Episode 25: Make Believe
I’m Hannah Coles and you are listening to the Confidence Catalyst Podcast episode 25: Make Believe
So many of us aren’t happy. We may smile, sure, put on a good show, but inside? Things aren’t so fabulous. We think this is just reality and the “real life” but what if it wasn’t? What if your reality was just made up? Kids are so good at make believe and as a result they create a life of wonder, no limitations, and fun. As adults we lose that and then wonder why we’re not happy. Your reality is made up of your thoughts. Everything is make believe, knowing this, do you still want to create your current reality?
Everything is Make Believe
Welcome back friends! Love being here with you all. Today we’re talking about make-believe because as adults we’re not so good at make-believe anymore. Remember as kids that’s like all we did, right? Everything was make-believe, everything was magic, and as a result kids create so much fun. Just observing a small child you can see that what they’re seeing is not what you’re seeing and you have to wonder what they’re thinking about, what they’re seeing and experiencing as they’re skipping past you.
We recently went to Universal Studios where we had an absolute blast. It was so fun seeing how they make movies, the special effects, the sets, seeing behind the scenes. I was so surprised when they showed us these areas that really didn’t look like anything special but then they’d tell us what movie was filmed there, how they did it, and then they’d show a little clip so you could see it in the movie of how they put it all together and in the movie it looks incredible and so real so it’s hard to tell what’s a real on set location and what’s not.
My favorite place in all of Universal was Hogsmead. The Harry Potter area. It was just magical. Hogwarts, the shops, the music, even the bathrooms were enchanted it was so fun. My kids loved it. We knew we were going on this trip for about a year so we re-read the books again as a family and this time my younger two were old enough listen and get sucked into the magic of it all so it was really fun seeing them standing in the place tying make believe and reality together.
We decided to let them get wands this time. They really wanted wands so we had the Ollivander’s wand shop experience and they chose my two littles to do the interactive experience with which was awesome. There were easily thousands of wands in that small shop and I’m pretty sure my kids saw them all. We were in there forever as they’d open box after box. At one point my daughter just sat down on the floor and sprawled out all the wands she was considering and this was a tiny shop over Labor Day weekend so you can imagine it was a bit crowded in there.
The wand chooses the wizard, right?
So I started finding wands and trying to “sell” them on it so we could get out of there faster. I found one that had the cutest little pumpkin on top and I was telling them how cute it was and are you sure you don’t want this one? Which of course they didn’t. It had to be their choice, right?
They all finally chose their wands and when we walked out my husband surprised me and bought me that cute pumpkin wand. Pumpkins are my favorite and I was doing a pretty convincing job in there to my kids about why this wand was so special that my husband thought I needed it. He’s the best, you guys. I adore that man. So absolutely flattered and just so grateful for him and his thoughtfulness but then I thought, “What am I going to do with a wand? I’m an adult?”
A different reality
But I watched my kids go all around Hogsmead waving their wands, casting spells, and becoming wizards. They have these areas where you can say a certain spell and things happen, huge doors unlock, fire bursts from chimneys, flowers grow, a whole window of oil lamps light up, boxes open, and music boxes play. It really was this magical experience and as I was watching their eyes light up and wide smiles as they cast the spell just right that they were living a different reality than mine.
It wasn’t just something for fun, look for sensors and make sure you point it at them like I was doing. They were real wizards for the day. They had real magic. They were really making things happen and they were having a blast doing it.
What makes their reality any less real than mine? Who was I to tell them it wasn’t real? They weren’t really wizards? They weren’t really doing magic? Could I prove it? Could I prove factually that they weren’t real wizards performing real magic?
Still magical, still real
Some of you might be thinking, yes. There are sensors you just point the wand at it and it makes the objects move. But think about that, even. There is a piece of technology that someone created that can pick up the signal from their tiny wands and it then sends a series of commands to perform various tasks. That sounds pretty magical still to me. Just because it looks different than the fairytales and it takes a bit more leg work to create, it’s still magical. It’s still incredible.
What reality really is
Here’s the truth, our reality is nothing but a series of thoughts we think about our circumstances. That’s it. My reality is going to be different than your reality because we don’t think the same thoughts. Isn’t that something to think about and ponder on? That every single human being on the planet is creating their own, unique, different reality? That no two people experience the same one?
While it seems like they overlap, that we have similar thoughts, that we’ve adopted certain thoughts as facts and we all agree that the sky is blue, that it should be called sky. We all agree in certain laws and the organization of our communities. But even within these we still have a different thought about them. Which creates a different reality.
