I’ve reflected a lot on how to find yourself again when you feel lost. On starting over.
As I left school and entered the world beyond, I constantly had the feeling of being late to the party… Either that, or that I’d taken the wrong bus. I was 33… and lost.
I came face-to-face with the harsh realities of the job market. It was hard to make people understand how my degree had value. It was hard to understand what people actually needed and how I could serve them.
And, most of all, it was hard to hang on to the tiny morsel of hope that I would find anything like what might be considered happiness. I was pretty sure my life was over, since I didn’t get the thing I’d been chasing for a decade–a job as a professor.
I was wrong.
With each passing day and year, there is one truth that keeps rising to the top. Your beliefs matter. My beliefs matter. They become our realities. We become them.
In this post, I want to talk about how to find yourself again, or maybe for the first time. I want to tell you about 5 beliefs that set me free.
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1. I am enough.
One of the problems with being a high achiever is that I never felt like I was enough.
People would look at what I had accomplished and say, “Wow! You’ve done some amazing things!”
And all I could think of was the many things I hadn’t done.
“Enough” was some mythical point in the future, when I would finally achieve, or accomplish, or be recognized. Worthiness was a train station in a far away town.
“Then,” I would tell myself without realizing it, “When I have done X… I will be enough.”
I stumbled across a meditation by Marissa Peers one day, and as I repeated it back to myself, the one line made me burst into tears.
I am enough. I have always been enough. I will always be enough.
What is that feeling of not being enough?
I don’t know what it is for you, but for me, it was a feeling like I need to achieve to be worthy of love.
But I don’t. And neither do you.
I am lovable. You are loveable. Just the way you are.
You are enough.
By the way, I use Headspace for meditation–and it’s amazing. Click here to try it for free... it’s perfect for beginners.
2. I can do anything
I really love this one. Because, as Tom Bilyeu says, it’s a lie… but it’s an empowering lie.
I’m not going to beat Michael Phelps at swimming anytime soon.
But this belief, as Bilyeu says, is a useful belief. It is empowering.
And when you truly believe that you can do anything, you are going to begin to succeed within the realm of what you’re “anything” looks like. It will look different than mine.
3. I will never stop growing
I didn’t start my journey towards personal development until I washed out of academia at age 33. I was commuting every day, sitting for an hour on the bus into the city, and really unhappy with life. When I accidentally stumbled across a Tony Robbins podcast, it started to change.
Carol Dweck famously created her concept of growth vs fixed mindset 15 years ago. Discovering her work gave me a name for the greatest belief I have.
I have a growth mindset. I will never stop growing or learning. My potential, your potential, is endless. The goal in my life is not to get a job, or to have a career, or to make millions, or even to change the world. To see how far I can grow.
Check out Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success on Amazon!
4. Life is short
Time is the most valuable thing.
I grew up in extreme sect that believed the world was going to end at any minute. Part of being raised in this environment is that I never expected to reach adulthood. I was sure that there would either be a rapture or martyrdom before I ever got there.
Not surprisingly, the only thing that seemed worthwhile to me as a young man was to become a missionary, to tell the world what I was sure of. But it was all going down in flames.
While I’m no longer an apocalyptic, a part of that belief I stayed with me into adulthood.
Our time on this planet is short. If you have something to do, you better get about doing it. Even if all you have to give it is an extra hour a day.
5. People are good.
I was raised in a tiny mining community in Northern Canada. Everyone there was afraid of the world outside.
Americans are evil.
People from Quebec are assholes (literally 30 minutes away).
People from the city are jerks.
Ultimately, it was self-protection.
The people I grew up around were afraid. Eventually I started traveling the world. Everywhere I went, I met beautiful people. People who cared about their life, the people they love, their family. People who ask the same questions that I do about life. People just want what’s best.
There are inevitably assholes in this world, people who might not even be redeemable. But in my experience, the vast majority of people are good.
Believing this gives me hope. And believing the inverse would cause me to despair.
6. You create your reality
I ran smack up against this in business, when I realized that I had a deep fear of selling and a deep need to be liked.
Not a great look on an entrepreneur.
I got run over by imposter syndrome, and spent months sitting on my couch terrified to face the world. It should come as a surprise to nobody that my business failed. Talking about the connections between belief and success is sure to be a controversial subject.
On the one hand, if you’ve experienced the power of belief change, you know exactly what I’m talking about. On the other hand, if you never have, this all seems a little woo woo.
Let me also remind you that privilege affects some people’s ability to create their reality more than others.
But it’s still one of the most powerful beliefs I own.
Conclusion – How to find yourself again
I recently celebrated my 36th birthday. When I was a kid, I thought that 36 was over the hill.
I thought that a 36-year old should have it all figured out, and be well on your way to retirement.
Oddly enough, I don’t even feel like I’ve started yet.
I feel like it took me this long to realize who I am and what I want. For better or for worse, these beliefs are shaping my future, and make me really excited about what’s to come! If you’re looking to find yourself again, I hope these reflections are useful. Good luck with the reinvention!