“There are those who listen to their own inner-voice with such clarity, and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy or they become legends.”Legends of the Fall
Who would you be if you gave up your limiting beliefs?
It’s a question we should — and need to — ask ourselves from time to time. Most of us go through our lives chained to a belief system that has been ingrained in us since early childhood; often by society in general, but sometimes, more specifically, by our parents, teachers, and friends. Over time, it begins to define who we are on a surface level — while the deeper truth of who we are and what we are capable of gets more and more buried.
That’s getting a bit existential, isn’t it. Let’s stay a little more grounded for the purpose of this entry.
How often do you encounter an idea or challenge and almost immediately, the voice in your head appears in its lecturing, overly-protective tone saying, “what do you think you’re doing even thinking about that?? You can’t do that because of x, y, z!“
I call this voice (or voices) Logic and Reason. Logic and Reason are important and should not be ignored or disregarded as an opposing enemy. Indeed, they are there to protect you, keep you safe, and ensure that you are making sound decisions as you go about your life. They can also be limiting — as, quite often, they stem from beliefs that we are taught not beliefs that come from within.
The difference between a belief that is taught and a belief that comes from within is that a belief that comes from within relies almost solely on our gut and it relates, strongly, to my first post in this blog: A Man Named Don.
A belief system that we are taught tends to come loaded with baggage; the past experiences of others, fears, anxieties, and worries. You may have a ‘crazy‘ (by society’s standards) idea and in expressing this idea to a friend or mentor, you may find you are greeted with a response rooted in Logic and Reason: “That’s risky“, “Are you sure you have enough money?“, “Is that a stable career?“, “But what will you do about x, y, z.” The responses almost always mean the same thing: “But what if it all goes wrong?“
Certainly, this is an important thing to ask yourself. You must strategize before taking on a complicated project, a big idea, a dream goal or a new career. Don’t simply walk into things blindly because you are trusting your own gut instinct. As romantic as that may be, you are liable to run into trouble. Listen to Logic and Reason as they emerge in the from of your mentors, classmates, colleagues, bosses etc… but then be sure to take a moment and ask yourself: “Who would you be — what would you do — if you gave up these limiting beliefs?“
Today, we as a culture, hold on to many limiting beliefs: “Global Warming is going to destroy our planet. The worst is already done. There is nothing we can do”, “Hate and discrimination are now normal in North America. There is nothing we can do”, “The economy is rocky”, “The housing market is at its worst”, “There are no good-paying jobs out there”, “I’ll never find an apartment like this one”, “I’ll never get a better paying job than the one I have.”
Woah. Take a breath. Step back. Who would you be if you didn’t have these beliefs and allowed yourself to reach your potential? Listen to Logic and Reason, yes. But then tap into that gut; that deep inner voice that dares to ask the question: Who. Are. You?
As soon as you master the ability to ask that question in the face of uncertain and seemingly bleak times, you will unlock your power and potential and start living the life and accomplishing the goals you’ve been dreaming of.