You are the creator of your world
There’s a lot of power in this truth. You create your own reality by what you choose to think about your circumstances. You have the power to use the precious gift of your agency to choose what you want to think at all times. You get to choose how you want to feel at all times no matter what the circumstances are. Isn’t that incredible?
The problem however is that we don’t take advantage of this gift, of this power. We delegate it over to other people. We think they need to show up a certain way so that you can think nice thoughts about them so that you can feel happy. And then when they don’t do what we want them to because most of the time we don’t even vocalize what we want, we’re not even sure what we want but what they’re doing isn’t it. Keep trying till you get it right, people.
Stop giving it away
Why would we want to give away our greatest superpower? The real magic?
Think about that. Are you letting other people influence how you feel? Why would you want to do that?
Body image and skewed realities
I coach a lot of people and one area this shows up a lot in is how we look, our appearance, our weight, our body in general. So much of the time we give away our superpower to society, I say society, the media but really, it’s kind of a faceless, nameless entity. Think about it, who decided that you needed to look a certain way? Who decided that a size triple zero is more attractive than a size 14? Who decided that younger is better? That painted nails are prettier than natural ones?
It’s not something we dig too deeply into because it’s a source of shame, of sadness, disappointment which leads to self-loathing, self-rejection, self-hatred, and a whole lot of other negative things.
But if you can think whatever you wanted. This really is a world that you design. Why would you ever want to include those thoughts into it?
Why would you want to adopt those beliefs?
I played into that game for many years as well. I remember being really critical about myself, about my looks, comparing and despairing. It was a terrible practice and felt awful. And so many of us continue in that vein because they don’t know that there’s an alternative.
Do you want to choose that?
Here’s the alternative: You get to think whatever you want to think. Really, you get to choose that. Beliefs, habits, patterns come from practicing the thoughts you think. A belief is just a practiced thought. Somewhere along the way you picked up the thought that being skinny means pretty and good and that overweight is ugly and bad.
Then you found evidence to prove it true and accepted that this is real.
Why does fat equal shame?
When my oldest was really little we had one of those embarrassing moments as parents. We had an old friend over who was a pretty big guy. She was just this tiny pixie like fairy-esque little girl and she was intently watching him. Just curious about who this person was and at one point she walked straight up to him and poked him in the stomach and said, “Why are you so fat?” Immediately he turned beat red, we turned beat red. My husband apologized and we taught her that that wasn’t really polite, that people don’t really like to talk about their weight or have it addressed.
But she didn’t know. She didn’t operate from our reality. She didn’t have the same beliefs that we had at that time. As a parent now I would have responded differently but I didn’t know either. She was just curious. She wasn’t meaning anything negative. She was confused when we all went dead silent and turned red.
To her it was just like asking, why is the sky blue? But then we gave her a piece of our reality, what we had chosen to believe at that time and then she adopted that into her reality.
What fat didn’t mean anything negative? What if it were just information?
But again, it’s all just made up. What if it didn’t mean anything when people commented on our size? We love large things. We love large bank accounts, chunky babies are beyond adorable, fat cats, and chubby puppies are so cute. I really love old English bulldogs and have you seen them when they’re puppies? So chunky, so cute, so many rolls. It’s adorable.
So why do we choose to believe that size matters when it comes to our bodies. It’s just information. It doesn’t have to generate guilt, shame, or disappointment. I know some of you are thinking about health and that’s another thought to consider. When I have a cold or the flu I take care of my body. I rest, I make sure I’m getting all my vitamins and minerals. I don’t make it mean anything about me however.
But if you’re overweight it’s more about guilt and shame over information and taking care of your body. Do you see the difference here? We don’t see it as information, we see it as a character flaw. And why do you want to choose that reality?
You can think whatever you want to think. Your thoughts create how you feel. Do you want to keep that thought? Do you like how you feel when you believe it?
What are we missing out on because of our current reality?
There are so many of us that don’t move forward with the things we love and that lights our hearts on fire because we’re too afraid of what others will think. We want to think something about ourselves but we’re afraid and worried it’s not going to be accepted by others. And what this really means is, you’re too afraid that they’re going to do something and that you are going to interpret it as negative.
THEY are a circumstance. What they do or say is neutral. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s up to you to interpret that and decide if it’s good or bad.
Coal from Santa? Sweet!
When our oldest was again really little she was being little and probably getting into things. I don’t remember what was happening at the time but it was around Christmas and we thought we’d play the Santa card. We told her if she wasn’t being good then Santa would bring her coal for Christmas. She looked puzzled for a moment and then said, “what’s coal?” And my husband said, it’s like rocks. So no toys. Just rocks.
