3.7 Not Over or Around but Through

“Stop avoiding the problems you don’t want to deal with.” That’s the thing I have to keep telling myself. Saying it though is easier than doing it, and doing it really is only as hard as you want to make it. Some days this perception is easier than others. By writing this, and continuing to write EVERY DAY, I hope to disable some of my limiting beliefs.

I’ve known I’ve had limiting beliefs for a while now, realistically since my early 20’s. Knowing you have a potential problem and simply avoiding it is heart of it. It’s not really an issue of motivation or lack of it, but it comes from a deep place of fear. Fear, the one thing most people would probably think I don’t have, is my biggest limiting belief and challenge.

Who knows how those beliefs got there. Some I can point to and say, yep that’s exactly where that came from. I like to think of limiting beliefs like malware and bloatware on your computer. For the most part you parents do the best they can for you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t install you with some seriously jacked up software while you’re growing up. Some of it gets installed by teachers, friends, spouses, partners, even internet trolls or random encounters in the world.

A limiting belief is an idea or thought that you’ve made true for you. For example (not mine): “I can’t get close to anyone because I’ll get heartbroken” or “No one loves me” or I can’t do that because I don’t know how” etc. Obviously these beliefs are in essence, just simply made up. They were extracted from something that happened to a person that they now believe are true. These beliefs were created unconsciously, and that’s one of the reasons why they are so hard to dispel.

Since mine revolve around fear, I’ll try to explain what I’m up against currently and hopefully reach a small catharsis in the process. Yep, my position of 10 years will be concluding July 1. It’s scary, not because changes don’t need to be made (they do). It’s more the uncertainty of what happens next. I’m a very process oriented person and I like to know what’s coming so I can deal with it. With the loss of the position is almost a lost sense of my identity, which would be a limiting belief. I’m not defined by my position, I’m the one that defined it to begin with. That’s how you work your way back out of it.

The trick to defeating limiting beliefs is to A) Acknowledge them. If you don’t know what they are then you can’t fight them. B) Destroy the conclusion. The end is not the end, the map is not the territory. C) Try again. You’ve got to shatter the limiting belief and redefine how it is by going through. Not over, not around, but plowing straight through it. That’s can be the scary part.

I want to start my own business but I have absolutely no idea how to do that. That’s scary, but there’s knowledge out there. Then failing is scary, so is not having money, or having to change my lifestyle. Possibly moving somewhere new is a little unsettling as well as having to rebuild a whole network of people wherever I go. To a previous version of me, this would have been an exciting adventure, but because of those limiting beliefs it can seem scary. Which means I should do it, because I can’t keep things the same. It can become a sick cycle if you let it, but by breaking one belief at a time, it can make it manageable.

3.6 But Is It Enough?

I have a problem with the idea of “enough”. There’s no worse feeling of self-loathing than the “I didn’t do enough” script that plays in my head when I didn’t complete a task/reach full potential/didn’t try hard enough. When is enough?

Enough is whenever you say it is. Enough is when you reach the feeling of your own completion and shouldn’t be defined by but others think that it is for you. YOU say when enough is and that should be the takeaway. Why is it so hard to feel enough though?

I think it first has to do with knowing yourself. In my own life I’m tackling this one. If I don’t know who or what I am, then how do I know what that “enough” threshold is? If I’m constantly battling with what that level is then obviously I have deeper problems than just the “enough” problem. That deeper issue lies somewhere between my own self-confidence, my goals/dreams/aspirations, and the comfortability with who I am.

The old mantra of try harder is simply not enough for enough. I work pretty damn hard. I also don’t work pretty damn hard too. I like to work really hard figuring the problem out, toiling and pushing through that initial resistance until I can get to a point of automation. Then I let the automation do the work til I have to come back to it. For instance with my TV shows I produce, I work at it til I create a system that can be duplicated easily, without thought, and then repurposed new and different ways each time. The format and bones are in place, it’s the details that change. That way you’re not having to re-invent the wheel every time.

I need to find a way to do that with other things in my life. A shift in mindset is needed, and it’s time to address those pesky limiting beliefs. I’ll be addressing some of that in my next post but for now THIS is enough…

3.5 A Portfolio Life

On my second read through of “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins I came across something I had missed the first time. It’s the idea of a “Portfolio Life”. It seems similar to my own current situation and that excites me.

A Portfolio Life is a shift in traditional thinking in regards to how we think about work and a “career”. The focus of it is not one thing you do but ALL the things you “do” for living. Instead of a “position” at company, it’s about a body of work and the skills you can bring to the table. Those skills can and should be combined in interesting and new ways so as to stay ahead of whatever curve you find yourself on.

For instance at my current company, my title is Creative Media Manager… which meansĀ it’s all the things you can’t quantify with a “title”. Videographer, Producer, Director, Photographer, Marketer, Graphic Designer, Copywriter, etc all fall under that one title. Those aren’t my only titles however as you can tack on a few other hundred skills and sets underneath each one of those that have nothing to do with that job or any other.

The thought is that careers may come and go but your portfolio sticks with you forever. The question is HOW do I present that and how can it be received to maximize the depth and broadness of my skill sets. Right now I see myself as a diamond in the rough, where as it looks like I may be one thing but the farther you go the more you find in my abilities.

My task for the month of January is attempting to quantify those skills and put them in some format that makes the most sense for whatever endeavor I’m about to embark upon.