In our house, there is a latch-door gate that separates the main stairwell from the living area. We have two dogs – Tamale, who could care less about exploring the environment and generally hates all exercise, and Ace, who urgently wants to see what everyone is doing at all times in every room of his “kingdom”.
We don’t let the dogs go upstairs because their claws will scratch the glossier hardwood up there; Ace is NOT okay with this. He wants so badly to jump over the gate so that he can explore everything upstairs, and we think it’s hilarious that he’ll pace in front of it, whining, all the while refusing to try to make the jump. While we know that he’s absolutely physically capable of clearing the gate, and he desperately wants to be able to, he just does not believe that he can.
I’m relieved that my dog doesn’t believe he can break through the barrier keeping him from the upstairs. I’m the opposite of relieved, however, in considering that this is exactly how most of us go through life, and why many of us have significant difficulty with achieving goals. No one doubts that you want it, but do you believe you will have it? That shift in mindset makes all the difference.
We do not manifest what we want, we manifest what we believe.
So you can vision board all day, pray, meditate, or focus on what you want to bring about in your life, but if you do not actually believe it is possible for you, it will never happen.
Ace thinks about jumping the gate all day. He sits in front of it, stares at it in a focused way, paces back and forth when we’re upstairs and he isn’t, and tries to find sneaky ways to get around the gate and up the stairs. But he has decided (in his puppy mind) that it is not possible for him to get over the gate, so he won’t even try. The craziest part of it is he is absolutely capable of it! We’ve seen him jump much higher in other settings, but because this is something he hasn’t encountered before, the fear of the unknown keeps him stuck.
Sadly, I cannot interview Ace about his thought process or give him any coaching around overcoming his limiting beliefs, but it’s worth considering how this apparent line of thinking applies in our own (human) lives. What do you think about all the time, want so badly to have, do, be, or feel, but consistently fall short of? Do you get mad at the Universe because you did your visualization homework and have nothing to show for it? Have you considered that you might not actually believe what you’re saying you want is possible? With the belief comes the feeling, and with the feeling comes the change in vibration that signals the Universe to manifest what perpetuates the feeling. I know, that’s a really long sentence.
To put it in human terms, for a while I really wanted to become a coach, writer and speaker. I thought about what it would be like, worked through all of the training and administrative aspects of it, and created an environment where I felt sure that it was going to come together for me. For extra motivation when I needed it, I drew on past experiences and memories of being in a space similar to what I wanted to be doing – I would consider times I had spoken in public and how empowered I felt; I reflected on my extensive writing and journaling practice growing up and how guided and appreciative I felt in being able to express myself; I recalled all of the times I had coached someone through a challenging time (without knowing “officially” that that’s what I was doing at the time!) and how good it felt to be doing something that had an immediate impact in someone’s life. What’s required will be different for everyone depending on what you’re after, but there are some general guidelines for “capturing the feeling”, which I will share soon! Until next time…
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