How you navigate your Pirates, the negative self-talk that stands between you and your dreams, is key to reaching your goals. The first step, however, is to identify which Pirates have latched onto you. While there are many excuses that our Pirates give us to maintain the status quo, all can generally fit within one of the following five categories:
1. That’s just the way it is or that’s just the way it’s done. As in: You’re stuck here. There’s a real sense of struggle and sacrifice in this mantra. It’s full of martyrdom. It makes you a victim of your circumstances. And it’s saying: Who are you to think that things could be different? You’re not special. Nor are you lucky, like all the really successful people who actually live their dreams.
2. You don’t have enough. As in: You don’t have enough time for this, especially not now. You don’t have the resources, the knowledge, the wherewithal, the money, the support. While the successful people have all those things, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll ever get them.
3. You’re not enough. As in: You’re not smart enough (or as smart as all those other successful people are). You’re not good enough to do this. You especially are not entitled to this. What have you done to deserve this? You are simply not worthy enough and besides, you’re already not successful enough. Who are you to think anyone will listen to you? Or go along with you?
4. You shouldn’t. As in: You are so selfish for wanting this. Your family (or your boss, or the organization, or someone or something else) needs you, and you’d be letting them down. They are relying on you, and you are a terrible person for abandoning them.
5. Your dream is just too insignificant to matter. As in: There are far greater issues facing this planet (like starving kids in Africa). Who are you to think your dream is important? You are so self-absorbed for wanting such a ridiculous thing.
I am willing to bet that one of those Pirate voices shows up in your head to insist that you have no right to be making a change. It keeps us in the status-quo, and therefore, to a certain extent, our Pirates protect us — from failure and discomfort. While it keeps us comfortable, however, it tricks us into thinking that we should not or could not do what we really want to do.
Which Pirate or Pirates show up most in your life? What have those Pirates stopped you from doing? What are those Pirates costing you?