ways are you suffering because you are lacking, or falling short in these qualities?
- Make a fearless inventory of the skills and talents you need in order to thrive your desires. How do you feel about your ability to perform these skills and talents?
- Make a list of the resources you know and can call upon, to help you as you pursue your big, important dreams. What resources are you missing? How can you acquire more of what you need?
- Inventory your support system. Remember that support can be emotional, spiritual, intellectual and/or material. Do you feel the support of your support system? Of what percentage of your day do you feel supported?
- Take a giant step back away from yourself and see yourself and your big, important dreams with an objective eye. What do you see? How far away from your dreams are you? What are some ways you can bridge any gaps you see?
- When you step back into your human perspective, what small details do you need to address so that you can feel capable?
- With regard to your big, important dreams, what is your relationship with worthiness? Do you deserve to have the success you desire, even if you put in the work to attain it?
Please share your comments below, or better yet, come over to my free Facebook group for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs. It’s called You Lead! Intuitive Business Development for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs, and it is so much fun! We have live weekly coaching calls, classes, exercises and an entire toolbox of things you need to pursue your dreams and thrive your life. There is an application to join the group, just to keep the quality of the group high. It’s short and sweet and if you’d like to join us, please fill it out.
And lastly, if you want to do some serious work around self-efficacy, shadow and the dark parts of your subconscious mind, then I invite you to join me in my free Masterclass called Healing the Healer: 3 Powerful Tools for Healing, Transformation and Self-Realization. I look forward to meeting you there!