I have envisioned this painting for YEARS. Each time the idea came to me, I got super excited, thought it was a brilliant idea, and seconds later my mind was filled with reasons why it wouldn’t work. Every reason, from my artistic abilities, to concerns about time, money, and supplies, the weather, or if I felt “up to it,” came rushing in and choked out my excitement. Before I knew it, years had gone by and I hadn’t painted a thing.I let the reasons talk me out of doing the thing I so passionately wanted to do.
Lately, what’s been coming up for me are the concepts of permission and congruence. I’m in a season of my life where I am painfully aware that I want to do far more than I have ever allowed myself. I have reasoned my way out of living a full life, and I’m over it.
A few Sundays ago, a dear friend texted me and said it was a nice day and I should get out the house. Immediately, I knew what I wanted to do. I was going to drive to the lake, find a great spot, and do my painting! And, just as before, my excitement was soon followed by a flood of reasons to stay home. But this time, I decided that the only reason that mattered was that I wanted to paint at the lake. I ignored all the discouraging reasons that came to mind and did something different.
Instead of allowing my thoughts to control me, I chose to take control of my thoughts. I blocked out the discouraging questions, and asked myself empowering questions. “What do I want to do, today?” “What do I need to bring with me?” “What do I need to get on the way to ensure I enjoy my time?” I answered these questions, packed my paints, brushes, etc. and got myself to the lake. I gave myself permission to do the thing that I let my thoughts talk me out of countless times. It felt great!
The other thing I am working on right now is congruence. You ever wanted something, but also believed you can’t have it? Well, I have been dealing with this opposing energy in a few areas. I have been aware of it for a while, but I decided that knowing it is no longer enough. I am ready to do something about it. I think it was Jim Rohn who said that knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential power. What we know only empowers us if we do something with it.
Imagine being the engineer on a train that’s supposed to be heading south, but every few stops you run down to the other end and drive the train north for a little while. That’s kinda what we do with our goals sometimes. We get an idea, get excited about it, do a little planning, and maybe we start talking about it. Someone brings up a less than positive point and we start to think of all the reasons it might not work out. Opportunities come, but we don’t feel ready so we put them on the shelf. I know I have done plenty of this in the past. I’m ready to move my train in one direction….FORWARD toward my goals.
I have to get real honest with myself and stop ignoring those things that cause me to retreat from my forward steps. It’s time to work through, heal, get over, and in some cases ignore what I need to in order be fully congruent with my intentions….
Maybe you have no desire to paint, but have been contemplating writing a book. Maybe you’re not interested in writing a novel, but have a classic car in the garage you haven’t worked on in years. Maybe you’re ready to start a blog, become a mentor, or look for a new job. Maybe you’re ready to date again, clean out the attic, or find a summer activity for your child. I just thought I’d share this with you, because I realized when I took control of my thoughts and began to ask more empowering questions, I was able to do something I’ve been putting off for over a decade!
If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, take a few minutes and ask yourself more empowering questions. Imagine that you got it done. Walk backwards, mentally, through the steps that you took to complete it. If your vision wasn’t possible, you probably wouldn’t feel pulled to do it, right? So believe it’s possible and start moving toward it. Remember our minds aren’t trying to ruin our lives. They just want to keep us safe, by giving us reasons to avoid potential failure. However, often, it’s the avoidance of potential failure that’s keeping us stuck.
Let’s stop doing the Cha Cha with our goals. Let’s approach them differently, ask ourselves more empowering questions, and give ourselves permission to do the thing.
By the way, I took the photos above that Sunday at the lake. The last is the finished painting. If you’d like to own it, check out my Handmade page for purchasing details (if it’s still available).