A goal is just a dream with action steps. We all dream. We have those thoughts of wonder and ‘what if’ that fill our hearts but then also have us second guessing our abilities and self-worth. Isn’t that a harsh reality? How can something that brings so much joy to our hearts, a dream, can create an avalanche of self-doubt and criticism. Well, let me explain how that works when it comes to our mental capacity to deal with change.
As MLK said, “I have a dream”. Then what happened? He took action. If he would have sat back and dreamed about his speech of making a change to civil rights, nothing would have happened. It takes action steps to make a dream a reality. My question is, did Martin Luther King have a moment of “what am I doing” after he gave his speech in 1963? Chances are he did because there’s a response in our brain that happens when we step into something new. Let me explain in more detail.
Welcome to the limbic system of our being. This is the place where feelings and emotions that motivate or paralyze us hang out. It’s the centre of our emotional life and the formation of memories. I wonder if this was a conversation at Disney when someone thought of the premise for the movie Inside Out. Let me explain more about what happened to my apple cart. When we capture the thought behind the panic that sets in, our job is to understand and liberate ourselves. Everyone can do it.
Here’s what happened to me. I speak almost monthly in a group called Women Talk. It’s my safe place to hone my craft and grow my audience. My dream is to be on a large stage with hundreds maybe even thousands of women listening to me show them how to reconnect within and love the woman they are. I’ve had a visual dream so many times over the past few years since I was first introduced to Women Talk. I see the outfit I’m wearing, I have a beige Madonna mic on, there’s a chair, carpet, little table, cup of tea and I’m in my element. In order to make the dream a goal, I need to apply some action steps and take them. The first one I did was find other local events that I could talk at. I didn’t have a problem doing that. I love talking to women. The next step I took was to join the Women Speaker Association as recommended by a fellow Women Talker. What happened next took some time for me to figure out.
The day after I joined the association, I woke up feeling great. Had a couple of conversations then my apple cart flipped. That seems to be my internal symbol for “incoming moment of panic”. I had one of these last month and it was a picnic basket upside down. I’m starting to see a pattern now. As I sat on my couch, in tears, I knew I needed to get this energy flowing through me. So, I kept crying and let the emotion of panic/fear move. Emotions are ENERGY in MOTION … E-MOTION. If it wants to move, let it. Mine usually come through tears. I’m not an angry person so punching things doesn’t do it for me. After the tears came and went, I sat and journaled, focused on what was really bothering me. It wasn’t those earlier conversations I had, even though its easier to point fingers outwardly than to focus within. It wasn’t my lack of confidence that I can do this. It was the fear and panic that was created because it’s new and its outside my comfort zone. I’ve never done this specific act before. However, my brain picked up on the NEW part and when back into its warehouse of memories to remind me what it was like the last time I took on something totally new to me. Well, guess what? There was fear and panic back then. I’ve done it so many times that you’d think my brain would have a better response. It’s only tapping into the way its always been. From divorce to entrepreneur to becoming a stepmom, you can image the fear associated with all of those. I needed to retrain my brain to have new responses to NEW things because there’s going to be a lot more coming down the pike.
The deeper I’m connected with HER, the more I can face the shadow side of my life. It’s like my brain says “ok, she’s passed level 10, let’s see how she handles a level 10 shadow”. No way could I have handled this, the way I did, 10 years ago when I got divorced. My response back then was to stuff it down and not face it. I was a human piñata of ignored emotion. Over the past 3 years, I’ve been facing those shadows and tossing them overboard one by one. Yes, it’s a lot of work but, now I joke that when I have an emotional upheaval, my response time is faster than the local fire department. Amongst all of this, I’ve redeveloped my Self-Knowledge. That’s the understanding of WHY I’m feeling and thinking things. There’s always an attachment to those and like a spammy email, sometimes I don’t want to open those attachments. Now that I have the ability and strength to open them, release them and walk away with clarity and grace, I’m open to as many flipped apple carts that the universe has in store for me.
Check this out if you’re interested in learning more about your limbic system.