Feeling unworthy of our dreams is society’s way of keeping us stuck where we are. I know because I let that fear get the better of me for nearly a decade.
I started practicing law because I used to think success was a title that other people respected. So I chased those external markers of success, and I was good at it. But the truth was that it was never what I really wanted, and it didn’t ever feel the way I thought it should.
That version of success looked like exhaustion at the end of every day. It looked like pain. It looked like putting on the armor to attack each day and not wanting to get up each morning. It looked like putting on makeup, wearing pantyhose, and giving up open-toed shoes. It looked like being somebody other than my damn self! And I spent years telling myself that these were necessary compromises. That they were minor in the grand scheme. That these were just the things I needed to do to get to success.
But all that was just the feeling of unworthiness masquerading as the big fat lie of what I thought success was supposed to look like. And that lie was insidious. Even though I knew I wasn’t happy, I couldn’t see a way out. I told myself I had no other skills. I believed 100% that all I could do was be a lawyer. That even if I made a change, all the other options I could hear or see for myself didn’t sound any better — I could own a law firm, I could consult other lawyers. I never considered that my skills were translatable, that there’s a whole world outside that has nothing to do with being a lawyer. The lie I told myself was that I was only good at that one thing, and that if I did something else, I’d be giving up on success. Plus, I couldn’t possibly be good enough to create anything else. But that lie was really about being afraid I wasn’t good enough to achieve what I really wanted. Sound familiar?
In order to make a change, I had to let go of other people’s ideas of success. I had to decide for myself what success would mean, and I had to believe I was worthy of it. I had to separate the feeling (that I was only good at being a lawyer) from the fact (that practicing law provided me with a lot of translatable skills).
In my years of coaching women to achieve their dreams, the biggest roadblock I’ve seen — time and again — is feeling unworthy. I’ve sat in my office with intelligent, creative, and motivated clients who can’t get started because they don’t actually feel worthy of their own big dreams.
The hard reality is that we can come up with an incredibly detailed plan, but if we don’t feel worthy of our dreams we’ll never get anywhere. We have to approach our dreams with a firm belief in our own worthiness. Because you are worthy, and you do deserve it! Whatever it is! But you have to believe that to get there.
If you’re feeling stuck, close your eyes and your ears and listen to what your heart and soul wants to do. We all know, deep down, what our biggest dream really is and who we really want to be.
There’s no need to seek advice from everyone you know, as tempting as that can be! You already know who you are better than anyone else! And if you don’t, you can get there! My absolute core belief is that you already know who you are capable of becoming, but you’re scared of believing it!
Give yourself some space and time. Meditate, go to yoga, take a walk, journal! Spend some time not asking other people and listening to yourself instead. Each time a negative thought pops into your head telling you your dream is impossible or your aren’t worthy of it — ask yourself, “is that a feeling or is that a fact?” If you recognize that it’s a feeling, then try asking yourself, “is this 100% true?” When the feeling says, “I could never achieve this,” explore the complete opposite side of it: “what would it look like if I did?”
If you don’t yet believe you’re worthy of your wildest dreams, then promise yourself you’ll start trying to believe. Pick up a copy of The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Commit to Oprah and Deepak’s 21-day Meditation Experience. Watch this TED talk by Brene Brown. Follow me and Spiritual Gangster and loveabrahamhicks on Instagram. And we’ll get you there. Together.