It's an extraordinary thing -- believing you can achieve absolutely anything you put your mind to.
While it's possible for anyone, so few people live their life this way.
Luckily I was raised in a family who taught us from day one that with a little hard work (ok, a LOT) and perseverance, the world was ours for the taking.
I was reminded of that this weekend down in Miami as my family was bursting with pride, celebrating my cousin's graduation from the University of Miami.
Big shoes to fill...
I used to be intimidated by our family -- a family that produces doctors, executives, traders.
I can recall hearing stories when I was little about my grandfather skipping multiple grades as a child because he was so much smarter than the other kids.
Or there were the times I heard about my grandmother going down to the elementary school to argue with the nuns about my mom deserving to win salutatorian over the girl who beat her by 1/10th of a point, claiming it was unfair because the girl only went to that school for 2 years and her daughter's grade point average was for all 8 years.
It was easy to hear these things and feel intimated.
To witness their success and feel overwhelmed.
Hindsight is 20/20
Today, as an adult, despite spending my entire childhood knowing I had big shoes to fill, I realized that I never once felt limited, scared, or unsupported.
I wasn't actually intimidated by my family, I was inspired.
Inspired by their hard work.
Inspired by their determination.
Inspired by their loving support.
And most of all, inspired by their fierce independence to go after what they want.
Because what our family actually does is produce incredible humans who aren't afraid to go after their dreams.
And the world could use plenty more people who aren't afraid to go after their dreams...
4 writing prompts to lead you back to inspiration:
I freakin' love a good, deep, thought-provoking question.
Here are a few of my favs that I like to ask my clients when fear or doubt is standing in the way of their dreams. I'd recommend spending at least 20 minutes journaling your answers because getting thoughts (especially fear-based ones) out of our head and onto the paper allows us to move through them and also makes our negative feelings less intense.
- What current dreams have you been afraid to go after? Why? What's standing in your way?
- What are the 3 biggest challenges that you have overcome in your life? What lessons did you learn? How can you use that for inspiration today?
- Who are 3 people (doesn't matter if you know them personally or not) that truly inspire you? What sorts of challenges have they overcome?
- What would each of these individuals say to you if you told them what your dream was but that you were too afraid to pursue it? What advice would they give you? Write yourself a letter of encouragement as each of those individuals.
I'm here to tell you first hand, I believe in you.
But more importantly, I need you to believe in you.
Answering these questions always makes me, and my clients, feel empowered and I hope they do the same for you!
I would love to know what you thought of this exercise, so please leave a comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.