It's Tuesday night, and I am aimlessly wandering the internet. Often I wander onto the websites and blogs of those that are doing things I wish I was doing. And I start to feel negative and pouty, because I worry that I will NEVER be able to do what I want to do.
Why? What is stopping me? Here are some of my limiting beliefs.
- I am not young enough
- I don't know enough
- No one cares what I think
- There are already a lot of people out there doing what I want to do and the world does not need more, and they are all better at it than I am anyway
- I don't have enough charisma
- No one wants what I have to offer
- What I have to offer is stale
- I can't make any money doing what i want to do
- I am not able to work hard enough and I will end up destitute if I don't have a boss and a salary
Phew! That is just what I think of at this moment, but I know there is more.
So, there are a lot of different approaches to changing our negative limiting beliefs, but my particular area of interest is how we can use the arts to change those beliefs.
But first, I have to consider this. Is changing the beliefs really what is called for? I don't know about you, but when I say to myself "i need to change my limiting beliefs" I am already tired, and that thought just makes me feel disheartened. Because, there is one more belief I need to add to the list:
10. I cannot change
Change is hard isn't it? At my last expressive arts training, someone shared this poem, which I found a charming animated version of:
One of the themes I see in a lot of the books I have been reading lately is that when you pay more attention to something, it gets bigger. That works in both positive and negative ways. "Energy flows where attention goes" is one saying. So should I try to change my beliefs? Replace them? Ignore them? Just pay attention to them from a higher consciousness? And how does art help with any of that?
The arts are a way to be a witness to ourselves as we fumble around through our life. We can use the arts to see, gently, our blind spots.
I recently came upon the author Byron Katie, who has developed a way to challenge our thought patterns using an inquiry method she calls The Work. Here is a link to more information about it: http://www.thework.com/thework.php. I like this method and the ideas behind it, but I find filling out worksheets and answering questions really tedious. So I did an experiment where I tried to do something similar to Katie's Four Questions in a more visual way. I was curious how it would be different. It was definitely more engaging, more playful. I could exaggerate parts to reflect how I felt, it is more interesting to look at than my usual illegible scrawl.
Frankly, I am far more likely to do this than to fill out a worksheet or just do straight writing. And that is an important factor. It is one thing to read and passively receive new ideas, methods, and wisdom. It is another to use it, or even remember to use it. I'm bad at that. I also felt that seeing my beliefs in a more visual form did give me a different perspective on them than if they were just written out.
So what holds you back? What is the hole you keep falling in? Share your thoughts below...