As a small child I remember being convinced that I could fly. I could imagine so clearly what it would feel like, it was as if I had done it before. We had a driveway with quite a steep gradient which had a retaining wall. The wall started off tiny and got bigger towards the bottom of the driveway, and I used to practise jumping off the wall with my arms outstretched, first at the small end, taking bigger leaps each time. I have a memory of asking my sister, following a jump from the highest bit and a subsequent crash landing on the tarmac with grazed knees:
“But did you see me fly?”
As we grow up and we are taught by well-meaning parents, teachers and others, this blind faith in our own ability becomes a little less reliable. We are told to be careful; to hold someone’s hand and we learn to rely more and more on people who are more experienced than us, until we no longer trust that we are able to do things on our own.
The next minute we are expected to be independent, fend for ourselves and to go on and be useful members of society. It’s no wonder so many young people suffer from anxiety!
As a horse riding coach with 25 years experience, I learned early on that I had an enormous responsibility to my pupils to ensure they did not become overly dependent on me. My job on the ground whilst teaching was to guide them and give them the skills to be able to ride the horse or pony for themselves. It didn’t help if the rider only thought they were able to do what they were doing if I was there standing in the arena with them.
I’ve always likened this to Disney’s famous flying elephant Dumbo and his feather.
When you’re learning to do anthing, there are always going to be moments when you are getting it right, and moments when you are getting it wrong. This is the essential feedback you need in order to stay on track to meet your desired goal. The minute you believe you can do it – you can do it!
Having some sort of Dumbo feather to give you the confidence whilst you’re learning is fine, but as long as you are reliant on something/someone other than yourself, you are in a vulnerable state.
True freedom comes from letting go of the belief that you need something or someone to be able to fly. Have the confidence of a child that has so much courage in their convictions that they will attempt something that has never been done purely because in their heart they think they can.
I see so many people held back by stories that they tell themselves and others, about how they will never be able to do/have/be a plethora of things. These stories are then given so much more power than they deserve, as each time they are told, they become more cemented in the narrator’s mind, until they are perceived to be the absolute truth.
Ultimately we live our lives according to our mindset. For some, that means they live a life of struggle and lack, as they believe that is how life is for them. There are people living with this mindset on the street with nothing but the clothes on their backs, but there are also people living with roofs over their heads, jobs and food on the table every evening, who are equally plagued by feelings of hardship.
And it’s not all about the money either. Many individuals are plagued by visions of ill health long before the cells in their bodies have been anything less than perfect. You can bring something on yourself by just thinking about it if you focus on it enough. That is a scary thought if you are looking at it through the eyes of a person who hasn’t yet awoken to the fact that it is not the feather that makes the elephant fly.
Equally, there have been countless cases of people who have managed to cure themselves of all sorts of dread diseases and ills without the use of modern medicine, simply because they have chosen to rewrite their story to have a happy, healthy ending, rather than the one that had been suggested to them otherwise.
Now I am not saying that we can do away with modern medicine because we can just “think ourselves well”, but I do want you to be more mindful over how what you say and what you think can influence what you feel.
What you see every day has to be congruent with what you believe, otherwise you would be in a state of constant confusion. That’s why glass half full kind of people (like me) tend to see the best in a situation, or look for the positives because it aligns with how we view the world. Naturally, the world mirrors that back to us because those things resonate on the same frequency as us. It drowns out the negativity, to the point that you know it’s there, but you forget about it as it has no use to you.
Conversely the glass half empty person will constantly be presented with further evidence of how things can go wrong, as that is how they have chosen to view their world.
We all live in the same world! It is just how we perceive it that makes it different.
Being able to fly is not about holding that one feather; holding onto that one thing you think can do the job for you: it’s about spreading the wings that were on your back all along and having the courage to take the leap into the unknown.
Try it. Who knows where you might be able to fly to.