Once upon a time, I believed that I was either good at something or that I was never going to be. This limited form of thinking affected my life in many ways. It’s the reason I never attempted anything that I thought was beyond my reach. I have spent years just waiting, in the hopes that something wonderful would happen to me, that it would materialise simply out of thin air, instead of actively pursuing a better and more fulfilling life. The mere act of believing that there is nothing you can do to alter your destiny or change your circumstances is what’s hindering you in the first place. Once you realise how much control you actually have over what happens to you, it will open up a whole new world of possibilities. You will no longer feel crippled by your own mind.
Let’s take a look at some of the beliefs you need to re-examine:
“Some people are born talented and some people will never achieve that level of creativity, right?” Wrong. The word you are looking for here isn’t so much ‘talent’ as it is ‘curiosity’. Having the curiosity to learn about a particular subject is what’s going to drive you to pursue that topic and learn everything you can about it. So talent is really just curiosity + practice (or hard work). Why are you good at the thing you love? Because you are curious about it. If you care about something, you’re inevitably going to be good at it because you are going to put in lots of time and effort. Toss talent aside; there’s no such thing.
- Hard work
“Hard work only gets you so far.” Perhaps, but successful people are successful for a reason. Sports stars, actors, entrepreneurs… You’re seeing an end result here, not the whole picture. What you are not seeing is the amount of hard work that they put in every day to get to where they are at now. You may think that hard work will not get you anywhere, that it’s a complete waste of time, but hard work pays off. Of course, it has to be accompanied with smart work. So keep working even if the initial reward isn’t there.
“This is my destiny, I can’t change it.” What happens to you is up to you. You are in control of your life. You can’t wait for it to take off, you can’t sit around hoping somebody will notice you to give you a once in a lifetime opportunity (how can they notice you if you’re sitting on your butt all day?!) and you certainly can’t wait for a knight in shining armour (be your own knight!). The world is rife with opportunities but you gotta get out there, you’ve gotta seek it out. Which brings me to my next point…
“It’s a burden. My dreams are a heavy weight I carry on my shoulders.” If you want to be an actor, take acting classes and get experience. If you want to be a teacher, take an online course. If you want to be a writer, start writing novels. Nothing is a waste of time. Everything you do is an opportunity (not a sacrifice you have to make to get to your dream), an opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand your knowledge. If you see everything as an opportunity, you will never say no. You won’t allow setbacks to keep you from moving forward, because even falling is a chance to come back stronger and better than ever before.
“Someone told me I made a mistake therefore I suck and will never be any good.” When someone criticises your work or what you are doing, it is a chance for improvement, a chance to understand where you are going wrong and to apply necessary changes. Accept the criticism (unless it is plain cynicism) and think of the areas that you can improve on so that next time you can do better.
- Bad luck
“I’m just a really, really, unlucky person.” I’m talking about the belief that you have bad luck syndrome. Believe me, I’ve been guilty of thinking that. You believe that only bad things happen to you and nothing good will ever happen. Sorry to burst your bubble but bad luck is just coincidence, no different from the bad luck that everyone else gets. You are not alone in this. People around you may look happy (your family, friends and even strangers) but they too suffer from bad luck. Maybe they suffer from it more than you do. The point is, you cannot dwell on it. Yes, we know you’ve had bad luck (or bad things happening to you) in the past but now is the time to take control and make your life what you want it to be. Bad luck is going to strike again but you will be better able to deal with it if you know that you have the power to alter your life. Turn your bad luck into good luck!
“But I can’t become any smarter than this!” The knowledge you have now is not fixed. You will continue to grow (not literally), mature and evolve as you get older. There is no such thing as being stupid. You are only thinking stupidly if you believe that knowledge cannot be expanded.
- Make changes
“Okay, I’ll do that now.” Finally, it is not enough to simply think about these things without making visible changes. Whatever it is that you want, you need to make it happen, whether that means saving money in order to implement those changes or getting out there a bit more. Only you will know what it is that you need to do. So make a plan and get to it.
Good luck! I know you can do it. 🙂
Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I am simply someone with experience who would like to share the knowledge gained, from myself and others, with you.