In the last post, we were left wondering why it was I haven’t climbed Everest lately (if you’re wondering why the question was even being asked, we’ll pause here while you go back and read it).
Why not? Many reasons.
- I see no point in risking my life doing something that is inherently dangerous and has already claimed the lives of many experienced climbers.
- I know nothing about climbing.
- I wouldn’t be good at it.
- No-one in my circle of acquaintances has done it.
- Physically, I’m a coward. I don’t even like to swim if my feet can’t touch the bottom.
- It’s expensive and I don’t have the money.
- “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
- The idea doesn’t excite me.
By the way, did you have a chance to undertake this exercise yourself? Were any of your reasons for not doing something similar to mine?
You can see there’s quite a long list of limiting beliefs there in my list. And I realize all of them can be challenged. There are plenty of reasons to do something risky. I could learn about climbing, and practice it. I could work at overcoming my fears. I could meet others who climb. If I really wanted to, I could raise the money and find the time.
The only reason on my list which is a valid reason to not do it is the last one – it doesn’t excite me and I don’t want to. And so I won’t. (Actually, I’d rather sit in a cafe at the bottom and look at the view from there – maybe I’m just getting old and boring!)
But what about all those things I do want to do, but haven’t? And why haven’t I?
Sometimes, of course, it’s a question of priorities. It’s smart to choose wisely and be selective with our time, energy and money if we want to stay rested, healthy and sane. I definitely don’t want to burn out or become discontented through trying to do it all.
However, if I’m being honest with myself (I know – I hate that too), I see that many of those limiting beliefs that stop me climbing Everest also stop me doing some things I really want to.
If others had let these sort of limiting beliefs stop them, not much would be achieved. When we pit ourselves against our own personal Everest – our own ‘insurmountable’ obstacles – with that comes growth, satisfaction, pride and empowerment. And we don’t miss out on things our heart calls us to do, simply because we are too afraid, it’s too risky, or we give in too easily to the obstacles in our path.
What’s one thing you’d really love to do, but think you can’t? Mine sounds small enough, but I’m almost afraid to put it down here. Once it’s said out loud, it’s like I really have to face it. And that scares me!
You might laugh when you read it, because perhaps to you it seems like nothing. But here it is – I’d really like to be able to sing and dance. There, I’ve said it. I can’t sing in tune, and I have no coordination or sense of rhythm. Karaoke would be like public humiliation for me. And I still remember a friend telling me how much she laughed when they watched the video of me dancing at her wedding.
I’ve seen ads from people claiming they can teach anyone to sing. But I cringe at the thought of having to sing in front of them, and failing to get any of the right notes. And those lessons cost money, which is not growing on any trees in my backyard. Plus I don’t have time right now. And what if I try my hardest and still can’t do it?
Are any of these excuses sounding similar to my “not climbing Everest” list? Indeed they are. With the crucial exception of number eight. The thought of being able to sing and dance makes my heart leap (tentatively) with excitement. What if…?