I’m writing this blog from 38,000 feet above the ground, on hour 17 of the 22-hour trek from Toronto to Sydney. Being on a plane for this long really forces you to be with yourself and to look at your thoughts, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to reflect on what’s been going on in my life and in my mind of late.
This past week was a challenging one for me and a lot of deeply rooted fear-based emotions have been surfacing. Ironically, but not coincidentally, this “dark night of the soul” (which was actually more like a week) happened as I began to share my new album “Into The Light” with the people in my life and then more broadly, my online community.
After months of hard work, a significant financial investment and a complete pouring of my love, passion and creative energy into the project, the idea of sharing it with others and essentially baring my soul, though exciting, was somewhat scary and left me feeling extremely vulnerable and exposed. “What if it’s really not that good?” I worried. “What if they don’t like it? What if this was all a big waste? Who am I kidding? What if this is my one and only chance to make it happen?”
All of these questions have one thing in common: they are the expressions of the voice of self-doubt, fear and lack. They stem from an underlying subconscious belief that things are not going to work out for me and, more specifically, that I’m not good enough. As these beliefs reared their ugly head, my response was to retreat in fear to pre-empt any possibility of success by declaring failure before I was even two steps out of the gate and to sink into a state of lethargy characterized by a big childish “I don’t wanna!”
So I’ve been asking myself: “Where do these beliefs come from?” As I dug deep and got real with myself, the response was loud and clear as the memories of instances in my life where I was not chosen played back in my head. The girl I had a crush on in seventh grade who chose my best friend. The time I tried out for the basketball team and didn’t make the cut. The group of friends who told me I didn’t really belong as a young teenager. The thousands of times I have heard “no” on my path to this point in my life and in my career. These events are not significant in and of themselves; they happened and with time, they can be forgotten. What is more significant is that I CHOSE to interpret them to mean that I’m not good enough, that there’s something wrong with me and that things aren’t going to work out for me.
The emphasis on choice is key here because I’ve had these realizations before, worked on the issues at play and yet here they are coming up again. The fact is that these tendencies and negative mental beliefs don’t just go away once you discover them. What changes when you become aware of them is that you can make a choice to identify with them or not, but it is one that you have to make over and over again. When we commit to self-love and consistently choose the highest and most empowering interpretations for the events of our life, the emotional charge behind those limiting beliefs and negative thoughts weakens. Eventually, a new view of ourselves and of life begins to take their place.
The other thing is that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks. In the middle of my mini-crisis, I got so much positive feedback on my new music from friends, loved ones, fellow-artists and strangers, but in the absence of complete self-love and an inner knowing of my own value, no amount of praise could fill me up. In other words, it doesn’t matter how much anyone else believes in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Similarly, when we truly love ourselves and know our own worth, no amount of criticism can touch us because we are completely self-approved.
The beauty of all of this is in the realization that we get to choose and it’s also in understanding that these darker experiences, though uncomfortable and difficult, are a necessary part of our development and the evolution of our consciousness.
The true miracle for me in all of this is that this experience is actually exactly what “Into The Light” is all about. It’s about overcoming our fears and having faith in ourselves and our dreams; it’s about expressing our creative gifts and sharing them with the world no matter what; it’s about believing in each other and supporting each other as we walk the path together; it’s about stepping out of the darkness and into the light.
In the spirit of this blog, I would like to share a short video sneak preview of “Into The Light”, which is really what triggered all these emotions in the first place when I posted it last week. I can now affirm that I am proud of my work, as I know that it is the fruit of my passion and my love, that it embodies a message I believe in and that it is my very best at this moment.
What about you? Do you have some core limiting beliefs that are holding you back or keeping you stuck? What thought patterns and meanings can you let go of and what more empowering ones can you replace them with? Are you willing to step out of the shadows of your doubt and let your light shine?
The truth is that you ARE good enough… but only if YOU say so and KNOW so. Your dreams CAN come true…but only if YOU BELIEVE in them. The Uni-verse WILL support you but only if YOU HAVE FAITH.
You get to choose.
Written for The Daily Love (March 3rd, 2012)