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Capacity to create Change - Ocean Cover Photo

Are you limiting your capacity to create change?

By Julia Wiklander

All people have the capacity to create change in their own lives and in the lives of others. Everyone’s privilege, starting position and power may look different – but something that can’t easily be taken away is a person’s ability to act. 

AGENCY: the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power

We make choices and take action all the time. When it comes to reaching our goals and dreams, it’s really up to us to make changes and take action. 

Far too often I was dreaming and setting goals, only to find myself failing to reach them, time and time again. I was struggling to overcome barriers that were limiting me from achieving what I had set out to achieve. 

Maybe I was just a hopeless optimist.

I’d tell myself that I was too lazy or too comfortable, or just not _________ (enter any positive adjective) enough. 

A few years ago, after our second child was born, I hit a sort of stressful bottom. I wasn’t reaching the goals I was hoping to at work, I felt constantly torn between motherhood and everything else – not ever being enough in any areas of my life. 

Stress was taking over – exerting itself through my heart skipping beats, low emotions, headaches and easily crying at any human interaction. So I asked for help. I went to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I started reading a lot about personal development. It helped me realize the many stories that I told myself (even subconsciously) about my own agency, and that those stories were lies that had been shaped throughout my life. 

I began to understand at a deeper level how truly caring for myself will help me care for others and reach my fullest potential. 

The thing is, it’s so easy that the biggest barriers to change are within us through

  • stories that we tell ourselves
  • habits that we maintain despite their detriment to our wellbeing and potential
  • lies that hijack our emotions and spiral our thoughts out of control 

So, before you start laying down goals for the year ahead, I want to encourage you to look inward. Breathe. Take a journal and prioritize some time to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. What has kept you from reaching your goals in the past?
  2. Are there any stories/thoughts there that are limiting beliefs about your own agency? Are those stories linked to memories or inherited habits?
  3. In what way does that behavior keep you safe? Does it protect you from the unknown, other people’s judgements or anything else that’s scary? Is there an underlying fear that needs to be uncovered?
  4. Reframe your own narrative. What is the story you want to tell yourself? What is the behavior you want to choose from now on?

Today, I choose courage to by my colorful self and acknowledge my capacity to create change. I sincerely hope you will to. The world needs us living to our fullest potential. Please share any insights from this exercise in the comments section below.

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Julia Wiklander

Julia Wiklander

I’m the co-founder of Grow & Redefine and founder of Girls’ Globe, a social entrepreneur and risk-taker open to growing and redefining what our lives can be.
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