A couple of months ago, I made a comment to my family about how I'm not one of those people that likes to skirmish over an idea, to talk through it, to hash it out, and process it verbally.
They all started laughing.
Their laughter was code for, “You can believe this about yourself if you want to, but it's not true.” Which launched me into wondering why I believe something about myself that isn’t so!
Do you remember at some point in your life (maybe even in grade school) when you knew without a doubt that if you raised your hand and spoke up to volunteer for a project, you would end up doing all the work yourself? So, you exercised your right to remain silent and sidestepped the burdensome injustice of the situation––an innocent decision at the time.
But, after a few more similar decisions, the pattern unwittingly developed a belief that it is better to do things on your own – and avoid the complications of collaboration.
Then, later in life, you found yourself at the launch point of a new project and realized that you were out of your depth. It didn’t feel like you were ready for liftoff, you just felt woefully inept!
As you observed others around you, they all seemed more experienced, capable, and accomplished. They seemed to be cruising along smoothly in their sweet spot – or even at the high end of the curve while you were stuck in neutral. You were afraid to ask questions as it might have exposed your ineptness. Once again, the old belief that it is always better to figure out things on your own resurfaced.
This is my story; it may sound familiar to some of you as well. Hanging on to long-held beliefs that are NOT true does a huge disservice to ourselves.
Unfortunately, developing such beliefs comes all too easily. As we learn and grow, we internalize learning experiences and establish boundaries based on the lessons learned. Although some boundaries prove useful, others can impede our growth.
As we age and move along our career paths, there may be times when we feel that everyone knows more than we do. Rather than let those situations defeat us, what if we instead accept them as growth opportunities — furthering our understanding that personal worth is never dependent on what we do, or do not know.
The faulty beliefs I internalized over the years often prevented me from discussing, debating and processing ideas with others. Although I was able to do this personally with my family, I was not exercising the practice professionally.
This is an important realization–––It has come from working on my next book. For me, creating a book is better as a collaborative effort, involving other people.
As I've opened-up and invited my team into the process, the ideas have taken shape more quickly and more powerfully than they would have if I had persisted in doing it alone.
I must confess, I involved them out of necessity due to a short timeline, a rapidly approaching deadline, and a packed work schedule. Nonetheless, the nudge to a new learning curve is really paying off!
Our podcast this week: Ozan Varol, a textbook disruptor. He is an immigrant from Turkey, trained as a rocket scientist before pivoting to learning, practicing, and teaching law. He is also a podcaster, speaker, and author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. He can help you learn to clear flawed, counterproductive thoughts so you can do things you believe you can’t or don’t want to do.
Have a wonderful week, and thank you, as always, for being here!