You Are What You Believe

Yes, we are also what we eat. And what we consume (read/watch/listen to). But that’s not what I want to talk about. This week has been about coming up against beliefs. Usually that is what a trep’s life is about – busting beliefs that mostly limit you, and hence the business. But the thing about beliefs is that they are so tricky; they are so ingrained that we might not even be aware that we have them. So it takes some work to spot them and then decide what we want to do with them. 

But first things first.

This week was about pause, first and foremost. It is probably the pause I said I should have taken in a post a couple of weeks ago. No, I didn’t take it voluntarily. The Delhi smog forced me into it. Coughing and sneezing, I had to hit the bed and stay there for 3-4 days. So a little lesson there: the body and mind need a rest, and it will find its way to get it. Don’t wait for the smog to hit. Just switch off and rest.

The bit about beliefs came into the forefront, also a couple of weeks ago. My doctor asked me to examine the level of belief I have in my goals. And even though he got me thinking, as soon as he asked me that, I knew, it was not 100%.

“Well, how can it be 100%? There are some clients who seem to be unhappy. There are cash flow issues. There are conflicts with co-founders, and team members. Failure is always staring at your face.

Right?”

Yes, it’s all your reality. But why do you persevere? In the hope that things will get better; the next thing will be better. This tweak here will make it better. That pitch there will make it better.

Hope is nice. But it doesn’t cut it. Hope keeps you simmering well under 100% of belief.

Ever heard of The Stockdale Paradox? You have to have 100% belief you will prevail, but at the same time deal with what’s in front of you.

Except that what’s in front of you overshadows the belief. And those throw up more beliefs you have, which are stopping from the 100% faith in your goal. And that’s what you have to get a hold on.

Here are some beliefs I have come up against with others, these past few days.

“I am not good enough.”

This is by far the biggest one I come across, maybe because I deal with it myself.

How do you beat that? Maybe you’re not good enough right now with this specific task, but that’s not who you are. Move on. Believe you’re good, notice all the times you were brilliant, great, good. Acknowledge them, celebrate them. The enoughness will soon set in. Spend less and less time where you think you’re not good enough.

“I am too ___ for that.”

Old, young, poor, dumb…you can choose your poison.

Really? Are you? Why do you think so?

Why? Who told you that? And why do you believe it? Is it true? Should you believe it is true?

If you did it, what would it make you feel? Try it and see. And if it still feels bad, well you wouldn’t be worse off, would you?

I don’t really know how to ride a bicycle; I can balance myself, just about. I did it once long ago. Did I imagine it?

Today, as I went with my daughter as she took her first pedals with cycling, I also took the bike for a whirl. Yes, I can still balance. And better than I remember. If you had asked me a couple of months ago to do, I might not even have tried. I am too old, you know?

Oh it’s not a battle I won. It’s a just a belief I dissolved, because I am just practicing my belief-busting muscle.

But there are so many for all of us to work through. Here are some that you might identify with:

  • Business is hard
  • Money is hard
  • I have to work long hours to make money
  • I will never have a house/car/vacation like that!
  • I can never have a relationship that great. Or friends. Or clients.
  • I am not an extrovert, so I can’t do that. I am not a sales person, so I can’t sell. Or something else equally limiting you have made out to be a belief.

So I am coming up against beliefs, and seeing what I want to do about them. With some I am ruthless, and throw them right away. They just don’t serve me. With some, I am wary. They have served me for a good while, and may be nearing some expiry date. I will wait it out with some of those.

But it’s the invisible ones, I know, that will do me in. The ones I don’t know about yet, I am blind to. They are such an integral part of me that I can’t see them for a belief. I sometimes spot them in conversations when I feel deep resistance to what is being said, and hence I become aware they exist.

So what do I do once I know I have to let go of them? I just try to be vigilant of what I think. I catch myself with the belief, and if I am with someone who gets this, I will air it out. So they can help me through it.

Or I go look up a video to help me burst through it. “A video? Which one?”

I don’t know, seek and ye shall find. The algos work well, nearly every time! (That rhymed!)

Bust some beliefs that don’t serve you any more!

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