When it came to the process of building my best life and becoming the person I wanted to become, my only real obstacle was me. Sure, I believed there were many barriers at the time but looking back, I now understand there was only ever one thing that could really limit my possibilities and potential over the long term.
Although I’m not hugely talented, my problem was never total lack of talent. There’s not a lot but there’s enough to succeed. And while I’m no academic genius, my problem was not lack of intelligence or education. I didn’t have an abundance of either but I had enough of both. So too when it came to things like time, money, resources, opportunities and support. Like most people, I had an adequate supply. No, in the pursuit of excellence (or, at the very least, improvement) my biggest problem was always belief.
Actually, lack of belief.
Specifically, in my talent. My potential. My creativity. My like-ability. My writing skills. My ability to run and grow a business. To be a boss. A leader. A teacher. To say something an audience might want to hear. To be funny enough. Interesting enough. Good enough.
To be more accurate, my problem was not really me but rather my (lack of) belief in me. Put up your hand if you relate.
Wow, that’s a lot of hands.
In reality, I (the physical, emotional, cerebral, spiritual creature that is ‘me’) was fine but the way I thought about myself, wasn’t. For a range of reasons, I had a pretty underwhelming opinion of me. Relate? Of course, I covered my insecurities and (perceived) inadequacies with humour and bravado (as
all some blokes do) but all the while, I was actually convinced that I just didn’t have the ingredients for much more than mediocrity.
Not sure where those beliefs came from but there they were as real as the hair on my head and as limiting as a literal anchor around my neck.
Over time, I came to understand that, in order for me (my day-to-day reality, my life situation, my results) to change, my beliefs needed to change. In a big way. For me, the shift happened gradually and it generally came though doing.
Doing new things. Different things. Scary things. Things that took me away from my safe, familiar routine, habits, patterns and people. Things that forced me to sink or swim. Things that enabled me to grow, learn and see old things in new ways. Over the years I’ve done many things that scared the crap out of me but as Marilyn Ferguson once said:
“On the other side of fear is freedom”.
She was right. When you do something you’ve never done (especially something that challenges you), there’s an automatic and unconscious adjustment to your belief system. Your world view. Your ‘you’ view. Without even knowing (most of) you, I believe that you have what it takes to, not only survive, but to thrive, transform, overcome and succeed.
The important question is, do you believe?
“Belief is critical. Talent is optional”.