Last week I encountered two people saying virtually the same comment to me, a variation of "I'm not smart."
In their unique ways, they were announcing that they didn't feel intelligent or school wise. After each of these confessions, I found myself chafing against their words.
Because it wasn't true.
Both of these people are incredibly intelligent in a variety of ways. They have lead successful lives, run businesses, raised children, have life partners just to name a few accomplishments.
Why is it that they don't see what I see?
Because somewhere, probably a long time ago, likely in a classroom setting, they both were made to feel stupid, inadequate or lacking. And when this happened, they both independently latched onto these statements and chose to believe they were true.
That those negative words did indeed describe them.
Perhaps once, a long time ago, each of them wasn't ready to learn. Sometimes our brains don't develop at the regular trajectory because of a physical injury, emotional trauma or circumstantial crisis.
As I used to say all the time to parents, "when stress comes in the door, learning goes out the window."
Even for me as a young girl, I was bounced around to so many schools, I operated under a fair amount of stress which resulted in me feeling that I wasn't as "savvy" or able as some of my peer group. But that doesn't make me stupid.
When do we stop believing these limitations about ourselves that other people have put on us?
Like I said to one of these people last week:
"Its' time to drop this story. It's no longer true for you."
In a way, by clinging to the story, we give ourselves an excuse not to show up, try our best, be all in. It's like we have an instant out.
We justify it with thoughts or words like: "Well, you know I'm not that smart anyway. I'll never be able to retain all the information."
By the time we're adults, we have to recognize that the ONLY person limiting us is US.
We do this with what we believe is true for us.
When we can start to see that these old, outdated stories are not us, we can honor the growth we've made, the new awareness and knowledge we've attained and the people we are now.
This requires us to see ourselves through a new lens of success and capability, of greatness and beauty.
Is there a story you're telling yourself that's limiting you?
What are you ready to drop?
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