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What’s Stopping You? June 11, 2007

Posted by coachtonya in From Coach Tonya.
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“When we use our minds, take a step at a time, we can do, anything, that we wanna do.” From Blue’s Clues Song

Shows like “Blue’s Clues”, “Sesame Street”, “Go, Diego, Go”, teach kids that there are limitless possibilities out in the world. Think back to your favorite childhood show, think about how you felt when you knew that anything was possible, that you could do anything. When did that type of thinking stop?

What happened in your life that stopped you from thinking that you can have everything that you dream about?

Is it one single incident that took away our faith, our hope…our dreams? Or did it happen over a lifetime? However, it got into our heads, unless we are living our dreams or living a life leading us to our dreams; somewhere, some time in your life, you heard someone say, “You can’t do that!”, and it you believed it.

I was always a different child growing up. I was told from a young age that I was “too smart for my own good”. I never seemed to fit in my own peer groups. By high school, my old soul shined through and I was unable to let loose, to have the care-free existence that others my age did. I think that as a teenager it is universal have that desire to feel that you belong and I felt like the round peg trying to fit into the square peg.

And as if my teenage angst wasn’t enough as I move into adulthood, now there was a bigger picture…How do I fit into the world, not just with the kids at school, or my family, where is my place, what is my purpose?

Fear gripped me, as I struggled in the real world. I feared failing, so I dropped out of college. I feared being alone, so at nineteen I married a man that I had nothing in common with. I feared not having money so I worked overtime, sometimes holding down more than one job. And when the unhappiness that slowly crept up on me finally enveloped me I was too scared to change.

Fear is the big difference between the pure innocent thinking of a child and our adult selves. Children start with no fear and it is only through experience do they learn how and what to fear. We learn to fear people, we learn to fear ideas, we learn to fear labels, some even learn to fear themselves. In fact, the message of most children’s shows is one of fearlessness, encouraging each to be an individual, to use their creativity, to see the good in people…that all takes strength and courage, that only children have, before it slips away with adulthood, before we let fear control us.

Looking back over a lifetime of memories, I spent several years deep in regret, wondering what would have happened if I would have turned right instead of left, said no instead of yes, lived a life that was more worthy of who I am meant to be. “What would have happened if…” was on the forefront of my mind, so much that at one point I was stuck on the past, replaying what I thought were the pivotal moments in my life, those decisions that I wanted a “do-over” on.

In childhood, you get those unlimited supply of “do-overs”, as adults we usually feel powerless over our mistakes, beating ourselves up to the point that we fear making the wrong decision. At every crossroad that we come to, we feel the effects of fear coming from a deep well within ourselves.

We have to release that fear, and allow ourselves to be set free. We have to let go every “You can’t to that!” we have every heard from others and from ourselves. You have to go deep within you and let your inner child give you the strength that you knew when you where young. Allow the “I can be or do anything” thinking to flood back into your consciousness. Believe in yourself, the same way that we teach our children to do.

Learning to be the person that you want to be doesn’t stop when you enter adulthood, I think that is where most of us get tripped up. The whole span of our life is for us to evolve, we are meant to continue to grow, and search for the answers. It is the journey of life to continue that healthy curiosity about the world around us and the person that is within. Each experience in our lives we can look for a chance to learn; lessons don’t just happen on “Sesame Street” or in “Elmo’s World”; they happen everyday of our lives.

One of the greatest gifts that I have received in my life is my son. He has enriched my life in so many ways and has helped me rediscover the knowledge that I have forgotten. I see once again through the eyes of hope, innocent, and resolve to think that anything is possible. He has helped me find a new way to look at the world around me.

An empowerment dwells inside me now that had been tucked away for a long time ago. Now, whenever the fear or the “you can’t do that” thinking comes back, I just sing softly to myself, “When I use my minds, take a step at a time, I can do, anything, that I wanna do.”

© Copyright June, 2007
Tonya Ramsey

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