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Who Do You Think You Are?

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By Nancy Swisher
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December 31, 2006

Have you ever heard this phrase? Have you ever spoken this phrase? I'll bet you have, either towards your own dreams or towards someone else expressing their dreams. It's a common anthem of the ego or wounded child aspect of the mind. Usually, this self-talk phrase is in response to those moments when you move beyond your comfort zone. Moments like speaking up for yourself to a person in a position of authority, a boss or teacher. Or when you bump into a part of your potential self and set a really big goal that's way beyond what you've ever done before. You decide you want to go into outer space! Write a best seller! Go back to school! Move to another country! Adopt a baby as a single person! Tell a truth you've been withholding from your spouse. Ask for a commitment from a dating partner.

"Who do you think you are?" the voice inside says, "You can't do that." This phrase is very toxic. It is designed to limit you. And from the perspective of the child within, to keep you safe from ridicule and harm. Generally, you first heard this from a parent, teacher, sibling, or peer. Or you may have heard one parent say it to the other. In one way or another, the subconscious mind adopted it and kept it as a safety net for making sure you don't go beyond your comfort zone. It works as an inhibitor.

It can work in a very subtle way as well. If you are a caretaker, for instance, always believing you must put other people's needs before your own, this voice can convince you that you shouldn't _____________________, whatever it may be. The thing you really want to do but don't do because you suspect the other person doesn't want you to. Spend a week alone, not watch a movie, not make love because you don't feel connected, eat out instead of cook, read a book rather than go to a party, charge for services other people give away.

The voice of "who do you think you are" is always concerned about what other people think! Always!

If you have this little voice inside your head, celebrate! At least you are aware of it, which is a great thing. Most are not. But, unless you want to keep being limited by such a nasty toxic statement, you must commit to eliminating the belief from which it comes.

And what better way to do this than to practice Inner Bonding! I mean really practice. Devote yourself.

The belief you uncover will be something like: I am limited. I am a limited being, only capable of certain predisposed talents.

Or: it is my job to love others rather than myself.

Now, since you also choose what you believe, it is your choice to believe any of the above beliefs.

To go deeper into your own exploration of "who do you think you are", next time you hear it, make a commitment to dialogue with the part of you who holds onto those words designed to inhibit you, to limit you, to keep you in your comfort zone. Dialogue with the child or teenager. Really get in there; explore the meaning your subconscious mind has put into these words and why you have held onto them.

Then you can consciously let go. After you understand the origins and particular purpose in your life of "who do you think you are?" you can choose to believe something else about yourself.

Such as: I am an unlimited being, connected to an unlimited source.


Nancy Swisher, MA, MFA is a certified Inner Bonding facilitator. She can be reached at 319-338-7833.

Copyright 2007 Nancy Swisher