And her face lit up and she smiled and said, “I love rocks!” Much to our disappointment because we were hoping she’d stop whatever she was doing but she, in her reality was like, “sweet! rocks!”
Take an inventory of your life. Of your reality and just start questioning it. It doesn’t matter where you start, you can start with your own image and the story you’re telling yourself about you, who you are, what kind of a person you are. And really dive deep questioning it, do you like the thoughts you’re choosing to believe? Did you know they’re optional? That you don’t have to think them?
Then ask yourself, if I got to choose any reality of my own, what would I want to think about myself?
This is an option. It will take practice because you’re rewiring your brain to think something new. I know you’ve done this before. We all have. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it just needs to be a strong enough reason that can make that shift for you. Have you ever loved a food until you found out what it was made of and this instantly you were like, nope, never again?
My cousin would always talk about hot dogs. That was kind of a staple growing up. Then she learned more about it, what it was made of and right then and there she changed her thoughts about it and no longer desired to eat them and she hasn’t in decades.
Her reality changed. It used to be a place where she loved eating hot dogs. Then she decided to think new thoughts, to believe new evidence, and she changed her reality to one where hot dogs are disgusting to her.
Bathing Suit Season
I shared this thought before but I used to believe that skinny was better than being large. That you had to look a certain way before you could confidently go on the beach in your bathing suit. I lived from that reality for a very long time. Even though I wanted to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit I had that belief in my mind and there were times that I’d cover up, that I’d choose not to swim, that I’d miss out on what I wanted because my reality didn’t allow for my body to look the way it did.
Then in Puerto Rico there were people of all shapes and sizes having the best time ever, swimming, dancing, lounging, walking around in their swimsuits and it was the first time that I really questioned that belief. Why did I think that way? Why was I missing out on this? Did I want to continue to believe that? And I chose in that moment not to think that way anymore. We swam just about everyday when we lived there. The ocean was so warm and full of amazing sights to see.
I’m so glad I changed my reality so I didn’t miss out on that experience.
What’s your current reality?
You can do this in your own life. Start with yourself or start with the world around you. Start with the reality you’ve created with your family, with your friends, with your ward, with your co-workers. What are you believing about them?
Do you like that? Do you want to keep it? Does this reality serve you? What kind of an experience do you want to have? Figure that out first, then you can look into why you don’t have that now, and what you’d need to think and believe to create that for yourself.
Because the thing is what you think is what you create. What you make yourself believe is what you experience.
Ready to grow?
Your brain will take the direction you give it, the thoughts you tell it are truth and it will go to work finding evidence to support that. This is true with everything. So be careful what you’re choosing to think and believe. If it’s not creating joy or the kind of experience you want, then question it. Maybe it’s not for you anymore.
Who do you want to be? It’s up for grabs.
What do you want to create? What kind of experience do you want to have?
How do you want to feel? What kind of a world do you want to live in?
Real magic, want some?
It’s all just make believe. My kids were on to something. They believed in real magic and because they believed in it, it’s what they created. There were and are real wizards. They create such a fun and miraculous life. I wanted a piece of that. I didn’t want to be the adult, the skeptic, the one that took the magic out of it. Ever since that trip I’ve been thinking about magic and how fun it is.
I’ve been questioning what creates magic for me and how I can experience more of it. My thoughts were funny, like, we should go to Disneyland. That’s a magical place. Dole whips are magical. But I don’t need to go to Disneyland to create a life full of magic. I don’t need to spend all day in universal to experience magic.
The magic isn’t there. It’s just a place. The magic is in my thinking, what I choose to see, what I choose to look for. The more I’ve questioned my old patterns and thoughts that stifled the magic and changed it out to creating and looking for magic, I’ve found it. I’ve felt it. I create it. I live it.
Choose magic. Choose make believe. Choose JOY
You can choose anything you want to believe. Your reality is just make believe. Why settle for thoughts that aren’t allowing you to create the best life ever? You have an infinite amount of choices. What do you want?
Are you willing to question your thoughts? Are you willing to look at things differently? Are you willing to try on different realities until you find one that lights your soul on fire?
You are magical.
You get to create whatever you want.
What’s it going to be?
Don’t forget to JOIN THE MEMBERSHIP! This is an amazing place for you to learn how to let go of limiting beliefs and thoughts that are holding you back. We only get ONE LIFE, why aren’t we running like mad to create the BEST life ever?