I remember working with this young woman, her name was Martha. She had a dream of starting her own business. I coached her, and she was so motivated and inspired. Her face, her body, and her energy were on fire! We aligned her personal values with the values she needed to have in a job, so that she was completely aligned with her mission. We created a plan with action steps for the startup itself. She had everything ready; her location, the products, etc. It was all about taking that final leap and just doing it! She left my office excited and ready to embrace her future working her dream job.
We met 10 days after for a follow up session and I immediately sensed that things were not as they should be. I asked her right away “how are things progressing?” Like I thought, they had not. Right after her previous session with me, she went straight to meet her mother and sister for a coffee. She told them about her dream. Something she should have never done… ”How are you going to manage that? You don´t have any experience? What about money, how are you going to support yourself and your family if you don´t sell? Isn´t it better to just work a “safer” job even if you don´t like it? What if it doesn´t work? Are you sure about this? What about your kids?”
A reflection of their personal fears
All these concerns coming from Martha´s mother and sister, it was a pure reflection of their own personal fears and limiting beliefs. They probably meant well (sometimes those around us don’t want us to succeed), but they did not do well by pouring their fears into Martha´s dream. Unfortunately, Martha allowed herself to be convinced by their fears. It sounded like they wanted to protect her from potential failure, because they cared about her? That´s the problem. We think we know what´s best for others. We don´t! How can we? What competence did her mother and sister have? Were they following their dream? Did they know anything about business themselves? They actually had no competence whatsoever in the field that Martha wanted to pursue! But they seemed to “know” a whole lot about it. If you need to fix your car, do you take it to your dentist for fixing? If you need to have the electricity in your home fixed, do you call a plumber? If you need support to achieve your goals, do you expect to get expert advice from people who have never achieved that specific goal themselves?
People surely pretend to know a lot about what is good for us and not. If it were that easy we should just trade problems, since everyone else seems to know all the solutions to others people´s problems.
Ask those who have already achieved it
When we want to make a change, achieve a goal (small or big), learn something new, etc. We have to find those people that have already succeeded. People who have already gone through the process from start to finish. Not those who have no experience or those who have failed and given up. Those who have failed did so because of their own limitations. In my world they have not failed either, they have just used strategies that did not work, and they gave up instead of adjusting their strategies. People give up way too easily. It´s easy to give up. It´s easy to lie to ourselves with our excuses. People who have succeeded have failed countless times, but they did not give up. They readjusted their strategy, learned and absorbed useful advice from others and continued until they made it.
People who make things look easy in public, have practiced it countless hours in private.
My personal experience
Do we really need mum and dad´s approval on the goals we have? Do our friends and family need to support us? It would be great! However, we have to be realistic: we can´t expect others to understand our path. If I had listened to my mum and dad, I would not be writing this. I would not have had the privilege of working thousands of therapy/coaching sessions helping thousands of people. PowerThought Meditation Club would not exist. I gave up my 80000 $ a year income to do what I do now. I gave up my safe job while my wife was pregnant and we´d just bought an apartment. Was I scared at times? Hell yes, I was, but I worked on myself to stay the course. I used the fear to my advantage. I worked harder and smarter than ever. People who cared about me were concerned. I understand that, because their viewpoint was limited. They did not understand nor could they relate to the fire of my spirit. We only “understand” life through our subjective perception of reality. And that subjective perception might be far from the objective truth.
What did I do to succeed in my endeavors, and still do? Inner work is crucial. I have physical, mental, and energetic rituals that I do every day that wires and conditions my nervous system, brain, and body for a high-quality life! I always work on developing myself. I absorb knowledge through books, articles, podcasts, and videos. I attend seminars and workshops. I take care of my body. I invest my time wisely (I have strong time boundaries.) Always learning and growing. And of course; I ask or research people who have already done what I want to do and succeeded — those who have already walked the path. I do not ask for advice anywhere else.
When people share their opinions and beliefs with me that are not supportive or based on their limiting viewpoint. I listen with discernment, and I filter out the information that is not of value. I do appreciate that people are trying to support me in their own way, even though it comes from their fear and insecurity, but still, I don´t take on board the information they share if it is not helpful. Or I just ask them one of my favorite questions “how do you know that´s true / are you 100% sure that what you say and believe about this is true?” That always jolts them a bit, because it invites them to think.
