When is the last time you missed out on an experience because you censored yourself? Instead of heeding to your calling, you filtered it first through someone else’s eyes or dragged out a story in your past to prove why it wasn’t a good idea.

We make so many assumptions.  Those assumptions filter out magical experiences that make us feel connected and alive. We are missing out on so much.

Censor your censor and a whole new world will open up to you. That is when the magic of helpful strangers, timing, and opportunity appears.

Some callings are monumental.  My friend John Langford, a commercial photographer whose client roster included the likes of Sony, Nike and 3M, took a big leap creating back-to-back magical experiences traversing the globe for three years straight. His recent book chronicled his adventures into a series of humorous insightful stories that is an inspiring and engaging read.

Years ago I delightfully hitchhiked from Hamburg, Germany to Biella, Italy.  Each of the eight rides where truly magical, so much so I was a bit sad to arrive at my final destination so fast!

One particular ride zoomed along the autobahn at 110 miles per hour in a sleek black Porsche. By the time we arrived in his city of Baden Baden, he commissioned me to do 6 large paintings for his interior design client.  After returning home to the United States I made those paintings and shipped them overseas.  It paid for my entire overseas trip several times over.

Yes it is true traveling the world for three years is a pretty big swing or hitchhiking in Europe is not an everyday adventure. But how about the little ones in life, like taking a new class or reaching out to someone you want to know? Are you following through or making excuses?

We will often censor our initial calling until we line everything up, but the universe doesn’t work like that.  “Never wait until all the lights are green before you leave home or you’ll never get started on your trip.”

Some of our callings might not logically make sense but trust your feeling or knowing. Pay attention to that kind of bell, as it supersedes your thinking mind.

Remember your brain’s job is to protect you from all danger, real or imagined. Unless you are about to head into a jungle full of tigers, walk into a snake pit or swim with the crocodiles, most dangers are really just a story perceived as real.

Regret manifests from giving into your censor and overriding your initial calling ping. In hindsight, after time passes we can see what really happened and we say “I wish I would have done that!”

Take a moment to reflect:

1. How did you censor yourself in the past week?
2. How about in the last 6 months?
3. What are your greatest hits of self-censoring?
4. What story did you make up about each of those that initial created the censoring?
5. What patterns are you now discovering?

Censoring comes in forms big and small. It might be as simple as declining last week’s pool party invitation because you didn’t think your bathing suit looked right. Unless all your friends are extremely shallow, frankly no one really cares. It’s a story. They invited you, not your bathing suit.

The good news is you can spot your own pattern of censoring and change course going forward. Life is just full of paper tigers. If you choose to take this on, a whole new world will open up to you