Are You Being Held Hostage?

HostageMindIt seems like for every step I take forward my mind drags me back two steps. I’ve found myself in this viscous cycle of self doubt and uncertainty. I’d like to share five thoughts that sometimes creep up and keep me paralyzed and feeling like I’m literally being held hostage. Sadly, I am my own mental terrorist. I terrorize myself with the crazy things I have on repeat in my head. So here are my most recent five and some tips for how you can kick that terrorist thinking to the curb.

Other People’s Unspoken Expectations

You know the folks who would rather than speak up, they screw up their faces and purse their lips about something you did or did not do? You know who I’m talking about you just got a mental picture didn’t you? Lord knows I did. Well, here’s the thing you cannot act on what another person is unwilling to verbalize. Relationships are about communication and there is a lot of information conveyed in silent spaces. And here’s the they even say that anymore? I digress. What is being left unsaid you can do absolutely NOTHING about. That doesn’t mean ignore the elephant in the room, but it does mean you cannot stress yourself out about things that remain unsaid. You cannot force people to talk if they aren’t ready or unwilling. Don’t allow what isn’t being said to keep you from becoming, whole and healthy.You are responsible for your choices and yours alone.

I Have Too Many Responsibilities

Well my friend I’m about to tell you something you will be sad to hear…You will always be responsible for something. This very moment when your kids have lost there ever loving mind and your husband is tripping may not be the perfect moment to take 5 minutes for yourself. But that moment is the very thing we you need. And you deserve more than 5 minutes to get your head together. The perfect time will never exist, so go ahead and let that go. There will always be a reason why you can’t take tiny step towards what gives your very soul life. So staaaaaaaaaaaph (long drawn out southern stop) with the excuses already. Your children won’t starve if you go to the dollar store and buy yourself a little notebook and write down your “One day I wish…” ideas. Making space for yourself  to, at a minimum, investigate your passion is NOT being irresponsible.

What If I can’t Do it or I’m not Successful?

I’ll let you in on a secret, you can do it, right now you are afraid. And you are saying I’m not scared I just have (insert number of kids and ages) and I work here or I volunteer there and my husband needs this and my parents……you see how that just happened…just that quickly you/I moved into excuse mode about why it’s not worth taking a baby step towards walking in the purpose that is already within you. There is success in making the effort to keep the dream alive while you are in a season that may not ‘seem’ like the best time.

I Feel Like I’m Out Here on My Own

It might feel like you are on your own and that what you have to offer is not unique enough for anyone to care. But that is where you are wrong, no one else can tell it, sell it, make it, bake it, teach it like you do. I’d argue that voice of doubt is rising up because if the greatness that is in you ever came out the world would be a better place because you’ve been here. Do not get distracted by feeling alone, pray and ask God to show you your support system. It is already there and in place you just haven’t uncovered it yet. You have to switch your thinking by saying I am not alone and prepare to have your mind blown by the and cheerleaders that seem to fall out of thin air.

How is What I Have to Offer Better or Different?

It is very easy for me to fall into the comparison trap, whether that’s family, friends, celebrities (kind of embarrassed that is even in the list but we are being honest right?) and their fabulous lives. I find myself saying oooh if I had their ability to sing I would sang and use my powers for good. Lord knows I want to be a singer, but alas that is not my gift and all the wishing in the world is not going to turn me into Jennifer Hudson. So my singing ability will not make me stand out from the crowd but my creative energy and unique perspective is indeed what is better and different. And when I say better I realize that the folks that I am called to help are looking for someone like me, thereby making me a better fit. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea and most days I’m OK with that being the case. I’m learning how to accept my life experiences are the very things that make me different and there are people who can benefit from hearing what I have learned.

What are some of the thoughts holding you hostage? Sound off in the comments.

Photo credit: GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare / Foter / CC BY