So many of us set out to change the world, and find yourself roadblocked at the corner of “impossible” and “never been done before.” We allow input from society, our family, our peers and the media to dictate what is or isn’t achievable and what our limitations are.
It’s easy to forget, but our world has been built by people who refused to acknowledge the impossible, who pushed past societal standards and created once-unimaginable systems, infrastructures, necessities and conveniences that never would have existed had they not tried something “crazy,” inconvenient or challenging.
Here are some mantras that help me, and my clients, work through barriers and find happiness, success and love that once seemed unattainable:
1. I can do anything exactly as I am.
For years, my “if only” was hinged on my weight. I believed until I was 130 pounds and a size 4, I just couldn’t have my dream job, be in a fulfilling relationship or truly love myself. My own beliefs about what I didn’t deserve because of my weight became a crutch and an excuse I used every time I failed, was rejected or didn’t get what I wanted — even when it had NOTHING to do with my weight.
I ultimately decided my weight only had power over me and my life because I allowed it to. I started telling myself every day that I could do anything exactly as I was, at that moment. Your weight, your income, your past choices, your level of experience are not the things holding you back; your insecurities about them are. You can do anything exactly as you are.
2. I’m allowed to want what I want.
Just because what you want might be different from what you think the world wants for you, doesn’t discount the value or your own ambitions or the possibility that they’re actually achievable. Want what you want, and work your butt off for it. Otherwise, you’ll spend the rest of your life working your butt off for what someone else wants.
3. My actions are based on purpose and happiness.
I’ve worked at soul-sucking jobs because of the benefits and salary. I’ve been in relationships because someone else said it fit me really well. I’ve done workouts a magazine swore would reduce my cellulite by 300%. And not shockingly, none of these things have brought me closer to my purpose, or filled me with happiness.
Live your life based on who you are, and what brings you joy. Focus on moving toward those every day, and success will not only follow, but it will be redefined by how lit up you feel and how impactful you are, rather than how much stuff you accumulate and how big your bank account is.
4. Life is easy.
I sat at the dinner table with some extended family not too long ago, and one of my family members said something that made me cringe: "Life is hard." We all hear it at some point. But the truth is that life isn’t supposed to be hard. Circumstances, of course, can be challenging. But life is supposed to be really wonderful.
This is not to say that some challenges can feel crippling, debilitating and nearly impossible to overcome. But these challenges should be the exception and not the rule. It should be easy to wake up in the morning and go to work — not because your job is perfect, or simple, but because it’s what you want to be doing and waking up to do it is exciting, fulfilling and engaging. It should be easy to love your partner — not because they’re amazing all the time, but because they make you better, raise your bar and expand your life. It should be easy to take of your body, your finances, and your life — not because it’s always glamorous or fun, but because you value it. Love your life, and life is easy. Period.
5. I’m stronger than I think.
When I found CrossFit, this mantra became a part of my daily routine, and it transformed me both physically and emotionally. I would look at something in my workout that seemed impossible, and through heaving breaths and an impossibly fast heart rate, I would shatter what moments ago I had set as limitations for myself. I raised my own bar.
Doing that in the gym inevitably translated into raising my bar in my career, my personal life and beyond. While you shouldn’t strive to be reckless, putting yourself in situations where you feel powerless is an opportunity to prove to yourself that you’re not, and in fact, you’re much stronger than you think.
6. Success is inevitable.
"I just don’t see how it could fail." With every idea, dream or action plan that crosses your mind, say those words out loud. We have the choice to see opportunity or barricades in almost every situation. Every idea, realistically, is a great one. If you put your faith, your energy and your hard work into any idea, it can be a success. Choose to see success as the only possible outcome. Before you know it, you will find that success is not only possible, but is inevitable.