I would define success in life as knowing what you truly want and making progress toward it. I would not describe myself as someone who has it all figured out, but rather someone who is willing to figure it out. We figure things out by asking the tough questions: What do I really want? Why do I want it? What is actually important to me? What got me from here to there? How can my life change for the better? Do I have a vision for the future and am I taking steps now to get there? What am I missing? What do I need to learn? Who can help me get there?
Myth #1: You have to do it all yourself
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “It’s safer to be tough than vulnerable. I’d rather bury my burdens than trust others enough to let them in. Letting others in would mean letting go of control. I’m unworthy if I can’t make it on my own”
New Belief = Open up your heart for help.
If you ever wonder how someone “does it all”, they probably don’t. Under the exterior they probably have a ton of help that goes unseen. Seek mentors, accept help, embrace others, and learn from them. Let others show you the way by embracing their talents so that your individual strengths can shine brighter too. One of the greatest joys in life is helping others, and yet we deny others the gift of this feeling, by believing we need to do it all ourselves. You don’t have to travel alone.
Myth #2: It takes talent to succeed
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “If it doesn’t come quick and it doesn’t come easy then I must not be meant to do it.”
New Belief = Passion and Perseverance Trumps Talent any day.
It may sound simple and it may sound cliche but the difference between those who make it and those who don’t is, they keep going. Those who make it have a high tolerance for failure. They are willing to fail again and again. Do you have a victim or victor mindset? Victors see failure as a natural part of the process. They don’t see it as a sign to stop. They see it as a learning opportunity. They use their missteps to make the next step better. They take ownership of their situation, not in a blaming or shameful way, but in an empowering way. They can say, “I’m part of the reason for my current situation, and I’m also the way out.” Ownership shifts you from feeling stuck and powerless to empowered.
Myth #3: Pushing others down is the only way to move up
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: : “It’s me vs them. There is only room for one of us. The only way for me to gauge my worth is to measure it against others.”
New Belief = Seeing others achieve their goal inspires me.
Comparison is a distraction. You’ll never move forward if you’re always looking sideways comparing yourself to your neighbor. Replace jealousy and envy with inspiration. If they can do it, it’s a sign that I can too. The surface is not the whole picture. Seek mentors that will not just tell you the what, but the how. Do not try to imitate others. Stay true to what works for you.
Myth #4: It worked for them, but not for me.
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “No one else understands me. I’m too young, too old, too loud, too shy, too far behind to catch up. I’m not strong enough, brave enough, motivated enough, or energetic enough. I’m just plain too much or not enough of something. If I can’t do it perfectly, I just won’t start at all.”
New Belief = Start before you’re ready
You’ll never feel completely ready. You can stand outside the pool and try to learn to swim but you’ll never really learn until you muster the courage to dive in. Be willing to be a beginner. Excuses are a convenient way to explain why we aren’t where we want to be. Excuses are your mind’s way of justifying your current situation. Excuses help quiet the pain of not feeling like you’ve fulfilled your potential. Even if your excuses are valid and true to you, what if you found a way to move forward anyway? What if you said, even though I don’t feel ready, capable, or deserving, I’m going to start anyway.
Myth #5: Those who make it have no fear
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “I wish I had their confidence. There’s no way I could do that. I don’t know how they do it. How can they take the risk. How can they put themselves out there.”
New Belief = Move forward with fear
Your fears are not unique. No matter the image someone projects, everyone has some degree of fear. A fear that they will never belong enough, feel worthy enough, feel deserving enough, feel ready enough. Seek council. The fears will not actually go away, but you’ll learn to embrace them and work with them. Sometimes just naming the fear and shining a light on it is enough to dissolve its grip on you. Other fears are so deeply woven into us that they are a lifelong journey. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’ll build a relationship that fear and it will begin to serve you. You’ll learn where it came from and how to rewrite it. You’ll learn how to overcome it and help others do the same.
Myth #6: Choosing the known over the unknown
The Inner Voice sounds like: “Even though I’m not happy where I am, I’m going to stay here because it feels safer than change”
New belief = Embrace Uncertainty
I know I’m on the right track when I’m both excited and terrified. Only terrified: I’m probably going the wrong direction. Only excited: that’s my comfort zone and nothing wrong with that. Terrified and Excited: that’s the growth zone. It often takes extreme discomfort to inspire change. You don’t have to wait until it’s unbearable. You can step out of your comfort zone anytime you desire to. Let your desires outshine your fears.
