Dear Ones —

A friend of this page named Amanda asked me this morning if I could speak to the question of how to stay out of your own way, when it comes to pursuing success.

And I thought, "Gee, I've never sabotaged myself at all, so I'm not sure I can speak to this…"



For me, it comes down to entitlement — which is a word that is generally only ever used in negative connotations, but which needs to be appropriated here and put to good use.

Do you believe in your core that you are entitled to do well in life? Entitled to create? Entitled to try to manifest your dreams? Entitled to take up every inch of space that your talents require in order to come into being? Entitled to be satisfied with yourself when you succeed? Entitled to want to do even better next time? Entitled to perhaps surpass people's expectations of you? Or even entitled to surpass your own family's levels (and definitions) of success? (WHOOPS, that kind of makes your stomach flip over a bit in fear, right? Because: "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, BETTER THAN US?")

I think what holds us back — what has held me back at times — is lack of trust.

When I sabotage my own path, it's because I don't trust my own inner navigator, or because I'm remaining loyal to outdated ideas of myself (or, worse, because I'm trying to remain loyal to other people by forcing myself to stay at their level — a crookedly "compassionate" plan that has never done anything but backfire horribly, by the way.)

But if I trust that my inspiration and ambition were hard-wired into me for a reason, then it becomes easier for me to cooperate with my dreams. I think, "The universe didn't put all this stuff within me so that it could lie dormant." If the universe didn't want me to be a writer, it shouldn't have made me one. I am composed of a particular combination of ingredients that all want the same thing — to be a storyteller. What right do I have to stand in the way of that, just because my own evolution sometimes makes my ego nervous?

When you look at it that way (that you were created by a divine source, which hardwired talents and gifts and dreams into you for a reason) then self-sabotage suddenly seems to be a kind of blasphemy — a desecration.

Which is, I think, what the Gospel of St. Thomas means, with this line: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don't bring forth what is within you, what you don't bring forth will destroy you."

Bring your talents forth. They really want to see the light of day. And we want your talents to see the light of day. Amanda, we really need for you to do the things which only you can do. (Because nobody else can do those things in quite the same manner.) That's what you're here for. And if you bring forth what is remarkable within yourself, you will inspire and empower others to do the same, which will make our broken world a better place.

Think of pursuing your dreams, therefore, as both a form of prayer and a community service.

And yes, get out of your own way!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall