Why My ‘To Do’ List Was Limiting Me

  • Posted by Jamie|
  • on May 7th, 2015|

They say that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail… Well then why, when I planned things, did things not always go as planned? Why did I feel so attached to the outcomes and results?

I think all my life I’ve been a heart-driven person. For whatever reason, I seem to feel my way through life a lot easier now then when I try and think my way through it. This wasn’t always the case though…

In school and throughout my years of personal development, I was taught to plan, set goals, and get busy. The basis of this was having my daily “to do” list.

I would wake up, go about my morning routine, and then dive into my “to do” list. The day was about getting things done that were important according to how I thought things should unfold in alignment with my bigger plans in life.

Just like a horse in a race, I had my blinkers on. I looked ahead and stayed focused in order to achieve my goal. In other words, I was out to win my own race.

However, after years of some success and some failures, I was tired and fed up. I felt like the race I was running was all about me controlling what needed to happen. To be frank, the results and effort required to achieve them didn’t feel so motivating anymore.

In being so focused on my plans and goals, I had lost inspiration. I had lost sight of who I was being. I felt I had lost myself to a future place of arrival.

I questioned myself: Why did I feel like this? Why wasn’t I feeling inspired anymore?

What I realized was that my mind had taken over and placed so much meaning in the outcome and results of my daily living. Therefore, my “to do” list came loaded with fear.

If I didn’t get things done, I was concerned I was falling behind or maybe letting my goals get away from me. My goals and the plans that I had come up with were important. They meant something to me.

Whenever I found myself chasing a goal with an agenda or need, I was then limited because I was attached to how it was meant to happen, according to me.

My belief in achieving the goal meant I would obtain something. For example: if it was a business goal, it was financially driven. I was seeking security through finances.

Therefore, instead of feeling secure in this moment for simply being myself and doing something I love, I was being driven by fear borne of my own insecurity expressing through finances.

I felt like my “to do” list was actually suffocating me instead of me being free to play and express myself daily, whilst being open to the limitless possibilities in each moment.

The insecurity we experience in our lives is a direct reflection of the disconnection to the security we already have and who we truly are.

So, once I started to realize all this, I decided to drop the “to do” list. If things got too crazy, I could always pick it back up.

Along with that came the letting go of goals that were driven by fear. Instead of listening to my mind and making goals and plans, I started to feel my heart. Then, in connecting with what I felt, I would do what I felt moved to do. It no longer had to be based on a need or an agenda.

That’s when I noticed that what was to be done unfolded through me instead of me trying to work out how things were meant to unfold.

Being aware of what I felt to do took practice. Being open to the possibilities in each moment instead of having the next few steps worked out was confronting. It was confronting for my mind, because that’s how it works. It wants to know the next few steps so it can measure things and have us believe we’re in control. That sense of control was not keeping me stuck. I wanted out regardless.

So, as much as I like to succeed in life, I also had to be willing to fail. Either way, in now following my heart, whether I failed or not didn’t matter. In following my heart, I felt I had already succeeded—regardless of the outcome.

That’s when I knew my willingness to know myself above and beyond the attachments I had to my life looking a certain way or having certain things was far greater than any outcome, result, or success life could ever bring me.

Do you feel that sense to know yourself above your life story? Do you believe there is something so much more to life? If you do, follow the things that resonate with you deep, deep down inside. That feeling is leading you somewhere very special…


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