I’m always afraid that my best work is behind me. This is the fear that holds me back more than any other, the subconscious belief that keeps me tethered to a life of scarcity.
There is a part of me that always fears there isn’t enough. I’m not enough. My work isn’t enough. There isn’t enough goodness to go around. There aren’t enough opportunities. There isn’t enough talent. I have a limited amount of potential and one day I’ll run out.
I remember being a little girl and every time I’d hear a song on the radio or see a new movie in the theater, I’d think to myself how overwhelming it must feel to be an artist. I’d think how daunted the screenwriters and the musicians must feel because hasn’t everything already been sung about? Written about? Hasn’t everything worth creating already been created?
This world is billions of years old—how could there be anything left?
So I decided I’d choose math and science over the humanities. I’d choose studying the work of others over creating my own. Being a consumer over being a producer. A life of safety and certainty. A field where I’d always have a job.
Surely it would be easier, I thought, if my future didn’t depend on my own ability to create newness.
How could we all be successful? How could there always be enough to go around? How could the well never run out?
How could we possibly create something that someone hasn’t already done better?
We’re taught about limited resources, here in the United States, from the time of elementary school. How we can’t use too much gas or coal or water because one day the supply will run out. It is important that we learn these things so that we mature into environmentally conscious adults. But I don’t believe we’re ever taught about the unlimited resources that exist within our soul. The talent doesn’t run out. The inspiration doesn’t run out. The opportunities don’t run out. The ideas don’t run out.
The goodness never runs out.
And so, we grow up into scared adults, running around this world in fear, living from a place of scarcity, and we never bring forth our brilliance simply because we don’t believe it exists. Someone once told me that fearful people are jealous, possessive and controlling. Our world is filled with people who tear down the success of others, with control-freaks, with criminals, with people driven by greed, with people who hurt other people.
These people are not evil. They are afraid. They know only of limited resources. No one ever taught them that success, wealth, potential, love, talent, inspiration, kindness and opportunity are not among them.
So, how do we liberate ourselves from this self-created oppression? By unearthing our limiting beliefs and continuously working to let them go. Taking the first step requires only that we cozy up to our subconscious and call ourselves on the assumptions that hold us back—and then, of course, that we be open to seeing things a different way.
Author: Jessica Johnson
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: author’s own