I recently heard something that has impacted me in a profound way. I wanted to share it because it might do the same for you.
It’s from an author named Hal Elrod, who said this:
Where you are today is the result of choices you made in the past.
Where you will be tomorrow will be the result of the choices you make today.
Here’s what it means to me:
We tell ourselves things about ourselves all the time as if they are set in stone. Stuff like…
“I’m terrified of putting myself out there and being judged….”
“I’m not disciplined enough to write every day….”
“I’m too shy to ever speak in public…”
“I’m not meant to stand out or be famous. That’s for other people, but not me…..”
“I’m too old to succeed….”
“I’m not educated enough to succeed….”
“I’m not talented enough to succeed….”
and on and on and on.
We view these statements as objective truths, as if someone out there has decreed them and we have no choice but to live our lives in accordance with them.
But wait — that’s really not at all true! We are the ones who have decreed these things, and we are the ones who choose to remember them every day and live small lives as a result of these phony beliefs.
And — here’s the key thing — if we choose to believe them, we can also choose to discard them!
Since hearing Hal say that, I’ve started making a list of the “truths” about myself that I’ve always believed – just 5 minutes here and there as they occur to me.
Things about my commitment to health, success and living a bigger life that have kept me from reaching my potential. Stuff that was ingrained in me at a young age by things people may have said, and things that I’ve told myself over the years to stay inside my comfort bubble.
And, for each one, I’m simply asking:
- Is this actually true or is it a false belief that I can discard?
- How can I choose today to leave this belief behind and move forward boldly?
It’s an exciting process, and very, very illuminating. I invite you to do the same as you think ahead toward the New Year.
You might just find that most of the “facts” you’ve come to believe about yourself are little more than falsehoods that you choose to believe about yourself.
Try leaving them in the dust and choosing something different, and watch your career — and your life — blossom.
PS: I have a hidden motive for talking to you about this. As writers for children and teens you are uniquely capable of sharing this thinking with young people, who can benefit greatly from leading lives without phony self-limiting beliefs. How can you inform your writing with this message, and spark your readers on to great things?
Something to ponder, isn’t it?