5 Ways You're Limiting Your Own Freedom
Do you remember your very first taste of freedom?
Maybe it was when you started earning your own money? Or went off to college? Or moved out to live on your own?
For me, it was the day I passed the road test to get my driver's license.
I'd prepped for months for it - going on drives with my dad, first in the parking lot, then on neighborhood streets, and finally on main roads. We practiced parallel parking for hours in the evenings after dinner at St. Peter's Church by our house.
When I found out that I'd passed the road test, I was so excited at the endless possibilities. Where did I want to go first? Meet friends at the movies? Hang out at the mall?
I felt powerful to be able to live life on my own terms (well, for those few hours I got to use my parents' car, anyway.)
Freedom often brings along feelings of excitement and power because freedom equals choice.
Most of us want to be financially free, not just because we'd feel safe and secure, but also because it means we can choose how we spend our time, money and energy.
So when was the last time you felt total freedom? Free to choose what you truly wanted to experience and create?
If you're like me, the older I got and the more responsibilities I took on, the less freedom I felt in choosing what I wanted.
And what I chose was limited to a smaller version of what was actually possible.
Maybe you've been doing that as well, telling yourself things like…
- This is the only thing I can do for a living because it's all I've ever done.
- I have to stay in a city I don't love because I already have roots here.
- I can't make money doing what I enjoy because no one would pay me for doing this.
- I can't write a book because I don't have the time right now, and besides, no one will want to read it.
The list goes on and on.
There's a part of us that wants more, to feel excited again to go after our dreams, but there's another part of us that doesn’t think it's possible.
Here are 5 reasons I've uncovered for why we don't let ourselves dream big or go after our dreams, and how we can begin to shift. Which of these can you relate to?
1) We've lost touch with our desires
We've gotten so used to the routine of living that we forget to take a step back from time to time and see if where we're going is where we actually want to go.
If it's been a while since you've let yourself dream, you can start by setting a timer for 10 minutes and writing down everything you want to be, do, have and give. Don’t limit yourself with your logical mind. Don't think about how you'll accomplish it. Take a few deep breaths to tune into your heart and let that part speak. Let it all out onto your paper.
2) We're unaware of what's holding us back
Our outer world reflects our inner world. We get not what we want, but what we expect we can have. For example, your current income is determined by your beliefs around what you think you can make. Same with the relationship you're in or the house you live in.
What limiting beliefs do you have around what you can or cannot have? Pay attention to the words you say - they provide clues into the limitations you've put on yourself. What commitments have you taken on that you said yes to, not because you wanted it for yourself, but out of obligation or people pleasing? How can you free yourself from them to have more time and energy?
3) We're not clear on what we want
We're not specific about what we want. We say things like, I want to be rich, I want to be in love, or be able to do what I love, without actually knowing what that looks like in our lives. And without specificity, we won't know what we can do to actually move towards it, and more importantly, who we need to BE to have it.
Get clear on what you truly want, especially how you want to feel. Write down details of what you want to experience or create. What does your day-to-day look like? How does each area of your life look as a result of this? How do you want to feel once you have it?
4) We don't take inspired action
One of my favorite quotes is by from Joel A. Barker:
Vision without action is just a dream.
Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world.
Just thinking about what you want won't get you any closer to it. Plan out the steps and take one small action towards what you want to turn your dream into reality. Start today.
5) We try to do it all on our own
Going after our dreams can seem daunting if we feel like we have to do it all on our own. There are people in your life who would love to support you. Set yourself up to succeed with friends, coaches, and other like-minded people to support you and remind you of your dream when you don't feel like going at it. It'll make all the difference in the world.
Who do you respect that you could share your dreams with and ask for their support? What can they do to best support you? Weekly check-ins? Run errands for you? Give people the opportunity to show their love and support for you.
You're meant to experience freedom and choice in all areas of your life.
If you recognized yourself in one or more of the above, I've put together something special that will help.
It's a FREE interview series called Project Jumpstart - How to Start Taking Action to Accomplish Your Biggest Dream This Year.
Whether you struggle with listening to your heart and desires, overcoming fears and limiting beliefs, visualizing the future you want, taking action towards your dreams, or creating support and accountability, the 20+ experts I've hand-selected have experienced it all and will be sharing their best tips and tools for getting you to the other side.
You can sign up for it HERE.