Get lost to get found
In a forest, I am lost among the trees: or am I suddenly found in a brilliant moment of clarity?
We don’t solve problems—problems solve us. They help us piece together who we are, requiring us to continually stretch beyond our comfort zone and confront our psyche. Every experience and interaction has the potential to help us grow—if we allow it.
The path you choose
There are people who avoid challenges, because it makes them feel like they’re not talented or smart. And then there are those who pursue challenge, because they want to grow and improve.
We often carry beliefs about ourselves that hold us back from our dreams—we’re not good enough to pursue our passion, not athletic enough to try that sport, or not worthy of a particular relationship etc. Veering away from these well-trodden limiting beliefs is essential for your well-being, because your beliefs have the power to shape the world around you. It’s like facing several trail options, you can decide you’re only capable of certain ones and always stick to those, or you can decide to venture down whatever interests you—the ones that’ll make you grow and expand your horizons.
Limiting beliefs cause you to focus on the wrong thing—results.
Those with what’s called a “growth mindset” believe it’s more important to learn things than it is to get the best results. Whereas those with a fixed mindset focus on doing things that they already know how to do well—so they ensure they will look good. This fixed mindset doesn’t see opportunity, it sees trying things as casting doubt on their ability. They have “either/or” thinking, and there’s is no room for creativity.
Painting a world of your own
Many people are not the best version of themselves, due to fixed mindsets and headstrong conviction that their limiting beliefs are actually true. Beliefs can paint an inaccurate picture of the world around you and squander your potential.
If you limit yourself to only what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect from your heartfelt desires, incredible opportunities, and your true potential. You’re then left with mediocre, predictable experiences and compromises. Think of it like a painting; you could use accurate colours and photo-like realness to re-create your subject, OR you could explore unpredictable colours and shapes that the world has never seen, thus creating a work of art.
A great example is Picasso. Some people see his portraits as pure beauty, for others they’re nonsensical and simplistic. Historically, they’re a revelation, because no one would dare to paint faces like that! Picasso saw what he saw, and he didn’t apologize for his view of the world. This is true for many of the most successful people —who seldom follow the herd, and often listen to their intuition. Picasso shows us that having a unique perspective is a gift.
Why the heck not?
I’ve had people comment of my variety of talents and suggest I’m an anomaly. The reality is that it’s less about talent and more about mindset—my reflex response to new activities, challenges and setbacks is to ask “Why not?” If someone says I can’t do something or if a skill doesn’t fit my current identity, I don’t let it affect my mindset—I’ve failed enough to know that if I just put in the effort to learn, practice, ask questions and explore, there’s a good chance I will progress.
You are not confined to one thing. In fact, you may be known as a great doctor, but become famous for woodworking. If you stick to just one skill or medium, you’ll miss an opportunity to grow. There’s no reason why you can’t expand your abilities and reinvent your skills in a new package.
If your limiting mindset is holding you where you are, it would be helpful to adopt a new dialogue. Every time you’re faced with a limiting situation that says you can’t do this, ask the question “Why not?!” People are often afraid to ask questions or try things out of fear and the risk of looking “stupid.” And yet the most successful people in history are often the ones who ask the most questions and challenge the status quo—Albert Einstein, Picasso, Amelia Earhart.
Am I out of the woods yet?
The first step is to embrace the darkness. Explore your thoughts and find clues trapped in the thick dark mood or situation. It’s only possible to bask in your brilliance if you walk through darkness.
It’s not only healthy to grow as individuals—it’s absolutely necessary. Through embracing setbacks, pain and obstacles, we become the best version of ourselves.
Legacy Climb by Rachelle Hynes | 24 x 36″ Oil on Canvas