Myth #7: I have to make it happen
The Inner Voice sounds like: “Failure is not an option. I have to be relentless. If I have to force it, I will. Nothing will stop me”
New Belief: Say yes and no out of strength
It’s easier to make decisions when you first decide what is important to you. You can say yes and no out of weakness or yes and no out of strength. No out of weakness might look like denying something that would benefit you. No out of strength looks like setting a boundary. Yes out of weakness looks like taking the easier route even if it’s not what you want. Yes out of strength looks like making the choice that’s best for you. You don’t always have to force it. Embrace that you have the power to choose and carve your path while also embracing that sometimes it’s ok to let go. It’s ok to soften. It’s ok to exhale. It’s ok to trust that you’re exactly where you need to be right now and you’re already moving in the right direction. You may not always get what you want, but trust that your current situation is giving you what you need. You’ll keep getting served the same lesson over and over and until you learn what the situation is trying to teach you.
Myth #8: Waiting for a Sign
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “ IF ______ happens then I’ll do it.”
New Belief = Step forward in Faith
You’ll get back what you send out. The more you give, the more you receive, the more you receive, the more you can give. You might be waiting for someone to “give” you something first, but the momentum starts with you. Sometimes we may be waiting for the perfect moment, a sign to start, or permission to begin. It can feel like a tremendous responsibility to step forward in faith. Learning to give and share from a place of joy can shift everything around you. Combine that with the practice of gratitude and you’ll feel your heart expand. It’s the most challenging and rewarding part of leadership. It may need to be you that needs to stand up and lead the way. Leading means being open about what you believe, what values you hold dear, and accepting the possibility of criticism. It means having a strong belief while also being open to new perspectives. It means having the courage to admit when you have more to learn. Are you sharing your views just to shout it or in a way that welcomes people into your space? It’s an incredible feeling to share your story and have others inspired by it. Lead yourself before you lead others, and lead others with the same care by which you lead yourself.
Myth #9: Being Successful requires too much hard work
The Inner Voice Sounds Like: “I don’t know where to start. It’s overwhelming. Working too hard will take all the joy out of life.”
New Belief = It’s ok for some things to be easy
There can be so much pride in the hustle, the daily grind, and being a workaholic. There’s no doubt that some things are hard and require our action and energy. The answer isn’t always bigger and faster. Sometimes it’s less but better. Try to replace easy and hard by assessing it as a certain level of challenge. Treat it like a game or puzzle to solve. Bigger challenges require an upgrade in your mindset, new knowledge, listening, a willingness to go inward before outward, and often help from others. There’s the common expression to work smarter not harder. I mentioned this to a dance student of mine and she thought it meant cheating. I explained to her that you can carry your laundry to the laundry room one piece at a time or you can stick it all in a laundry basket and make one trip. That’s working smarter. That’s not cheating. What if you let some things be easy. What if you created enough space for things to unfold and surprise you. What if you consciously, without guilt, made choices that made your life better and easier. Practice the belief that you can make life a little easier and be more fulfilled. You’ll be surprised by the solutions that surface when you accept that this is a possibility. You deserve to feel peaceful and fulfilled at the same time.
Myth #10: It’s this or that
The Inner Voice sounds like: “I have to choose one or the other. I can’t have both.”
New Belief = It’s all grey or maybe it’s not
This may be the single biggest shift you need to make. I wish it was all black and white. I wish it was always clear. I wish there was a manual that could tell you what to do. It’s just not the case. Accept that multiple truths are possible. Accept that there is a spectrum, there is a natural balance to wisdom, there is good and bad, it takes the dark to notice the light. Replace the judgment of good and bad with, it simply is. Your highest level of thinking happens when you are relaxed. Crisis and panic mode creates tunnel vision. Relaxing opens up your perspective. Practice zooming in and out on a situation. Even when the odds are stacked against you, that’s ok. Creativity is born out of challenge. The fewer the options the greater the creativity required. You can have it all. You can have both:
You can seek advice from others AND stay true to your intuition
You can embrace your natural talents AND be eager to learn more
You can let yourself shine AND help others do the same
You can feel whole and worthy AND still desire more
You can have more to learn AND be ready to start
You can be scared AND still step forward
You can lead AND be lead
You can do challenging things AND find ways to make it easier
You can feel uncertain AND trust that everything will fall into place
You can chase your dreams with enthusiasm AND still be open to new paths that unfold