Funny isn’t it how much we believe and take as fact much of what we’re told when we’re young? I grew up with the words of my English teacher resonating in my head. I remember as if it were yesterday the sheer humiliation I felt at 12 as my teacher slammed down my exercise book onto the desk in front of the whole class. How is it she said that I shone in French, Latin and Welsh…but that in English I showed “absolutely no imagination.” How those words stung. Little did I know then that what we focus our thoughts on, those things we spend our life thinking about become our reality. You see I went on to agree with and fulfil that teacher’s belief of me. That belief that I lacked the right words, the right imagination, in my native language led to some catastrophic failures in my English classes in school—even as I passed every other subject with flying colours.
Fast forward 30 years to a coach training course in London. It came at a time in my life when I felt timid and found myself wrestling with insecurity…I’d had a tough few years and felt very much like the 12 year old me in front of my English teacher.
And yet, this image is not one that others saw in me. “Are you a writer?”I was asked again and
again. Was I an author? A journalist?
“Oh, no,” I replied. “You see I can’t write. Good lord, no! I’ve never even kept a diary.”.
In spite of my objections, the people I met through my coaching experiences kept making observations like…
You always seem to have just the right words to say,
You sum things up eloquently and succinctly.
Why was it, then, that I’d never seen myself as one who creates with words?
And just like that I banished the words of my old teacher (who was probably only having a bad day) my new career began.
I write to make sense of the past and to create my future. I write to give courage to others and to entertain. I write to make fun of myself and to inspire others. And yes, I’m scared of being judged, laughed at, shouted at and criticised every time I press ‘Publish’ on my blog.
But I do it anyway.
So how is that story a metaphor for your life?
I’m wondering what old beliefs still run your life?
What did you grow up believing that no longer serves you?
When will you decide to banish old stories from your past and live the second half of your life on your terms?
What do others see in you that you fail to see or choose not to see?