I have worked a lot of dead-end jobs in my life. People end up in dead-end jobs for a lot of reasons. In my case it was because I had a limiting belief that what I really wanted to do was too difficult, or otherwise unattainable.
Millions of people have this same limiting belief, and millions do exactly what I did. They spend countless months, or years expending energy pursuing various other “sensible” options that we wrongly believe we have a greater chance of succeeding at.
This is probably one of the biggest lies we could ever tell ourselves.
Mindset, strategy and action
Not long ago I had the pleasure of watching an Episode of The Paulymath Show, in which Paul Piotrowski talks about his three pillars of success. In brief, those pillars, according to Paul, are mindset, strategy and action.
In a later article Paul mentions that most of us fail to achieve our goals not because of a lack of strategy, or action, but because we lack the proper mindset.
But how can this be?
Usually, we already know the strategy
What is strategy exactly? Well, very simply, strategy is how something is done.
For instance, the strategy for making a sandwich would involve the following steps:
- Slice the bread.
- Apply condiments to the bread, such as butter, mayonnaise or peanut butter.
- If desired, add some meat and veggies.
- Put all together.
There are very few people alive who do not understand the strategy for making a sandwich, but if they were honestly ignorant, or had a craving for something new and unusual, they could easily find directions from any number or sources.
So we can safely say that if someone fails to make a sandwich it is not because they lack the strategy, or know how, but because they have failed to take the action required to make it. Why would they fail to make a sandwich? Maybe they just didn’t want one, maybe they were feeling lazy, maybe they were hoping someone else would do it. In any case, the lack of action is a direct result of their mindset.
What is interesting is that while almost no one would ever claim they didn’t make a sandwich because they didn’t know how, people will make this claim routinely in other aspects of their life.
Not knowing how is a tremendously common, and tremendously versatile excuse for not taking action
Its true sometimes we really do not know how to do something. For instance, I do not know how to repair the engine of my car. But is that truly what stops me from fixing my own vehicle if it breaks down?
Of course not! As we have already seen, if I desired to learn, the information required to learn to fix my car would be easily available to me. What keeps me from fixing my car is my mindset surrounding it, thought such as, “Fixing cars is dirty work”, “I’ll probably screw it up and end up having to pay someone to fix it anyway”, “I just have better things to do with my time”, and “I don’t want to fix my own car.”
Our limiting beliefs trick our minds
Most of our limiting beliefs were created when we were young. Those of us who grew up poor often have limiting beliefs about money, for instance.
“There is never enough money”
“I can’t afford this”
“Making money is difficult”
“The poor get poorer and the rich get richer”
Are any of these statements true? Well if you believe them, then they are probably true for you, but are they true on a grand scale? What is the cause and effect relationship between these beliefs and reality? Which came first, chicken or the egg?
In reality many people believe very strongly that they will always have enough money, that making more money is easy, and though the rich do get richer, it has a lot do with the fact that they believe they can. Nothing in their life has ever given them a reason to doubt it.
The programming we receive as young people sticks with us a for a long time. People are always telling us what we can and can’t do.
How many times have you given up on your dream because you had a belief you could never be successful with it? Did you end up doing something else that you didn’t enjoy because you believed you had a greater potential for success? Did that turn out to be true?
When I attended broadcasting school there were two people in my class who’s talent really stood out, I’ll call them Bill and Sue for this article. Both were losing weight and getting into shape?
It’s not because you don’t know how. It’s because you don’t believe you can.