Do We Really Need Approval?
It is nice with approval, appreciation, and kind words in general, of course, it is. I am always grateful for it. However, I don´t depend on it. I don’t have to have “mommy and daddy” tell me I am a good boy. Their opinions about the way I lead my life don’t matter to me anymore. I hungered for their approval all the way up to the point where I started to take responsibility for myself: healing traumas related to not being seen, heard, or understood, uprooting negative beliefs, and started to approve of myself. My self-worth is not dependent on what my parents or others think of me. I care about others’ opinions, but I do not make my choices based on them when I know in my heart that I am doing what is right and it is not intentionally causing harm to others — then I am going for it. The reason many hold back on leading their life, speaking up, and showing up is out of fear of getting kicked out of the tribe (fear of rejection, abandonment, suffering, and death).
Here are some words from my boundary course explaining this more in-depth:
Our core fears fuel the surface fears and are mainly the result of personal trauma — significant events creating emotional and psychological wounds. These core fears also exist in the human aggregate, the collective energy of humanity, affecting us personally to some degree: energetically, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Core fears are:
Fear of rejection
Fear of abandonment
Fear of not being loved, accepted, worthy
Fear of being alone
Fear of loss
Fear of loss of connection
Fear of the unknown (fear of not having any control)
Fear of pain and suffering (physical, verbal, psychological, emotional)
Fear of death
Core fears also fuel these core limiting beliefs:
I am not good enough.
I am not worthy.
I am not important.
I am not deserving.
These beliefs hold feelings of sadness, guilt, and shame — keeping us in a state of emotional resonance with fear.
This seems to be the fear of all fears. The strange thing is, it is kind of a hidden fear. The surface fears and the other core fears will usually cover this one up. That’s why many say “I am not afraid of death.” But if one digs deeper, one will find that all the other fears are intertwined with the fear of dying. This fear is closely related to fear of suffering, and fear of the unknown. In my experience as a therapist, I find that fear of death usually comes from past-life trauma where torture or execution was involved. The subconscious can hold on to the trauma of these experiences. Link this to fear of standing out, fear of speaking up, fear of suffering; how many have lost their lives in the name of religion and science for instance? If you helped someone heal with herbs from a disease in medieval times, you took the risk of being hanged, drowned, beheaded, or burned at the stake. These traumas can still affect us personally and collectively. I think this was done on purpose by those in power, to program future generations to be obedient, fearing to stand out. Fearing the suffering, and ultimately death.
A decision to start healing our emotional wounds, trauma, and triggers will start reducing and neutralizing the fear we carry. However, healing our surface and core fears does not mean that we will never feel fear again. It is not either-or. Imagine a tank filled with fear in liquid form. On the bottom of that tank there is a valve. The more we work on healing our fears, deactivating our triggers, deprogramming and reprogramming, and taking care of our body and mind; the more we open the valve and reduce the amount of fear in that tank. Thus the more consciously we live.
The more unconsciously we live — not taking self-responsibility or self-ownership, not setting boundaries, not healing and staying mentally and emotionally healthy, compromising ourselves to please others, not taking care of our physical body and health — the more we fill up this tank. The above factors are stressful for our system, and this stress keeps us stuck in unconscious reactional patterns and learned behaviors. To remain balanced, we need to watch the levels in our fear tank. With the aim to keep the level low.
We don’t have to live with these fears. They are not a natural part of a healthy and balanced mind. They are mind programs that have infiltrated the garden of the mind through trauma and general negative programming. They are seeds that have sprouted due to their potency and the constant nurturing they get through our self-talk, the information we take in, the people we spend time with, the choices we make, and the actions we take. When we start to deprogram and change the way we view ourselves and treat ourselves in our daily lives — setting healthy internal and external boundaries — then we step by step start to embody and reinforce the genuine belief that “I am good enough.” Integrating this belief changes everything.
We have the opportunity to heal, learn, and evolve. If you are not where you want to be in life, it´s ok. Life is a journey. Choose your steps. You are your responsibility. Allowing others to overly influence your thoughts, choices, and actions is not what your soul and spirit are here for. Remember? It is time to stand up, show up, and speak up.
This article was originally written in 2016 for PowerThoughts Meditation Club. Some upgrades have been made in June 2022.