Imagine being told that in order to drive a car, you just have to press the gas. You turn 10 (I'm from the country lol), you get behind the wheel and you press the gas and the car only makes a sound. You continue to press the gas and nothing happens. And out of frustration, you get out the car and says it doesn't work. You didn't ask for assistance, you just decided that what you'd been told didn't work. Fast forward to your adult life, you now know how to operate a car and you laugh at the thought that you were silly enough to believe that it only took you pressing the gas to make a car work. You had to unlearn what you were told and start to learn for yourself how a car actually works and apply it to your situation. If you continued to go by what you were told and never adjusted your thinking, you'd never drive and consequently not be able to move as freely as someone who adjusted their thinking and learned to drive.
As a child, I remember hearing adults say, "I'm not telling you what I heard, I'm telling you what I know." This simply meant that they've had a personal experience and their understanding is now different. This is also one of those phrases that I'm sure I brushed off as a child and not FULLY understand the impact of it because what did they know about my life lol. Ohhhhhh but NOW!!!!!
My journey in life has been a series of what I thought and what was actually reality. It's been a bit of a harsh reality check, because this can't be the adulting and living I saw my folks making look fun and effortless. Based on my experience, it's quite ghetto and a lot of days I'd like to throw this hand in and get a new one! Because this wasn't in my 3, 5, or 10 year plan! I've had to come back to the drawing board many times and rework the plan, change the timeline, or even decide to walk away (that one usually involved some negotiations with God and many tears and questions lol). Because I've had to do those things, it has made me examine the limits and rules I place on myself. I started asking were they placed on me because someone else told me this is how something should be, were they in place because I was afraid I wouldn't succeed, or were they in place because I just didn't want to commit to the work that was required to get the end result I wanted. It was then I had an AHA moment. This is when I decided I was going to start learning to unlearn!
I'm a firm believer that when God wants you to elevate, He will send someone to challenge you. I started a new job in 2021, I was blessed to have someone who saw things in me that she refused to let my gifts and talents lie dormant. Let me be VERY clear, I look at her like she's crazy most days and she does not let up *insert eye roll*. One day she asked me what keeps you from being your full self? I said I didn't know. And that was my homework: figure out what keeps me from truly executing and figure out where the imaginary boundaries come from. I started thinking about it and the more I thought about it, it was based on what other people had told me. Now, don't think I came to this conclusion early or easy! It was like peeling onion layers, there were even tears.
What did the unlearning process look like, you ask?!?! It started with asking myself those hard questions of why I struggled to embrace the good things inside of me and harped on my negatives. Once I started to recognize those areas, I remembered Proverbs 18:21. I started affirming myself and praying that I could see me how He sees me! The Bible legit says in Isaiah 43:4 that God will risk it ALL for me (my translation), and if He is willing to bet the house on me, why am I not willing to. So, I decided from here on, I will bet the house on me EVERYTIME!
Now, while I gave a work example, the reality is that this spoke to me because it has plagued me in my real life. I've wanted to walk the tight rope and do and believe what everyone says is the truth when in reality, sometimes advice was given to me from a place of fear, rejection, or just ignorance of not knowing. So, I let someone else's story define mine. This can translate to grief, love, school, work, religion, or whatever else. Life is meant for us to have our own experiences. Yes, people will give us advice but we shouldn't use that advice as the end-all and be-all. We should simply let it be a tool to help us figure out the different options.
IN CLOSING! lol. Seriously, a lot of times we get caught up in what we are told and can lose ourselves in that vicious cycle. It's time to put that to an end. It's time to unlearn all of the things that have held you in your imaginary box and told you that you couldn't heal, you couldn't succeed, or you couldn't prosper! Unlearn the habit of self-sabotage, you have way more in you than you even know! So when you start to doubt or think about the box someone tries to put you in, remember that there is someone willing to put everything on you because He knows what He put in you! Let's use this year to bet on ourselves! We deserve to see what we are truly capable of!