by Benny Hsu
Over the years you’ve created a set of beliefs in your mind that you hold to be true. Some are indeed helpful and true, while others have completely fooled you. It’s these latter, false beliefs that quietly hinder your potential and hold you back from the life you are capable of living.
Here are five such false beliefs to be aware of:
1. Life owes me something.
Just because you’re alive doesn’t mean life is going to hand everything to you.
Life doesn’t just get better by itself. It isn’t like flying in a plane through turbulence. Life doesn’t just improve if you fasten your seat belt and wait.
Sadly, so many people expect that a great life is coming to them automatically. They believe it’ll come next month or next year. So they continue thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things, just waiting for that day when life will get better.
They come home from work, heat up a microwave dinner and sit on the couch for hours watching TV. They get on the Internet and spend entire evenings getting nothing done. They keeping hoping and praying for a change without ever taking action.
When you were younger, you got a trophy if you played sports. It didn’t matter if you were the leading scorer or the leading benchwarmer. Adulthood is a bit different. You don’t get trophies anymore for just showing up. You have to earn them.
If you keep believing life will somehow automatically improve on it’s own, then you’re going to waste many years of your life in a state of disappointment.
It’s up to you to decide how you want to be. You are the one that determines the quality of your life. It is not the people around you, your boss, the government, or anyone else. If you are serious about being healthy, wealthy, successful, respected and loved, then you are going to have to do something about it.
No one is going to give you the life you dream about except YOU.
Let this be your wake-up call. Take full control of your life, starting now!
2. The universe is out to get me.
It seems like life has gone wrong for you in every imaginable way. You can’t catch a break. You don’t know why other people are successful and happy, but you’re not. You believe the universe is somehow working against you.
The truth is the universe doesn’t care about you one bit. That might sound harsh, but it’s true. The universe isn’t out to get you. You aren’t cursed. You don’t have bad karma following you around.
Why would the universe choose you to be the unlucky one? It wouldn’t and it hasn’t. We are all born with a chance to live a full and happy life. It’s up to you to use the resources the universe has given you – the ones you have right now within you.
If you have an unlucky streak, it’s because you are choosing your own reality with the thoughts in your head and the action you take or don’t take. If the universe really picked sides, those who grew up poor would always remain poor while the rich would always remain rich. Obviously this is not true. There have been many rags to riches stories, and stories of those who have grown up rich and lost everything.
Understand the universe isn’t out to get you. It wants you to be happy and succeed, but you’ve got to go out and create your own opportunities for happiness.
To start changing how you view the world, start a gratitude journal by writing down three things that you’re thankful for every day. What this does is to get you in the habit of focusing on what you do have in life – the good, instead of what you do not – the bad. (Read The How of Happiness.)
3. I am stuck in my current life situation.
Humans are the only creatures on this planet that can choose to change their life situation at any moment. A shark can’t one day decide to be a chef. An ant can’t decide it wants to be a dancer. Their lives are built into their DNA.
You, on the other hand, can change if you want to. Oftentimes the only problem is that the fear of change is holding you back. Excuses keep piling up. You only remember the times you failed, and this memory scares you off from trying again. You feel hopelessly stuck in life.
What you need to realize is that life isn’t meant to be a straight line that goes from point A to point B. Life is meant to be a series of zigs and zags. It should look like a mess, but a beautiful mess. It shows that you have changed throughout the course of your life. You’ve had your ups and downs. You went down one path, but decided to change course… perhaps on many occasions.
That’s how life should be. Life is a continuous experience of independent present moments and choices. So whatever situation you are in right now, just know that it can change if you want it to.
It’s up to you. You just have to choose something new.
4. It’s too late to start anything.
How old would you think you are if you didn’t know and couldn’t see yourself in the mirror?
Age is just a number. What’s important is how you feel.
The only reason you think it’s too late to start is because that’s what you grew up believing. You believe that you should have everything figured out in life before you reach 30, 40, 50, etc. The older you get, the less opportunity you think you have to do something new.
You think that you have to cram everything in before the general retirement age of 65. After that, it’s time to play golf, work on your garden, travel, and play with the grandkids. This simply isn’t true.
If you’re determined to do something, it is never too late to start. Here are some famous examples of people who started late.
- Ray Croc was 59 years old when he bought out the McDonald’s brothers. He turned it into an empire.
- Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man was 40 when he began drawing these legendary superheroes. He’s now 90 years old and makes a cameo in every movie based on his comic books.
- Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.
- Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.
Can you imagine if anyone of them thought it was too late to start? They wouldn’t have created their best life’s work.
Don’t let age stop you from going after your dreams. (Read Quitter.)
5. Others will think what I’m doing is foolish.
You worry so much about other people’s opinion. You’re afraid you will get laughed at. You don’t want people to reject your ideas. You don’t want to look like a fool. What you need to realize now: None of this matters.
At the end of your life when you look back, what you want to remember is a journey that makes you smile. Regardless of what everyone else thinks of you, if you’ve followed your intuition and done your best, win or lose, you won’t regret a thing.
There have been so many crazy ideas that even the so-called experts thought was a bad idea. That did not stop these people:
- J.K. Rowling was penniless, recently divorced, and raising a child on her own. She wrote the first Harry Potter book on an old manual typewriter. Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript. A year later she was given the green light by Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, who agreed to publish the book but insisted she get a day job cause there was no money in children’s books. The series has sold 450 million copies and made J.K Rowling a billionaire. So much for publishers who told her, “There’s no money in children’s books.”
- Can you imagine a gentleman telling you he wants to build a massive theme park where families can spend time together in a hot Florida swamp? You might not think it’s too crazy now. However when Walt Disney wanted to build Disney World, he was rejected for financing over 300 times.
- The Beatles were rejected by many record labels. In a famously quoted rejection letter, a music label said, “Guitar groups are on the way out” and “the Beatles have no future in show business.” Shortly thereafter the Beatles signed with EMI, brought Beatlemania to the United States, and became the most influential band in the history of rock and roll.
These are just three examples, but there are countless more. Each person involved was ahead of his or her time, but they didn’t let other people’s opinions stop them. There might be something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t because you’re worried about what others will think or of being rejected. Let these stories inspire you to realize that good fortune favors the bold.
If you suffer from one or more of these false beliefs, it’s time to make a change. When you were younger you didn’t believe these untruths, but as you’ve grown up they have been given more power simply because you have given them more attention. By doing so, you have slowly become your own worst enemy.
Take back control of your life now. You can do that by shattering these beliefs and choosing to take positive action today.
What’s one belief that has slowed you down and held you back in life? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Author Bio: Benny Hsu is a blogger and app entrepreneur. He is the author of the personal development blog, Get Busy Living, where he shares his experiences and lessons to help you live an epic life. Download his eBook, Get a Life that Doesn’t Suck for free. You can also follow him on Twitter.
Photo by: La Bele