…The Power of Muscle Memory
I was recently having a conversation with my oldest son about career choices and proven strategies on setting yourself apart from the masses when I realized the power of “muscle memory” and overcoming the fear of trying things again regardless of past performance. Although he is only 22 years old and still attending college, he has had a very successful work history. His first job was bussing tables at a local Italian restaurant.
I remember he would come home late at night talking about how much he hated life. The owner was a grouchy short-tempered Italian man who had little patience and loved yelling at everyone including the customers. His next job was selling sneakers for a chain store in one of the busiest malls in the United States; he was very successful there because he quickly realized that if he learned just a few terms in Portuguese he would have an advantage over his peers since the majority of the customers were foreigners from Brazil who spoke no English.
Needless to say, he won salesman of the month repeatedly.
The ability to recognize what strategies will help make you successful and not being afraid to try them again and again is key to success not only at work but also in life. In speaking with my son about his drive for success in all that he does and his belief in himself was contagious. Listening to him reminded me of a time in my life when I was fearless and believed I could do anything I set my mind to do as well.
I saw a glimpse of me in him and it made me smile. I also realized, how with age, we somehow become so cautious we end up “frozen” and afraid to move in any direction. Fear creeps into our lives and before we realize it, our precautions become muddy mixed in with so much fear you can’t even distinguish the difference. His inspirational talk and “can do” attitude reminded me of my old self from years past and it sparked something in me that got me going!
I thought about our conversation for a few days and about some things I had stopped doing that I enjoyed as a result of limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. I saw I had work to do!
You see, about a year ago, I had a slight injury to my neck along with some other personal challenges like a nasty divorce after 24 years of marriage (very draining), I found myself in a state I can best describe as “frozen”.
So after listening to the wise words of a 22 year old, I took out a pad of paper and pen and jotted a few notes about overcoming my own limiting beliefs and negative talk. It didn’t take long before I realized just how deep the power of muscle memory goes and the self-realization that I actually had the power all along.
You see, when I began teaching yoga years ago, a headstand was my worst enemy. I really thought I would never get it. I told myself things like, “My butte is too big,” or “I can’t breathe upside down.” I would say anything to not do it. I would panic!
Well, after much practice and determination, it eventually became one of my favorite poses. It was not uncommon for my kids to come home from school and find me inverted in the middle of the kitchen with the dogs surrounding me! So after jotting down some notes about our own limiting beliefs I realized how in doing so, we limit our potential.
Here are some of the notes, I hope you find them helpful:
1. Surround yourself with positive-thinking people.
My mom had a saying she would preach and although it may not apply here exactly, it still works for me. “Tell me who you surround yourself with and I will tell you who you are.” She was usually referring to the friends we would keep, but I really feel strongly that negative breeds negative and positive breeds positive. Clean house with your friends list if you must! Family is family, but set your boundaries clear and let it be known that you will not allow negative talk to surround you. Be firm about this. Period!
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