About a year and a half ago I decided to start taking my own advice and step outside of my comfort zone. I auditioned to become a cycling instructor at a new studio opening up in Nashville. By the way, I had zero experience with any fitness instructing and probably had taken all of 25 cycling classes ever in my life. I remember quite perfectly when I got the post audition e-mail. I was in a meeting and glanced at it briefly. I can recall feeling a sweeping rush of heat and sadness run over my body, passing slowly but quickly at the same time. I was not chosen.
As a therapist who began her career working with addictions I have come very close and fond to the idea of powerlessness and letting go of what we cannot control and what we cannot change. However, I also believe that just because your circumstance are challenging or you do not like something does not mean you have to succumb to the depths of negativity, cultivate anger and resentments, or just quit.
There is this thing in the psychology world called a “Self fulfilling prophecy.” This is a fancy term that basically means we create a lot of what we experience. According to Wikipedia a self fulfilling prophecy is a “prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” And yes, I did cite wikipedia because I really liked their definition. 🙂
If we believe something is going to happen it is more likely to happen.
If I believe I can run a mile without stopping, I’m likely to do this.
If we believe something is not going to happen it is more likely not to happen.
If I believe no one will ever love me I am likely to not find relationships with people who love me.
Sadly, a lot of times, self-fulfilling prophecies are highlighted in our negative beliefs- like the second example above. These are usually paired with self-sabotage. In this instance, we prove to ourselves our negative beliefs about who we are and what we can do to be true. These are very different from our powerlessness over the world and our higher powers. If I believe I will fail at all relationships and no one can love me- I will be more likely to push people away. If I believe I cannot run a mile without stopping I will probably stop and walk or just give up when it becomes uncomfortable and challenging.
This phenomenon of self fulfilling prophecies paired with self sabotage is why owning our power in what we can control is so important. If I would have succumbed to the fact that someone somewhere didn’t see my potential and didn’t want me to teach at their studio I would have written a story with the wrong ending.
I had power in what I did with the news I got that day. I could have become angry and resentful, I could have said “oh I guess God doesn’t want me to be an instructor,” or I could have cultivated some perseverance for something that I really wanted. I ended up auditioning for another studio just a couple weeks later and now I teach about 6 classes every week for them. This is largely due to the positive belief I have in myself over accomplishing the things that I want and I believe God wants in my life.
The truth is we all have a lot of power. We have the power of choosing to have faith and persistence or choosing to hold onto our fear and extinguish our fires.
I want to challenge every person who reads this to identify what is important in their lives, what are the things that you yearn for, dream about, and desire to have. Start believing that you do have some control in making those dreams reality- it may not be easy, and it may not look like you want it to, you might have to go to more than one audition or you may have to experience pain and rejection to find joy and love- but you do not have to give up the power you have over your own life.
Do not let go of your yes because someone once said no.