Marwa dropped to her knees. “Please no… God, please, no…” Her slender fingers fumbled with the broken remains of the one pair of glasses she’d worn since her father passed away five years ago.
“No, no, no!” she cried, as the pieces of her red-framed glasses refused to fit back together. The lenses were cracked, the hinges were broken, and the frames that once sat so comfortably on her face were bent at odd angles.
Angry tears shot down her cheeks as Marwa rocked back and forth. She could still function without her glasses, but there was the stab of truth that her father could never buy her another pair.
The next morning, Marwa’s fingers hit an empty spot on her bedside table, and fresh anger simmered in her throat at the reminder that she’d be without glasses for a week. When she finally went to collect her new pair of glasses, they were different from her old pair.
“I think there’s been a mistake,” she complained. “These aren’t the same as my previous pair.”
“Yes,” he nodded, smiling. “These are a new brand. They’re called ‘Anything’s Possible’.”
Marwa put them on, stepped out of the optician’s office and stopped. There was a flood of light all around her. “Since when was the sun so bright in mid-November?” she muttered.
The strangeness continued throughout the week — colours were vivid, the wind’s breeze had a tinge of warmth, and she could’ve sworn the neighbourhood grouch had far fewer lines etched on her forehead as she went on her ritual round to buy milk in the morning. Marwa found the corners of her lips curling up at the edges, and felt a tingle in her stomach, fingers, and toes. ‘This must be what it’s like when anything’s possible,’ she thought.
You have lenses, too
Just like Marwa, every morning, we wake up with a set of lenses through which we view the world. We go about our days and nights with these lenses that determine what we see, feel, and think is right or wrong, what’s possible or impossible, and what we should and shouldn’t do. These lenses shape our perception of reality and feed into our actions, and ultimately impact the results we see in our lives.
These lenses are our beliefs. They’re what we believe to be true about ourselves, about other people, and about the world at large. They are part of the mental map we use to navigate through life, and they can switch on possibilities and our ability to recognise them, or close doors to opportunities due to our narrowed and restricted sight.
How your beliefs show up
Right up until this very point in time, you’ve been living with beliefs you’re completely unaware of, yet they result in the thoughts you have, the choices you make, and the way you show up in the world. You have empowering beliefs that enrich you, and limiting beliefs that impoverish and disempower you — those are a problem.
‘I’m too old to…’
‘I don’t have time to…’
‘I can never…’
‘I can’t… because…’
‘I’m not good enough…’
‘This is just how I am…’
‘I’d love to… but…’
I’m sure you had pings of recognition as you read some of the many ways you’ve expressed limiting beliefs internally and externally; and I’m sure you can see how they show up in everyday conversations. They come out flippantly, without any thought. The reason why you might not have ever questioned these thoughts and phrases is because they feel true to you, and you didn’t recognise they’re posing a problem in your life.
You didn’t realise that by saying you don’t have time to do something, you stopped yourself from exploring possibilities. Or by saying you can never be something, you never allowed yourself to take the very first step to be that woman.
It was when Marwa’s lenses shattered that she finally saw life differently and when her behaviour changed. She’d become so accustomed to her ‘I can’t…’ glasses that the new pair of ‘anything’s possible’ seemed strange.
Time to get honest
As you’re reading this, consider what you’ve become accustomed to feeling, saying, and doing, that your heart knows could change. What have you been telling yourself you can’t do? What have you been telling yourself you’ll never achieve? What thoughts and feelings have you been clinging onto that have felt comfortable and safe, yet you know don’t serve you and your purpose?
These questions might make you feel a tinge of discomfort, and that’s okay. I invite you to lean into that discomfort because that’s your body’s way of letting you know that something does need to change within you that’ll have a positive impact on your life. That’s your unconscious mind asking you to pay attention, to get curious, and start exploring what’s going on. It’s your heart’s way of telling you, ‘You can do things differently’.
And you can.