What is holding you back?
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 19 Jul 2014 01:16
from my book The Nomad Family:
What is holding us back?
A three-year-old child setting off downhill, ideally asphalt with some gravel on the top. The three year old experiences freedom, speed and a life full of possibilities. Suddenly the ground looses the grip and the earth comes up and hits the child in the face and the knees are a mess of blood and dirt. You blow to take away the pain, you clean the wounds and you can’t hold back “I told you! Be careful!”
The message is clear and we have that parent with us the rest of our lives. If you take any risk you are in for some pain. Stay safe, stay away from risks.
There is an Australian research saying that between the ages of zero to 18 we get about 150.000 negative messages. If you think that it does not sound like much, the average is more than 20 messages per day.
Take a minute and try to remember how many and which positive messages you remember from your childhood.
You are most likely programmed to stay down, to take it easy and stay away from things outside your comfort zone.
Like overweight or any other problems we might experience, the wishful thinking about being different does not help. If we all did what we wished in life we would live a different life, wouldn’t we? So what is holding us back? Money? Time? Well that is all resources and they will always be short, we could always have more. So it might be more about resourcefulness? Obviously you will find people with the worse background accomplish amazing things and others who had just everything from the day they were born and still have not accomplished anything.
What is the secret to get away? Just do it? Well then it would work on anything. Just wanting it? Well then we would all be rich.
I think that even after leaving I was not under way for another year. I kept calling the force Luther. In Sweden we have a saying that Luther is on your shoulder, watching that you are working hard. Luther is the boss that will follow you and make you feel bad if you are not giving your best. Even 8 months into the journey I complained about Luther haunting me.
I have been so well programmed to work and work hard that it was difficult to take in that I could just relax and take it all in.
I think the programming we get with the 150.000 sentences the first 18 years works well. It makes us do the same thing over and over even when we know it would be better for us to do it differently. If we are told we are clumsy we will act upon it and as the years go by every time we drop something we take it as a proof that it is right.
We add to it, as we get older with things like I cannot take a step without a cop of coffee in the morning.
All these things increase and make it really hard to break the circle we live in and take off. There will always be excuses and no matter what I write here, if you are not mentally prepared to challenge your basic programming you will not make it. You will always have excuses to not making it. The excuses might be right but they are priorities like everything else. Once I met a woman that said she wished she could play the guitar. My question was what was holding her back. She started to give me all the reasons, kids had to go to ice hockey, her husband had to go here and there, the dog needed company you name it. So it is absolutely no way you could get two hours off to play? was my question, and yes that was the case she replied. So my following question was harsh I admit, I was younger then (if that is an excuse), if you were diagnosed with cancer then I guess you could not have any treatment then?
She looked at me, astonished and replied of course, if I had to!
What I was getting at is that it is all priorities; time, money, relations etc.
If you choose not to go anywhere because you do not want to, well that is another thing, but then I guess you would read another book, I hope…
Here I’m trying to provoke your programming, your excuses and your priorities.
This is not a self-help book in how to reach new goals like loosing weight or quit smoking, but if it were, I would stay away from it. Most self-help books will not help anybody but for a short time at the best. The reason being the most basic things of all, the programming done to you and the forces society has on us.
The programming gives itself in form of self-talk, your inner voice that tells you who you are. Like a computer is programmed to make a task, your brain is programmed by good and bad influences. Worse to know is that like a computer the brain does not know what is bad or good for you. It takes it all in and uses it to survive. I was told early on that I was fat and that I should eat less. Why did it not work? Because the word I’m fat stuck and the brain has that as a picture to work with. When I say to myself that I should not eat this, the brain finishes the sentence with because you are fat.
This voice can be heard or work in the background. If you get on a boat and sail off it will most probably get louder and visible. When there are no longer distractions like a city full of messages or the telly, radio, phone, emails or just people; the inner voice gets louder and gives itself away.
This might be seen as an opportunity or as something to fear. You choose.
The good news is that your brain is not programmed in a rock. Neuro Plasticism is the word used today. Research done to cure stroke and other brain related problems has found that the programming done in the brain is going on as long as we breath.
This means that if you are standing back or not getting where you want, there is a chance to change your programming so you will reach your goal. The problem with most self help books is that they are dealing with the symptom, not the cause.
As you start thinking about sailing away, your brain will not do anything for you until you tell it to. It might start with some inspiration from a book or an article. The first question shows sign of self talk, maybe we should try to get away.
That self talk is of course more productive than we will never make it, we have no money, we have no knowledge, we have no boat etc.
As you ask yourself maybe we should get out of the conveyor belt, your brain is starting to look for signs that might confirm a future decision.
Next step is that you tell your brain We are going to take off!
Now your “computer” is making a folder that will store all information and you will find it amazing how focused your brain can be once it has a goal to work for.
Next step is to try your idea on your family and friends. The worse you can do with a new idea is to bring it forward to someone who will put it down. Choose your first loud messages on someone that you know will support you. As you speak up your brain is preparing a path and will eventually start to help you getting there. Remember 90% of your brain is working unconsciously, this means it will work with you if you set up as many details as possible.
The more specific you get about the upcoming journey the better is the chance you will get there.
We will sail off the 15 of June 2012, aiming to sail around the world.
That is a very clear order and you will find that is the hardest part of the job, the decision.
The more you visualize the upcoming adventure, the better, the more you fill your programming with emotions the harder will you work to get there. The simple explanation is that things you remember are the emotional ones. Right?
Try to remember something that made you angry, see how you can visualize the whole event? The reason is that the brain makes the paths deeper when emotion is involved. The reason is survival, but we will not get into that now. Emotion is a strong motivator and if you can fill your goal with positive emotions you will find yourself there.