I want to tell you a secret…
Anything is possible. It is. Really.
In this world where change is the only constant, anything is possible.
Of all of the possible iterations, twists and turns, life-changing opportunities, and grand disasters, the only thing you can count on for sure in this life is that tomorrow, something is going to be different than it is today.
Change is the only constant.
It is life’s best and worst news.
If change is the only constant, best we learn to make the most of it. The fact that change is the only constant here on planet earth means that you are never, ever stuck right where you are. Like our plant brethren, as living, breathing creatures, our only options are always to grow or to die.
I choose to grow. What do you choose?
If change is the only constant on planet earth, why is it that we so often feel stuck? Especially during a global pandemic, why can it feel like time crawls along at a snail’s pace? Why can our relationships and commitments so often feel like prisons rather than palaces?
The answer lies in our senses, those sweet little portals of pleasure and pain with which we touch and taste the world.
Our sense organs, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin, are profoundly good at so many things. Just consider what a miracle it is that your eyes are designed to see the full spectrum of visual light, or to taste the sweetness of strawberries or the spice of chilies. Your senses allow you to become swept up in a symphony or feel the tickled arousal of your lover’s touch. They constantly bring you gifts.
However, there is one thing that our sense organs are terrible at…
Our senses are terrible at perceiving incremental change. As a fact, all things on planet earth are in a constant state of change, but it does not seem that way to our senses. Fall leaves appear to us as a splendid technicolor display. They do not appear like leaves dying. Fall foliage is an ever-changing process and a somewhat depressing one at that, but we perceive it as a portrait.
Thank you senses.
That’s why this secret is such an important one to learn.
Even though it is contrary to our sense perception, we must train ourselves to know and believe that anything is possible because change is the only constant on planet earth.
Doing so should fill you with a profound sense of freedom and hopefulness. I know it does for me.
If anything is possible, it means that we could opt not to wage war tomorrow. We could choose to stop driving and start only traveling a far as bike can take us. We could choose to spend quality time in nature every day. Or to orgasm every day. Or to make a new friend, every day. The possibilities are literally endless.
Expectations and Assumptions
Our sensory organs are the instruments of our misunderstanding of the parameters of our lives, of how we define what is and is not possible, but they are not the true culprit.
As they say, don’t shoot the messenger.
The true culprit behind our limiting beliefs — the highway patrolman that turns our joy ride down the road of life into a $150 speeding ticket — are our assumptions.
Don’t let your assumptions be the death of you.
Our assumptions are those givens, those features of our life that have just always been there, such that they come to feel like the air we breathe. They are so built in to the ways we experience our lives that we cannot even see them. They blow right past our sense-perception like the wind and they do more to create our experience of our lives than any other single factor.
If you assume today will be just like yesterday, it will be.
If you assume your efforts at home or work will go unnoticed, they likely will go unnoticed.
If you assume you lack the resources to accomplish your goals, you will not see those resources even when they rain down in front of you.
Stop right now and consider, what are the assumptions that have shaped today for you?
Assumptions or limiting beliefs tend to fall into three categories:
- Things I believe I need
- Resources I believe are at my disposal
- Skills I believe I have or lack
As billionaire Michael Bloomberg said, “America is built around this premise that you can do it, and there are an awful lot of people who are unlikely to have done it who did.” The single greatest distinguishing factor between those who generate tremendous wealth over the course of their lifetimes and those who do not is the assumptions they hold in these three areas.
Highly Successful People
Highly successful people believe that garnering both the skills and resources necessary to accomplish a task are only a matter of time. More than actual capital, the advantage those who come from wealth carry with them is the lived experience of this dynamic, such that they can say, “Well, I don’t have that resource yet, but I will; I don’t know how to do that essential task yet, but I can learn.”
They’ve gotten to experience the truth that that anything is possible.
Things I Believe I Need
Human beings have a basic needs for water, some calories, some temperature control some hope, and some love. The rest is gravy.
Luxury cars, cell phones, acclaim, pampering, Frappuccinos, etc are not needs. Most of us waste our time and energy when we can’t tell the difference between things we want and things we need.
Pursue your needs like a cheetah hunts prey. Indulge your wants as an expression of self-care, when your resources allow for it.
Resources I Believe Are at My Disposal
My favorite observation of Gen Z, those born just before the turn of the millennium, is that they assume that an app exists for every function one might like to execute in the digital sphere. What is more, when told that “no, there is not an app for that,” their immediate response is that someone should build one. In other words, Gen Zers are growing up in a digital world in which anything is possible.
Be like a Gen Zer when it comes to amassing the resources you need to achieve your goals. A “not yet” attitude is the very best way to create the reality you want for yourself.
Skills I believe I have or lack
As human beings, our skills are our greatest resources, more valuable than money, privilege, or power. Just like the response “not yet,” to the question “Is there an app for that?” the key to realizing that anything is possible is adopting a growth mindset.
As researcher Carol Dweck explains:
“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life….This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience. Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.”
Change is the only constant here on planet earth. That means that anything is possible. Don’t let your limiting beliefs hold you back. Instead, stop confusing your wants and your needs. Adopt the perspective of highly successful people who know that the only thing that separates them from the skills and resources they need to succeed is time and effort. Don’t let past failures and limiting beliefs hold you back. Believe in yourself and succeed.
This post was previously published on Wholistique.
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The post How to Root Out the Limiting Beliefs That Make or Break Us appeared first on The Good Men Project.