The Reality You Think You Know Limits Your Potential


What you perceive as the “reality” of your life is an illusion. It’s a holographic projection of a culmination of your past experiences. It’s what you think life looks like based on what you have learned in your past.

And, before you roll your eyes at me, let me tell you that first and foremost, seeing your life in this way is freeing.

Like, crazy, amazing freeing.

Back in college, I used to pine after unavailable men. I thought it was just terrible luck that my feelings always landed on the most unavailable person in the room. I would work tirelessly to positive-think myself into their good graces. (These were not my proudest moments, I’ll tell you fucking what.)

Looking back now, I realize that, all along, the reality I set out to see was proven over and over. My “reality” at the time wasn’t that I was worth love and that love was for me to explore in fullness. No, my “reality” at the time was that love was not something I could ever have, that I wasn’t worth loving, that I had more to prove about myself before someone could love me.

And the existence of unavailable men in my life was the perfect mechanism for my beliefs. If I could just change myself to be something better, they’d want me! If I could just be more lovable, more this, more that, they would love me! It wasn’t a great time in my life history, but it was a formulating time, to say the least.

Think of all the things you avoid based on a “reality” you’ve construed in your mind. A relationship. A new career path. A travel opportunity. A friendship. An adventure.

Many times, you end up avoiding the good stuff because “the reality of the situation” is that you’ve already decided in your mind, based on your past, that you know the trajectory of whatever opportunity you have in front of you.

You’ve seen divorce sprinkled throughout your family history, so what you perceive to be the “reality” is that no relationships ever last. You’ve seen your friends try at a career in the arts, but the “reality” is that there’s no money in it. You want to travel the world, but the “reality” is that you don’t have the money or you’re not “one of those people” who travel.

The good news is that whatever reality you subscribe to, that’s the reality you will see. If you expect your own suffering, you will get that. If you expect lovelessness, you will get that. If you expect to never be ready enough or cool enough or brave enough to travel, then you will never be ready, cool, or brave.

But, the flip side of this is where it gets interesting. Because think about this: if you’re so good at constructing the reality you don’t want, think about how good you could be at constructing the reality you actually fucking love.

Think about the kind of love you can have in your life if you believe in the possibility of that kind of love. Think about the kind of career you can have if you believe in the possibility of that kind of career. And on and on.

Now, you may think this sounds like some fool’s errand, some big promise that will never be delivered. You’ve hoped for more in the past and have been disappointed. You’ve wanted and yearned, but have not received.

I’d challenge you to think back on those times that stick out to you, where you wanted and wanted and was left empty-handed. What was your guiding thought? What was the belief UNDER the desire?

That’s when it gets even more interesting. There are many times that, for example, we want the relationship to prove a belief about ourselves, whether that’s a belief we like or not.

The point here is that you can change your reality. Sure, you may not be able to change your beliefs or deconstruct your reality over night, but you certainly can begin today.

Your reality is exactly what you make it. And, arguably one of the most exciting parts of this is that, once you change your perception of your reality and change your beliefs, you start wanting different things, different people, careers, friends. You start to construct a life that is based entirely on what is aligned with you.

And, the only way to start is right now. To start observing what thoughts you are taking as truth or what beliefs you are assuming are the “reality” of the world. Get curious. Get brave. Challenge what you think you know and the world is yours.

featured image – Gabriela Pinto