We all have an inner critic.  That voice that says “you’re not [fill in the blank – smart/young/fit] enough” and “you can’t possibly do X.”  Sometimes the critic is a soft whisper.  Other times it’s the cacophonous beat of a drum.  Regardless, it can get in the way of our dreams and visions.

FACT: you are whole and resourceful.

FACT: you are capable of dreaming big and drafting a powerful vision for your life.

FACT: you are similarly capable of making your vision a reality.

This potential is within you.  It’s your birthright.  We all have it, simply by virtue of being human.  Does this mean you can accomplish anything your heart desires?  Of course not.  I can’t suddenly decide I want to be a world-renown astronaut and make that a reality.  For starters, I don’t have a science or a math degree.  But there’s a lot of space in between the ridiculous (science and math are not my strong points) and the entirely-possible-but-my-negative-self-talk-is-getting-in-the-way.

Assuming you’re in the territory of the latter, the relevant question is how.  How do you start believing in yourself and taking steps in furtherance of your goals?

First, get clear on your vision.  What do you want and why do you want it?  By way of example, I wanted to write a book on yoga philosophy because I thought modern yoga practitioners should know there is way, way more to the practice than just the physical.

Second, assess your skills.  Are there things you need to research or learn?  For example, I did a lot of research on the yoga book industry and confirmed my sense that what I wanted to say/write had not already been put out there.

Third, take action!  One foot in front of the other.  I started writing every day.  I came up with an outline.  I edited it as I went and kept at the daily grind.

Fourth — and this last one can be the most important — question your limiting beliefs.

I had a lot of limiting beliefs around writing a book.  What if I’m a terrible writer?  What if noone reads it? What if lots of people read it and think it sucks?  I answered my own questions on the regular: so what; so what; so what.  I kept coming back to the inescapable fact that I believed I had something to say and so I said it.

Was it the best book ever written?  God no.  Did many members of my “target audience” never hear of it?  Heck yes.  Did many read it and probably think it wasn’t that good?  I’m sure the answer is yes.  BUT: I had something that was important to me that I wanted to communicate.  I tried to do so with the degree of skill I had at the time, as well as with authenticity and pure intentions.  And I am grateful that I did.

Question your questions.  Doubt your doubts.  Get clear on what you really, really want to offer this world.  And offer away.