Over the years we’ve created a set of beliefs in our mind that we hold to be true. Some are indeed helpful and true, while others have completely fooled us. It’s these latter, beliefs that quietly hinder our potential and hold us back from the life we are capable of living.
Some such beliefs are :
1. Life owes me something.
Just because we’re alive doesn’t mean life is going to hand everything to us.
Life doesn’t just get better by itself. It isn’t like flying in a plane through turbulence. Life doesn’t just improve if we fasten our seat belt and wait.
Sadly, so many people expect that a great life is coming to them automatically. They believe it’ll come next month or next year. So they continue thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things, just waiting for that day when life will get better.
They come home from school/college/work, heat up a microwave dinner and sit on the couch for hours watching TV. They get on the Internet and spend entire evenings getting nothing done. They keeping hoping and praying for a change without ever taking action.
When we were in school, we got a trophy if we played sports. It didn’t matter if we were the leading scorer or the leading benchwarmer. Now is a bit different. We don’t get trophies anymore for just showing up. We have to earn them.
If we keep believing life will somehow automatically improve on it’s own, then we’re going to waste many years of our life in a state of disappointment.
It’s up to us to decide how we want to be. We are the ones that determines the quality of our lives. It is not the people around us, our bosses, our teachers, the government, or anyone else. If we are serious about being healthy, wealthy, successful, respected and loved, then we are going to have to do something about it.
No one is going to give us the life we dream about except We Ourselves.
Let this be our wake-up call. Let’s take full control of our life, starting now!
2. The universe is out to get me.
It seems like life has gone wrong for us in every imaginable way. We can’t catch a break. We don’t know why other people are successful and happy, but we’re not. We believe the universe is somehow working against us.
The truth is the universe doesn’t care about us one bit. That might sound harsh, but it’s true. The universe isn’t out to get us. We aren’t cursed. We don’t have bad karma following us around.
Why would the universe choose us to be the unlucky one? It wouldn’t and it hasn’t. We are all born with a chance to live a full and happy life. It’s up to us to use the resources the universe has given us – the ones we have right now within ourselves.
If we have an unlucky streak, it’s because we are choosing our own reality with the thoughts in our head and the action we take or don’t take. If the universe really picked sides, those who grew up poor would always remain poor while the rich would always remain rich. Obviously this is not true. There have been many rags to riches stories, and stories of those who have grown up rich and lost everything.
We must understand the universe isn’t out to get us. It wants us to be happy and succeed, but we’ve got to go out and create our own opportunities for happiness.
To start changing how we view the world, we can start a gratitude journal (like I’m doing right now) by writing down three things that we’re thankful for every day. What this does is to get us in the habit of focusing on what we do have in life – the good, instead of what we do not – the bad.
I was just finished watching this animated movie called ‘Brave’. And the lines spoken by the lead role at the end caught my attention – “Fate lies within us. We only have to be brave enough to see it!” It sure is worth a thought.
3. I am stuck in my current life situation.
Humans are the only creatures on this planet that can choose to change their life situation at any moment. A shark can’t one day decide to be a chef. An ant can’t decide it wants to be a dancer. Their lives are built into their DNA.
We, on the other hand, can change if we want to. Oftentimes the only problem is that the fear of change holds us back. Excuses keep piling up. We only remember the times we failed, and this memory scares us off from trying again. We feel hopelessly stuck in life.
What we need to realize is that life isn’t meant to be a straight line that goes from point A to point B. Life is meant to be a series of zigs and zags. It should look like a mess, but a beautiful mess. It shows that we have changed throughout the course of our lives. We’ve had our ups and downs. We went down one path, but decided to change course… perhaps on many occasions.
That’s how life should be. Life is a continuous experience of independent present moments and choices. So whatever situation we are in right now, we should just know that it can change if we want it to.
It’s up to us. We just have to choose something new.
4. It’s too late to start anything.
How old would we think we are if we didn’t know and couldn’t see ourselves in the mirror?
Age is just a number (Read the story here). What’s important is how we feel.
The only reason we think it’s too late to start is because that’s what we’ve grown up believing. We believe that we should have everything figured out in life before we reach 20, 30, 40, 50, etc. The older we get, the less opportunity we think we have to do something new.
From my observations, I’ve realized that people think they have to cram everything in before the general retirement age of 65. After that, it’s time to play golf, work on their garden, travel, and play with the grand kids. This simply isn’t true.
If we’re determined to do something, it’s NEVER too late to start. Here are some famous examples of people who started late.
- Ray Croc was 59 years old when he bought out the McDonald’s brothers. He turned it into an empire.
- Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man was 40 when he began drawing these legendary superheroes. He’s now 90 years old and makes a cameo in every movie based on his comic books.
- Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.
- Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.
Can we imagine if anyone of them thought it was too late to start? They wouldn’t have created their best life’s work! We must not let age stop us from going after your dreams. We must do it now.
5. Others will think what I’m doing is foolish.
We worry so much about other people’s opinion. We’re afraid we will get laughed at. We don’t want people to reject our ideas. We don’t want to look like a fool. What we need to realize now is that none of this matters!
At the end of our lives when we look back, what we want to remember is a journey that makes us smile. Regardless of what everyone else thinks of us, if we’ve followed our intuition and done our best, win or lose, We won’t regret a thing.
There have been so many crazy ideas that even the so-called experts thought was a bad idea. That did not stop these people:
- J.K. Rowling was penniless, recently divorced, and raising a child on her own. She wrote the first Harry Potter book on an old manual typewriter. Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript. A year later she was given the green light by Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, who agreed to publish the book but insisted she get a day job cause there was no money in children’s books. The series has sold 450 million copies and made J.K Rowling a billionaire. So much for publishers who told her, “There’s no money in children’s books.”
- Can you imagine a gentleman telling you he wants to build a massive theme park where families can spend time together in a hot Florida swamp? You might not think it’s too crazy now. However when Walt Disney wanted to build Disney World, he was rejected for financing over 300 times.
- The Beatles were rejected by many record labels. In a famously quoted rejection letter, a music label said, “Guitar groups are on the way out” and “the Beatles have no future in show business.” Shortly thereafter the Beatles signed with EMI, brought Beatlemania to the United States, and became the most influential band in the history of rock and roll.
These are just three examples, but there are countless more. Each person involved was ahead of his or her time, but they didn’t let other people’s opinions stop them. There sue have been things we’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t because we’re worried about what others will think or of being rejected. Let these stories inspire us to realize that good fortune favors the bold.
If any of us suffer from one or more of these false beliefs, it’s time to make a change. When we were kids we didn’t believe these untruths, but as we’ve grown up they have been given more power simply because we have given them more attention. By doing so, we have slowly become our own worst enemies!
Let’s take back control of our lives now. We can do that by shattering these beliefs and choosing to take positive action today.
Now it’s your turn…
What’s one belief that has slowed you down and held you back in life? Feel free to share your thoughts 🙂