Updated: Mar 1
Written by: Marlena O´Donnell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In February, we celebrate Valentine’s day. If we are in a relationship, we give tokens of love and appreciation to our loved ones. We lavish our attention on others, and we don’t always apply the same level of appreciation, time, and effort to ourselves. But how can we grow, be more fulfilled, successful and impactful if we ignore who we are, what we are about, what value we bring to the world, and take actions to get what we want?
I invite you to consider how much more powerful and impactful you could be if you turn the attention to who you are and what you want to achieve, take steps to free yourself from self-perceived judgment, and turn the impossible into possible.
I am … is the most powerful statement in our language. I heard my clients say I am … “ugly,” “obese,” “incompetent,” “unmotivated,” “disabled,” “shy,” “unlucky,” “useless,” “powerless,” and so on.
If you define yourself through a label, you will view your world through the label’s limitations and take actions influenced by these limitations. One of my clients defined herself as “uneducated.” She would only apply for low-paid, unskilled jobs, would not join in conversations at social gatherings for fear of saying something that would show her lack of knowledge, and did not believe that anyone with a university degree would want to be her friend. Removing this label opened her horizon, and she is now doing a college course, changing her career, and has a new social life.
Take responsibility for your attitude and actions
It is very easy to put the blame for what is happening to us on others, on circumstances and fate. This may not be obvious, but we create our own experience of life. Our beliefs influence our actions, and our actions create the outcomes we get. We are not only responsible for our actions but also our attitude. Circumstances cannot influence our attitude - we have a choice.
Several years ago, two of my friends were diagnosed with terminal cancer. One of them was very depressed and found it incredibly difficult to accept it. She withdrew from her friends and family. The other friend decided to make the most of the time she had left by creating memories for her family: very similar circumstances, different approaches, different outcomes.
Put the spotlight on you
We want to fit in, be accepted, loved, appreciated, and valued. We don’t want to be judged harshly by others. We imagine that we can guess what others think about us and modify our behavior to fit in. But… it is impossible for us to know what others think or change their deeply rooted beliefs that influence their views. And even if it was possible, does it matter what other people think? Take the spotlight off from guessing what others may be thinking about you and shine the light on you and what you can achieve and offer to the world.
The most successful people do not limit their dreams. They do not compare their dreams to what others have achieved or limit their dreams to what is currently possible, what they are capable of, or what conditions have to be met. Their dreams break the boundaries of what is possible. They dream BIG.
I grew up in a small town in a communist country. There was no freedom of movement, and it wasn't easy to travel abroad. I had no money, no connections, nowhere to stay. This did not stop me from dreaming of coming over to the UK and study over here. I wrote over a hundred letters to scholarship-giving organizations, and eventually, I found myself on a coach traveling to the UK. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I am still here running my own successful business and having an amazing life. I dreamt big, and my dream turned out to be even bigger!
I did not limit my dream by having the answer to “how.” I did not know all the steps - I just took steps that were obvious to me, and as I went along, new steps became apparent.
You can do the same. Think big, and don’t be limited by knowing “how” you will get there.
Don’t wait for tomorrow
A lot of people wait for the right conditions to take place before they can pursue their dreams. I am sure that you have met a few people in your life who have told you - I will do this when I retire, when I get a promotion, when my kids leave home, when I have more money, when I pay off the mortgage, and so on. Your mind takes these excuses as your wish - “you don’t want this, so I won’t help you get it.”
But you can change this. You have the power to create what you want in your life, so don’t allow your thoughts to limit you. Why would you want to delay having a wonderful and fulfilling life? Start turning your dreams into reality today, not tomorrow. Make it your mission to do at least one thing every day to get you closer to your dream. Keep going even if you falter. You always have a reset button available to you, and you can always take action now.
You could choose to live within your self-constructed limitations. Or you could choose to live a life of freedom from self-judgment and perceived judgment of others and freedom to create what you want. Limitations or power, impact, and achievement? I know what I’d rather choose!
Marlena O’Donnell, Executive Contributor, Brainz Magazine
Marlena O’Donnell is a certified life coach, mentor, and motivational speaker specializing in freeing her clients from beliefs that are not serving them well. Marlena has successfully helped many people gain an unwavering belief in themselves, confidence, motivation, and courage to go after what they want in life through individual and group coaching, mentoring, and workshops. Marlena has personal experience of overcoming significant challenges in life and succeeding against all odds. This, combined with her thorough understanding of both business matters and personal issues, puts her in a unique position to help her clients successfully navigate their way through difficulties they face in all areas of life and achieve “the unachievable.” As a motivational speaker, Marlena inspires others to make powerful and lasting changes in their life. She has been a keynote speaker at business events, online conferences, and summits.