I remember meeting up with an old ex-boyfriend partway through walking the length of New Zealand and he said the weirdest thing…
“Where did this adventurousness come from? You weren’t into the outdoors or adventure when we were going out.”
In other words he hadn’t pegged me as someone who liked climbing mountains in my spare time.
It’s a fair enough conclusion for him to make – I was all about work and partying when we got together. I’d rather the inside of a restaurant than outdoors in nature. I’d never climbed a mountain.
But I wanted to.
There was a big one nearby to the town where we lived. It played on my mind a lot but I never did anything about it because…
I thought I’m not that sort of person.
I’m not the sort of person to climb mountains. I’m more academic than outdoorsy. I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway because it’s just not me.
I put myself in a box and closed the lid.
And because I put myself in a box, he did too.
I believed I wasn’t an adventurous outdoorsy person and that held me back.
Until I decided that what I thought about myself was just a label and didn’t define who I actually was or what I was capable of.
It’s a belief system that’s held me back before.
I’m not the sort of person to be good at networking – I’m too introverted.
I’m not the sort of person to start a business – I’m not business minded.
I’ve even spent the vast majority of my journalism career telling myself I’m not the sort of person to be a “proper journalist” (whatever that actually is) because I’m not hard-nosed enough.
Can you relate?
All this does is put limitations on ourselves and our greatness.
We are stronger, more capable and more awesome than we realise.
And we can climb mountains and achieve seemingly impossible dreams if only we push down the sides of the box that we put ourselves in.
Deep down you are that person you want to be. At the moment you are just choosing to believe you’re not.