Often times we look at the challenges before us and they can appear to be so massive that we believe that our efforts to overcome them are futile. When this happens we give up without a fight, and our perception of those challenges being too big to overcome, becomes a reality. What you expect to happen in life usually does, for better or for worse, so it’s important to pay attention to the limitations we impose upon ourselves as well as the failures we accept without putting forth any effort.
It’s quite obvious to most rational people that a small persistent efforts, doing a little each day adds up over time. Ordinary actions over a period of time produce extraordinary results. This makes perfect sense however when your credit card statement, mortgage, or student loan statement shows up in the mail every month, do you look at it and say, “I’m going to make multiple principal payments this month every time I get paid. I’m going to be more conscientious about my spending and set aside as much extra cash as I can so I can put a dent in this principal balance. I’ll repeat this process until the debt is gone, minimizing the amount of interest the bank charges me over the life of the loan.”
Or, do you look at the balance and say, “I’m never going to pay this off. What’s the point in paying anything more than the minimum amount due?” In one situation you see the mountain of debt and you take the first few steps at the base. You begin to climb. In the other scenario, you quit before making any effort what so ever. What you expect to happen in each scenario does happen.
I really want you to pay as much attention as you possibly can to this concept and where it’s holding you back in life. Basically what we’re talking about are limiting beliefs. Where are you imposing limitations upon yourself and preventing yourself from achieving the life you want simply because your desired outcome appears to be so far out of reach in the present? Time will pass you by whether you are working towards making things happen for yourself, or you’re not. You might as well start climbing.
Let’s take this blog for instance. It’s in a growth phase. I love creating content, but I also want some engagement to occur and conversations to happen around the topics I discuss. So how do you create a following and get enough people to view it to create that engagement? Well the answer is, one person at a time. That means expanding my reach on social media. Starting discussions on those platforms, and sharing what I’ve written around as many corners of the internet as possible. That takes time.
Again, I can say, this blog will never get the traction to become what I hoped it would be, and do nothing; or I can do a little bit each day to change it’s destiny. Adding a few new friends on Facebook every day. Engaging in discussions so people get to know who I am, and what I’m about. Once that happens they may be intrigued enough to check out what I’m doing here.
The key is in what you believe, and what expectations you have. If you believe in a positive outcome and have absolute faith that it can, and will happen you’re setting yourself up for success. To give another example, I’d like to really transform my life and live a life by my own design. I’d love to have the freedom and resources to do what I want, when I want. I want to be my own boss, set my own hours, work for my purpose, enjoy life, enjoy the company of my friends, and family, chase my passions, travel, figure out how to make that happen so I can share what I’ve learned with those who I love. That’s my dream and just today I realized I’m holding myself back from it.
In my own mind I have this belief that if I keep working that dream will become a reality, but it’s not something that will ever happen in the short term. Yes, that may one day happen, but it’s probably going to take at least five more years. Why? Why can’t it happen this week? Why five years? Where does that time frame come from? What is it based upon? How do I know that? By thinking this way, what kind of opportunities have I let go by and how much am I holding myself back?
By believing this to be true, I act in a way that makes it true. If I believe something is going to take a long time, I accept it as fact and lose all urgency. And that right there is one of life’s greatest secrets revealed. The Pygmalion effect. When you expect something to happen, you exhibit a countless amount of micro behaviors that work together to make sure the anticipated outcome does occur.
This concept is completely scalable and functions in the short term, as if you’re playing hockey and about to take a shot on goal expecting a certain outcome, or in the long term, in your beliefs about what you’re capable of in the course of your lifetime. Your subconscious mind will take your expectation and act to validate it in both scenarios. This way, for better or for worse, you can say, “See, I told you that would happen,” and reinforce a positive, or negative way of thinking.
You decide what to believe, and therefore you decide how far you’ll go. You decide what quality person you will settle down with. You decide how wealthy you’ll become. You decide whether or not you’ll be healthy, or sick, all by your choice in what you believe. This is your personal power and creative ability. What you focus on and what you believe will become the foundation of the reality you inhibit.
So decide what you’re worth. Step up to the base of that mountain and make it clear to yourself right now that you will reach the top. Start climbing, and keep climbing at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. Who knows, you may even invent a new way to get to the top at record speed.
Make it a habit to be conscious of beliefs that may be holding you back, which you may not even be aware of. Expectations you believe to be “realistic” may be the exact reason why your life isn’t reaching it’s full potential. If financial freedom, happiness, a healthy relationship, being physically fit, aren’t realistic then what makes you think you’ll commit at all to even making minor improvements? Believing something isn’t realistic means giving up without any effort. It’s taking the easy way out.
The first step to making a change is identifying any negative limiting belief and replacing them all with something more empowering. “That’s unrealistic,” becomes, “I’m sure there’s a way to make it happen, and I’m going to be the one who figures it out.” “It’s going to take years for me to achieve that,” becomes, “someone else has done it in weeks, there’s got to be a way for me to get there in the short term. I’m going to commit to making rapid progress and see how much change I can make happen over the coarse of the next month.”
Re-frame all negatives as positives. Transmutate anything dis-empowering into something empowering. Any time something happens to you it’s filtered through your perception. Something happens, you perceive it, and before you react to it you have a choice. You can decide to allow that thing to cause you to react to it negatively, or you can decide to not react to it at all.
If someone is rude to you, you can get upset about it, and be hurt by it emotionally, or you can say “that persons probably going through something in their life right now that’s making them behave that way. It has nothing to do with me. I’m glad my life is at a point where I’m not functioning through that paradigm.”
Same situation, two very different ways of perceiving it, and two drastically different impacts on your emotional state. In one situation you allow that person to influence your emotions negatively. In the other, you transmutate what could have been a negative stimuli into being compassionate, with minimal impact on your emotional state, what so ever.
On that note, it’s getting late at the time I’m writing this and I haven’t ate dinner yet so I’m going to stop right there. I hope you found this useful.
Note: For more on self limiting beliefs check out SoLongMediocrity. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here please connect with me on both facebook, and twitter if you haven’t already. Lastly, for recommended reading on this subject check out The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Here’s a quick quote from the book below:
“We all have a sick self and a healthy self. No matter how neurotic or even psychotic we may be, even if we seem to be totally fearful and completely rigid, there is still a part of us, however small that wants us to grow, that likes changes and development, that is attracted to the new and the unknown, and that is willing to do the work and take the risks involved in spiritual evolution. And no matter how seemingly healthy and spiritually evolved we are, there is still a part of us, however small, that does not want us to exert ourselves, that clings to the old and familiar, fearful of any changes or effort, desiring comfort at any cost and absence of pain at any price even if the penalty be ineffectiveness, stagnation or regression. […] Within each and every one of us there are two selves, one sick and one healthy – the life urge and the death urge, if you will. Each of us represents the whole human race; within each of us is the instinct for godhood and the hope for mankind, and within each of us is the original sin of laziness, the ever-present force of entropy pushing us back to childhood, to the womb and to the swamps from which we have evolved.”
That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with repeating the question. Why dream for the distant future when you can have it all now?by