I was just talking to a friend of mine on the telephone. She is doing a job she is not very happy with, and wishes she could be doing something else. The only problem is that she is not doing anything about it whatsoever! In fact, we have been having this conversation on and off for more than five years. She keeps telling me how much worse the place is getting, but strangely enough, she does nothing to improve her lot. As before, I was encouraging her (more like torturing her, on this occasion!) to actually get off her backside and DO something. But then, I’ve been telling her that for years and nothing has changed. So it’s odds on that nothing will change this time either.
Many people are like that. They keep meaning to do better, but somehow get caught up in the daily mincer instead. After a while, their pain becomes bearable, but only because they have become numb to it. They tell themselves it’s not so bad after all. Worse still, maybe they even tell themselves that they are incapable of anything better.
That is what a negative environment can do to you. It can numb and deaden you to your own infinite capacities. It can kill your self-belief. The strange thing is that most people know how to do better than they are actually doing. So why don’t they do it?
There are several reasons:
(1) Lack Of Self-Belief. Deep down, even if you want to make a change, you may not feel that you are actually capable of it. You may feel that you lack the education, or the intelligence, or you’re too old, or whatever. At the heart of it all, you don’t believe you can actually do it. You don’t believe the universe is friendly to your aspirations. You believe it is an enemy. You don’t believe that if you step out and risk falling, you will be supported. You believe that if you do, you will crash and burn, be humiliated, irreparably damaged and even laughed at.
None of the latter is necessarily true. It’s just a belief! But what if you could be projected forward two years? What if you could see the result of actually starting on that dream of yours? What if you saw it succeeding? What if this outcome was totally certain? In other words, what would you do today if you KNEW you absolutely could not fail? I would be willing to bet you would start immediately!
Why waste time in a boring dead-end job if you KNEW that something better would unfold if you would only get started? So, you see, the only reason you don’t even start, and instead come up with all sorts of excuses for why you’ll do it at some unspecified time later, is because deep down you’re sure nothing will ever come of it. It will all be too much wasted effort. So, you do nothing and just hope and wish instead (which is safer).
It’s like the guy who prayed faithfully to God every night to win millions on the lottery. But nothing happened. One night, the clouds opened and God appeared. He said to the man, “My son. Could you meet me halfway on this? Would you buy a lottery ticket?…”
You see, unless YOU actually DO something, nothing is ever going to change! Just sitting on your backside and expecting the universe to act on your behalf, when you have done NOTHING to manifest what you desire, is like the man asking to win the lottery without ever having bought a ticket in the first place.
(2) Fear Of Failure. Our society teaches us, from our very earliest years, that we must be “right” in everything we do. It’s NOT okay to make mistakes (compare this to Microsoft’s attitude where employees are actually rewarded for trying out new things that fail). Sadly, fear of failure leads to an even worse failure; the failure to actually do anything worthwhile.
All successful people know that they can only make rapid success through many mistakes and failures. In fact, highly successful people make more mistakes than mediocrities. At least one junior executive has been told by his CEO that if he wished to make rapid success in the company, he must double his failure rate, i.e., the number of mistakes he makes! Trying to never fail is like trying to breath in without ever breathing out. It’s not natural and it’s impossible.
Most of us were brought up differently. We think that failure makes us look bad. What would our friends or relatives think? In Britain, it used to be considered a somewhat shameful thing to be seen to be even trying. These days, things have happily changed in that respect, probably influenced by the USA, where trying is OK. You need to know that failure and mistakes are a normal process of growth. If you had not made tens of thousands of mistakes in learning to walk, you would still be crawling. Can you speak? It’s because you made literally thousands of errors learning to do so. Imagine preferring to remain in silence all your life!
If that seems to strange, then surely it must be even stranger that people will not lift a finger to help themselves, especially when the effort required, and the complexity of the task that lies ahead, is relatively TRIVIAL by comparison!
(3) Fear Of Success. Strangely enough, some people actually are afraid of succeeding. After all, success would bring change, and a lot of people fear change. You may lose old friends (while acquiring new ones). You might have to change your daily habits, pay more tax, relocate, talk to the Press. Who knows what might happen?
Many people prefer their rut to anything that success might bring if they followed their dream. In other words, their self-image has shrunk to fit their sad surroundings and it cannot conceive of anything larger. Anything bigger than this must, by definition, be dangerous, and so the subconscious acts, as it is trained to do, to keep you away from harm.
Of course, people can suffer from a combination of these three factors, or even all of them at the same time. Yet, the key to change is so simple and the rewards so great, if you would only begin seriously to take action.
Here are the key steps:
(1) Dream your future life. This means fantasize what you want to bring into your life. Make mental movies and play them in your mind over and over again, seeing yourself living your dream life. Make a written description of this and work daily to improve and enhance that description. You need to be clear on what you want if you ever wish to manifest it. Begin to live your future NOW.
(2) Through regular use of affirmations and visualization, gradually change, improve and expand your self-image. Without a healthy self-image, you cannot achieve anything more. Your outer life is an exact reflection of your inner self-image, whether you like it or not. This step takes work, but it is necessary.
(3) Research your dream and begin work upon it. In other words, take ACTION! Do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to achieve your dream life.
I have a thing about freebie seekers. They’re always trying to get stuff for nothing, especially on the internet. But you know what they say: you get what you pay for in life. However, people who think Success are not like this. They actually invest in themselves – books, courses, seminars. The more successful they are, the more they invest in this stuff. Moreover, don’t think they do this because they have the cash. Most of them started this process when they were BROKE!
Mediocrities, by comparison, don’t invest one cent in themselves. Ever. And that is exactly why they stay mediocrities. If some book of course costs you 20, 70 or even 100 dollars or more, so what? It’s only money. Money can be earned. Time cannot. Time is all you ever really have to spend, so you should invest it wisely and not waste it. If you are old and close to death, all the money in the world will not buy you more time. That’s what money is worth. Not much, in the long run.
So, why not spend it NOW to (a) learn what you need to learn to (b) live the life of joy you seek (if you are not already living it)? Why prefer to live NOW in a hell of your own making (albeit through inaction), just to save a few lousy bucks?! The majority will not risk one cent on their self education, in order to begin the process of life change (my friend included, who actually has a relatively high paying job, thereby dispelling the idea that only poor people refuse to invest one cent in their own self education).
It is ludicrous when you stop to think about it. Who are you short-changing if you do this? Yourself. Nobody else. For whom does nothing change or improve? YOU! Education is the key to manifesting life change, and it does not (or rather, should not) end at school! Hence, do not skimp on it. Pay the price – both in money and in study time.
I harp on about this, because it seems to be a key barrier preventing many people making enormous strides in their lives. Most people spend more time and money planning their summer holidays than they do planning and investing in their entire lives. Sad, but true. Determine not to be like this. Consider yourself worth spending money and time upon in order to self-educate yourself to be capable of achieving what you dream of. And if you waste some of either on the way, that’s OKAY.
Remember, it’s OKAY to make mistakes. Right?…
In summary, if you find yourself in a place in life you don’t like, and seem to be forever procrastinating on making a change, examine whether the three factors outlined above are secretly controlling your life. Determine absolutely to make a breakthrough. Then use the blueprint given above to make the changes you need to make to take you where you want to go, AND away from where you don’t want to be.
Do it today. Not tomorrow, but today. Why? Because tomorrow is just another today. If you don’t start today, tomorrow will come and it will be today. And you will probably say the same thing then too. Tomorrow is just today, one day later. So kick out the mental crutches , and start TODAY!
Copyright Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.