Many of us grew up with parents who thought they were doing the right thing by telling us we could do anything. Then as adults, the self-help gurus have told us to “just do it.”
RESULT: We grow up feeling inadequate, angry, resentful, depressed and afraid.
All other emotions – fear, anger, frustration, stress, disappointment, resentment, even contentment – constrict or slow circulation, either diverting blood to the large muscle groups or slowing the metabolism, shrinking the capacity to think.
OUTCOME: We can easily recall we are not good at. We have a short list of what we are good at doing. We have only a vague idea of what makes us great.
TRUTH: You can’t do everything. You have physical limitations. You lack talent (as opposed to skills and knowledge). You have preferences (meaning there are things you don’t like and don’t want to do). You have habits and tendencies that contradict other behaviors. No amount of training, visualization, coaxing or encouragement will change this. You are delightfully human.
BRAIN TIP: Declare Your limitations. Free yourself to be you.
Here is a partial example of my list: Generally…I don’t remember details; I’m not disciplined in cleaning and exercise; I gossip; I get bored easily; I have a short attention span unless I’m doing what I love to do; I don’t care to sing, draw, or read technical papers and books; I don’t read directions; I’m not a great team player; I don’t like being managed or told what to do; I have little patience for trivia; I don’t care to multi-task; I don’t like to hold babies; I don’t like to spend hours eating or talking to all but my closest of friends; and I hate spending a lot of time grooming myself.
On the other hand, I know my strengths, talents, desires and competencies. I’ve learned to delegate my weaknesses, ask for and accept help, and adapt when it’s necessary.
RESULT: I am flawed. And I am successful, financially self-sufficient and secure, blessed with friends all over the world, doing what I love, out-of-balance when I’m passionately engaged, healthy (just completed a triathlon), and happy with myself and my life. I stop many times throughout the day to feel gratitude for my gifts.
AND I DON’T JUDGE OTHERS FOR WHAT THEY CANNOT AND DO NOT WANT TO DO.
Self-awareness is the first step to outsmarting your brain. Know what your brain is doing.
Then give voice to your choice, the one in line with your highest good.