Take a moment to think about what would you be doing if you were living a rich and meaningful life. And by rich, I don't mean living in the Bahamas drinking cocktails everyday on your luxury yacht. By rich I mean fulfilling. What would that life look like? What would you be doing? Who would you be doing it with? Is it any different to what you are doing now?
If it is different to the life you are leading now, take a moment to think about this next question:
What is holding you back?
When you think deep down, what is stopping you from living a rich and meaningful life? I hope, by thinking really carefully, you may have identified that you are holding yourself back. More specifically, the deep-down core beliefs that you hold about yourself - that you are not good enough; that you are defective in someway; that you are a failure.
Core beliefs hold us back
I've mentioned in a previous blog about how we tend to cope with core beliefs - by avoiding, surrendering or overcompensating. In this blog I want to look at avoiding, because I believe a lot of our unhappiness is around not feeling fulfilled. And not being fulfilled is often about not attempting to push ourselves into discomfort to do the things that matter for us. But firstly, let me be clear by saying this is not about living the "ideal" life - it's not what would be Instagram-worthy lifestyle. Rather, it is about doing the things that bring meaning to our lives.
When we are caught up in our core beliefs, we accept unconsciously that these core beliefs are true. If we believe that we are not good enough, that we are a failure, then we behave in ways that avoid activating that core belief. That means, as an example, you might avoid putting yourself in situations where you could fail.
You might not try out for the A grade team.
You might not go for that promotion or new job.
You might not start that side business you always dreamt of.
You might not start that exercise challenge.
You might not enrol in that degree to start a new career.
You might not start that new hobby you've been thinking about forever
What happens then? Well, in the short-term the pang of anxiety around failing is avoided. You can't fail something you don't start. But long term, the gnawing feeling of unfulfillment creeps in. The sense of regret. You look at your friends and think "why are they so successful?". You look at your colleagues getting promotions and think "they are not better than me, why are they getting promoted?".
It's not about them. It's about you. It's about you getting out of your own way. Can you face your fears and write a new script - that you are not a failure. That you can try hard things and take risks and get better. Your only comparison is you - can you be a better version of yourself compared to yesterday? It's you versus you.