“Wow! Lucky you!” is the usual response when others heard I’d been invited to be a guest speaker on P&O cruises. My initial response to the invitation was more like, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Crazy I know, but in my head I heard, “I don’t do cruises.”
I’ve always preferred to spend maximum time on the ground, mixing with the locals and experiencing their culture and food when I travel. Thankfully a friend bluntly reminded me, “Hang on, weren’t you just saying you’re looking for more opportunities that combine travel, speaking and your mindset work? Hello? You’ve never been on a cruise so how do you know you don’t like them?”
What I had asked for had been handed to me, and I hadn’t even realised! How often does that happen, to you as well as me? And why?
The reason is simple. When we hold a belief about ourselves, such as “I don’t do X (cruises/public speaking/dancing/vegetables)”, it blocks out recognition of any opportunities that may prove that belief to be false. If you love cruising and we walked into a travel agency together, all the cruise brochures would claim your attention, while my eyes would zero in on African safaris and trekking holidays.
Now that I’ve done a very successful speaking gig on a cruise, cruise images pop up on my radar (my reticular activating system). Okay, yes, I did enjoy it as a working holiday – who would have thought?
Many of our beliefs stem from childhood experiences and the comments of significant people in our lives. They are also part of our unconscious blueprint™, the empowering or disempowering image/s that program our behaviour and therefore our results in our personal and business lives.
Signs of a disempowering unconscious blueprint™ include feeling not as confident or ‘grown up’ as you’d expect, struggling with boundary setting, feeling inferior or overly superior, and struggling to maintain a healthy weight. Like most things in life, what you are aware of, you can change, if you wish.
Over our lifetimes, who knows how much fun and wonderful experiences we’ve missed out on due to our belief blinkers?
The way to ensure we notice opportunities now is to:
- Be very clear on what we’d love to show up, and be open to how that actually happens. As in my case, it may appear in a form you hadn’t considered – my cruise speaking opportunity came through my Media Connections membership.
- Take some time to have a brain dump, with a friend and a glass of wine if you wish, of all the ways your desires could take shape if there were no limitations or restrictions.
- As you write them down, notice when you tense or your inner critic scoffs – both signs of disempowering self-beliefs.
Once you are aware of those beliefs you can change them, either by sheer determination to bulldoze your way through your fears, or by gently using mindset shifting techniques such as Neuro Linguistic Programming. Personally, I found sky-diving as a way to get over my fear of falling not such a bright idea. I had falling nightmares for weeks afterwards.
Be firm but gentle with yourself. Be aware of how your thoughts and beliefs are blinkering you to the delivery of your life’s exciting adventures and pleasures, just as you wished for. Give yourself permission to change for good, and be brave enough to ask for help as needed. Bon voyage!