It’s a commonly held belief that a goldfish’s growth is limited by the container that holds it. If left to swim freely in say, a large tank or a pond (with proper care, of course), it can grow as large as 10 to 12 inches in length. Pretty impressive!
If you’re like I was after my divorce, you might be starting to realize that you too have been swimming in a very small bowl and maybe for a very long time. Perhaps there was a list of things you always wanted to accomplish but put them off for one reason or another.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s too late to follow your dreams, or you’re too old (never!), or even worse, it’s impossible. Wrong on all counts!
What’s going on here is that we create the container that eventually holds us and stifles our inexorable growth.
Our thoughts and beliefs operate the same way as a fish bowl: Keeping us stuck and small as we swim around aimlessly and while bumping up against that damn glass. Ouch!
The same way that a small bowl and poor water quality stunts the goldfish growth, our limiting beliefs and negative thoughts can impede our potential for greatness.
So where in your life are you currently playing small? Are you holding on to ideas, beliefs, or opinions that you’ve taken on from others? Time to drop those limiting beliefs like they’re hot.
Look inside of yourself and decide what kind of experiences you want to have. If going from fishbowl to vast ocean is too big of a leap for you to make, then ease into the next size up. Besides, a slow gradual progression to your dream life has a better chance of sticking because it will seem like the next logical step.
If you don’t have a journal, I highly recommend you get one and start making a list of all those things you’ve always wanted to do or experience. Some things on your list might be scary, but that’s okay. Have fun with it and let yourself dream a bigger dream.
Start by dipping your toes into the water. If you dream of writing a NYT bestseller, perhaps you can start by writing a blog. Want to do a Ted Talks one day, join your local Toastmasters.
This is your call to action. Decide today that you will expand your life and go up a size to accommodate your new big dream. Make sure to give yourself ample room to grow and have fun along the way.
If and when the new life you’re swimming in starts to feel too small, take a running leap, and cannonball it to your next adventure!