The Power of Willingness
Yesterday I took a huge first step toward something I’ve always wanted to do, and it became clear to me that it was never about anyone or anything else holding me back from going after what I wanted…it was about my ability to release the shame and guilt about wanting it.
The excitement and anticipation in taking that first step assures me that YES! This is for me!
But, getting to the place where I could take the step, was a process. I didn’t just wake up one day feeling confident and worthy, and decide to take the step. What led me to this point has been transformational and life changing.
My journey to receiving what I want, began with embracing the shame and guilt. It began with willingness to accept who I am and what I truly wanted, while allowing space for growth and change…because I will change.
For most of my life, I believed that I had to earn the right to joy, happiness, peace, desires, etc. I had to prove my worth. But the thing about “proving my worth” is that it never really ends…there’s always another hill of approval to climb. There’s always something else that needs justification. It never ends until I come to terms with accepting who I am and what I want.
For me, self-acceptance started with willingness.
In the beginning, I couldn't even envision 3 months into the future or imagine what it would feel or look like to have what I wanted. I immediately squashed the thought the moment it entered my mind. I would tell myself:
“You can’t have that”
“That’s not meant for you.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“That’s not being humble.”
“Oh…so now you think your better than everyone else?”
“Everyone will think your acting better than them”
“What makes you more deserving than others?”
“People will judge you for wanting or having that.”
As these phrases bounced around in my mind, I found myself, at times, agreeing with them, and at other times, disagreeing. It was a constant battle as I unconsciously sabotaged myself, making choices that contradicted what I really wanted. Making choices that contradicted who I really was. Accepting these words/phrases without trying to change them didn’t work. And trying to change them without accepting them didn’t work.
I was left with willingness.
I told myself that if I could create space for a little willingness then maybe changes can occur. What did I mean by this?
I knew I wasn’t prepared to jump form point A to Z in my thinking…meaning jump straight to self-acceptance and feeling good about receiving. I knew that I still felt the need to prove myself, and I still had moments of doubt and insecurities. But I also knew that I wasn’t going to fight those doubts and insecurities. I wasn’t going to argue with the voices all day. I would simply respond with:
“I hear you and I understand that you are afraid.”
“I know you feel like you don’t deserve this, but that can change.”
“You spent most of your life living in fear, self-doubt, and the need to prove yourself, and this is your default programming.”
“I know deep down what you really want, and I know you are willing to create space for it to arrive.”
“It’s ok to feel unsure…it’s ok to feel low self-worth right now…because I trust that your growth will bring you to a place of more love and more acceptance.”
“You are choosing to redefine your responses and create new belief patterns and behaviors, and this will take time.”
“I will patiently wait while you figure it out.”
“You’re right, there will always be others who judge you. And you will always have moments where you judge yourself…but that will eventually change and you will care less about what others think and more about what you think.”
The shift in my inner-dialogue wasn’t a jump from A-Z…it was a gently lean into the possibility that maybe…just maybe…there is space for love to grow in this barren area.
Ways I’ve practiced willingness:
1. Openness to see from a new perspective, to build new belief systems, and practice new behaviors, to create a new reality. All of this begins with staying open to new ways in which we can support and help ourselves. Willingness to loosen the grip on the thoughts and beliefs that we’ve been programmed to believe.
2. Shifting my inner dialogue was and is a daily practice. The mind is like a muscle and must be trained to respond in the most effective and transformative manner. Thinking the same thing leads to saying the same thing, which leads to believing the same thing, and acting upon the same thing, which in turn, leads to creating the same thing (reality).
3. Accepting who a I am and what I want, while leaving space for growth and change. Arguing with myself, judging myself, trying to ignore, deny, or change how I really feel in that moment, only creates more resistance and contradiction. Practicing patience and understanding that who I am right now can and will change, but in the meantime, I commit to loving THIS version of me.
4. Transformation through trust. Trusting that how I want to feel and what I want to believe about myself WILL catch up to me. I may not feel or believe x, y, and z about myself at this moment…but I trust that as I create a new way, I will catch up. It’s only a matter of time.
My focus was less on what I needed to immediately change about myself and more on how to practice love and understanding where I am right now. It wasn’t about ignoring, denying, or fighting with myself, but accepting everything about myself while leaving space for change…and trusting that change to come.
As I did this, changes occurred overtime. My demeanor toward myself became gentler, I gave myself more room for mistakes, I smiled at myself more, I seen my genuine effort to see myself differently, I thanked myself for making this effort and for never giving up, I promised to never abandon myself and made a commitment to joy, happiness, peace, and living the life I desire. I sent a hug to the girl in the mirror when she felt unworthy and incapable…I reminded her that she is doing fine and right on track. I sent love to the parts of my body that felt pain, and rather than judge my body for not doing or being enough, I thanked it for taking care of me the best way it could.
And when it came to my deepest desires, I began to write them down.
In the beginning, I couldn’t bring myself to say them aloud, so writing was my way of acknowledging and accepting them. After months of writing them, I then began reading them aloud. The sound of the words and phrases, together, reminded me of possibilities. It reminded me of my purpose and why I was here. It reminded me that it was not only OK to speak about my desires, but it was necessary in creating the life I envisioned for myself. It was necessary for my growth and the future impact I would make on others and the world.
When I release the shame and guilt for what I really want, I become open to opportunities and experiences that allow the arrival of what I want.
Guilt affects us on many levels: emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical. One of the greatest impacts of guilt is our unconscious self-sabotaging that prevents us from receiving, which we then see as “proof” or “validation” of our unworthiness.
And this cycle continues as we walk away without even questioning that maybe we do deserve what we want. Maybe we are worthy.
Today, I hope you stop to question. I hope you give yourself the love and understanding needed to transform...because you are WORTH it not because you earned it, but because it is precisely why you were created!
Sending my Love and Light.
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