“Myths and superstitions have power over us only to the extent that we believe them, but when we believe, we live completely under their spell.”
― Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life
Life takes the shape of our commitments. Some of us walk around in the world strongly committed to beliefs and ways of being that hold us back from experiencing more of what we’d like in life. We don’t often see this ourselves because we’re so dang committed. Even when we try to gain self-awareness, this part of us still lingers in our blindspot. As such, we go into the work of trying to become a better, more aware human with the same lens that’s holding us back.
Often these patterns and beliefs about ourselves, the ones that we’re so committed to and the ones we can’t often see for ourselves, are imprints from early on in our human existence. We come by them honestly. Sometimes, it’s from all the way back before we had memories, only feelings and experiential imprints that have left an impression on us.
Therapist Mark Wolynn, author of the book, It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, notes that these patterns often can go back to the quality of the attachment bond we had with our mother (or primary caregiver). Sometimes, these patterns even go back to broken attachment bonds that your parents experienced from their parents (and so on back through the lineage we go). “The worst part is that the very thing that holds us back is often invisible to us, keeping us frustrated and confused,” Wolynn writes.
These patterns most often go directly to our sense of self-worth and what we feel we are worthy of in this lifetime.
We forget that we are granted organismic rights–the right to exist, to have needs, to take action, to have consequences for our actions, and to be loved–just by being. Instead, we play small, fail to ask for help, don’t need anything (ever, from anyone), don’t show up or don’t make commitments, stay invisible, and have a hard time receiving love (or anything nourishing for our wellbeing). When we’re committed to “struggle” in those forms, the fullness of who we are has no room or full expression.
I often imagine it’s as if folks are walking around with blinders on, hands duct-taped behind their backs, and wearing itchy old sweaters that don’t fit well, as if it’s a form of all that they deserve in life. They can’t reach. They can’t receive well if at all. And, although the sweater is too small and uncomfortable, it works. It’s no wonder that if that’s the outfit someone is committing to, life will often look and feel as if it comes up short for them. But the thing to remember here is: they don’t realize that’s the outfit they’ve got on.
When one is committed to limiting beliefs about their worth, it shows up in a diminution of self. We see this a bit in this conversation between Philip Deng, founder and CEO of Grantable, and Jerry in this week’s podcast episode.
Lack of self-worth often shows up in money issues, which is something I’ve written more about in “Dear Reboot: Money Issues” on our Medium channel. In her book, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, author Lynn Twist tells us to access our assets:
“…not only money, but also your own character and capabilities, your relationships and other nonmoney resources. We each have the power to shift, change, and create the conversation that shapes our circumstances. The levers and dials of conversation are ours to use. When we listen, speak, and respond from the context of sufficiency, we access a new freedom and power in our relationship with money and life.”
Moving from out of the ‘old outfits’ we wear and into a wardrobe that fits who we are, is a matter of finding that internal switch out of scarcity (“I’m not enough.” “I don’t deserve to be here.” “give me that bed of nails-thanks!”) and into one of sufficiency (“I am,” or better yet, “Here I am.”). Then, you open up to life and give the world a chance to meet you in a wholly different way. It gives the world a chance to confirm what is granted to you:
“I am so glad that you are.”