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When I was in graduate school. I remember making the decision to show up and do my best at being a graduate student. The same goes for any career I had – I would always aim to do my best.

But that “best” had a cap on it and a ceiling because always in the back of my mind was the thought that who I was had already been pre-determined, made up, and handed to me by my parents, teachers, friends - by God -that who I was could only go so far, could only achieve so much, could only mix in certain circles.

I can’t say I consciously got out of bed every day and thought this way, any more than I consciously thought, I must remember to eat. But the feeling of limitation and restriction was so embedded in my psyche that it never came up for questioning – that is until much later in life.

For me, the words excellence, power, or invincibility were only ever spoken about with regards to other people.

Living from a place of restriction and limitation is like believing your vehicle has only two gears. When you understand that there is a third, fourth, and fifth gear – that’s when your whole experience of life changes.

I would eventually come to realize – many years later – that I had bought into a myth that the personality of Linda was limited and restricted - a second-gear girl. That’s just who I was.

We bring our restricted selves – who we think we are – to the table whenever we’re in a relationship with others. We’re a conglomeration of every thought we have about who we think we are. And those second gear thoughts show up in many ways:

--We may see ourselves as loving, but still, feel undeserving of love. And so we settle for second-best in others.

--We know we’re a good person, but when considering a partner or friendship, there are some people who are just out of our league. We can’t imagine they’d ever consider us.

--We may see ourselves as overweight, too old, or physically unattractive, and therefore undesirable. We believe that if we can’t be physically attractive or have a hot body, we have nothing else to offer anyone.

--We know we’re smart, but we don’t speak up and share our ideas or speak our mind because we don’t really think our ideas matter, so why bother?

All of these are not only limited and restricted choices of how we “see” ourselves, but they are also all made-up by us and UNTRUE.

I eventually came to see that the full weight of who I choose to be in life is on me – and me alone. That realization initially felt like a huge burden because it meant that there was no-one to point to and blame.

The choices you make about your identity – who you are – are your choices. You get to decide if you want to get out of second gear and experience the thrill of that top gear.

Are you ready for the THRILL of the ride?

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