As a kid I remember being told I could be whatever I wanted to be. A teacher, an astronaut, a painter, a vet, etc. We still tell our kids they can do and be whatever they want. We encourage them to try, to work hard, to find their passions, and to learn. At some point, we stopped taking our own advice. It almost feels like once you’re an adult, you are pretty much the person you’re going to be.
I think that’s false.
One of the most empowering things I’ve learned in my years growing my business and living as a single mom is that identity is malleable. And that doesn’t only apply to a career, it applies to everything. We all have the power to be whatever we want to be. Isn’t that kind of amazing?
None of us Know What We are Doing
If you’ve been following me on social media, you may have seen that I took on a project this weekend to rip out some of my grass and expand my garden. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m so excited about it! But listen, I didn’t know how the hell to do it. But, guess what? I just did it. I researched it, I planned it out, I rented the equipment, and I ran into some issues. But, I called people and learned through trial and error. Before this I wasn’t a person who could remove their own grass and use a sod cutter. But guess what? Now I am.
I have so many examples of how my identity has been malleable. I post about gardening, fishing, backpacking, running my own business, or even losing weight after my pregnancies and I get the same responses, “Wow, Natalie, you’re so amazing!” But the only difference between me and someone else is that I pushed through that wall. That wall that says, “I’m not a person who does that,” and turned myself into someone who was. None of us know what we are doing! You’re not alone in that! You can either choose to stay someone who doesn’t hike, or you can buy some boots, research some trails, and get out there and become a hiker!
When I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail years ago, I literally walked into an REI, asked the people there what I needed, and went and frickin’ hiked the Appalachian Trail! I wanted to learn how to garden, so I learned how, now it’s one of my favorite hobbies. It can be intimidating to try something new when everyone else seems to just know how to do it, but we were all clueless until we weren’t.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
Nothing I’ve ever done has been an overnight process. Grasping onto the idea that I really could be whatever I wanted wasn’t an overnight process, either. I’ve been afraid through each new thing I’ve done. It took me a long time before I decided to push past that fear. Soon I learned to feed off of the fear, because that meant I was doing something new and exciting. I was challenging myself.
Now think, what is the person you’ve always wanted to be? Have you always wanted to play guitar, volunteer, run for a public office, camp on your own, start your own business, write a book, or travel out of the country? You can literally be any of these things! Sure, it’s scary, but that just means you’re doing something right. You’re doing something new and challenging. It may take a while before you can push past the wall telling yourself you aren’t that person, but be patient, make plans, and get yourself there! It’s literally within your power!
When did we forget we could be whatever we wanted to be? Probably sometime between bills, kids, work, stress, and life in general. It probably has a bit to do with insecurity and making comparisons. But listen, it’s still true. You can still be whatever you want to be.
Cheesy? Maybe. But it’s true!
What would you be if you really believed you could be any person you wanted to be?