Have you been to the circus lately?
Yes, I know it’s an odd question to ask in a self-development article – but please hang on with me. In the circus you’ve got clowns, gymnasts and animals of all sorts. These might include snakes and monkeys, but there is one animal that you’re almost guaranteed to find there. It’s the Elephant.
Notice anything here ? The Elephant is a huge animal. If the elephant decides to run away, I seriously doubt that anyone could stop him. Well, at least not without some serious destruction to the whole neighbourhood. But why doesn’t the elephant try to escape ?
The answer is: whenever a new elephant is brought to the circus, it is chained & tied to a heavy iron ball, and the elephant struggles to escape – all in vain. Everyday, the elephant tries to escape again and again – until it reaches a point where it loses hope. Now the elephant believes that it can never escape! Only then, the chains are removed. The elephant has built a fake belief that it’s impossible to escape, and will never try to escape again although the chains were removed.
Have you ever felt like that? All of us were put in that elephants situation at some point of our lives. It’s not our fault. We’re being brainwashed everyday by our friends, colleagues and the media. The media and society are always creating certain ‘barriers’ that are supposed to be impenetrable by any normal human being. They are simply out of reach, except if you’re a genius or a very lucky guy! below is a list of fake beliefs you may have acquired throughout your life:
* I can’t learn a new sport while I’m grown up, I should have started when I was a kid.
* It’s very hard to find a job these days, there is no way I could ever work in this country.
* You can’t get everything that you want.
* When you get married you won’t have time for anything.
* I can never stop smoking, even if I did I will come back to it.
* I’m not lucky, if I had the required luck I would have everything that I want.
* There Is something called luck!!!
If you’re still taking the issue lightly, let me tell you a story that will change your perspective. It revolves around two guys: Joe and Bob. Joe and Bob were friends, they used to hangout together – often to play basketball.
Joe was taught by his family that no one can take everything in life.
Joe and Bob started applying for jobs, and by coincidence they got an interview at the same company.
After passing the interview, they were told that the job requires working 12 hours per day, with only a one-day vacation per week. This means that whoever accepted the job would have to quit playing basketball, because he won’t have time for sports.
Joe thought: “Well, I can’t take everything. I’ll accept the job and give up on basketball”. He took the job.
Bob thought: “No, I’ll pass this one. I’m sure there is a better job somewhere, one that could provide me with some spare time to play basketball”. He didn’t take the job.
In a few months, Joe started to feel that something is missing. He was used to the elevated blood flow that regular training used to provide him. His brain was used to getting more oxygen, thinking better and felling better in general.
Now Joe started to feel depressed, without knowing why. Even more, he left his job, thinking that he was bored of this type of work.
Unfortunately, this was a true story. And what’s worse is that similar stories keep happening every day, because of people having similar fake beliefs. Most people are unaware of their powers. Some people have lots of tools and opportunities to go for but their fake beliefs are the only thing stopping them. They think that everything is working out smoothly and that this is life.
I know lots of people that don’t take enough action to improve their life, thinking that they need to be lucky or inherit a fortune in order to improve their life.
They are not trying to learn anything new, thinking that it’s so hard to get a job anyway. Some of them indulged themselves into bad habits like smoking and doing drugs. They think that they can never stop it. People quit sports and get fat, thinking that their marriage and career should take their whole time. “Well, you can’t get everything in life” they say.
Now it really gets funny when people start spreading fake beliefs without even TESTING them. I was once seeking a certain computer certification, and whenever I asked someone I was told that it’s very hard to pass the exam. I have to admit, I started falling to the trap and believed them. I then paused for a while and asked them what was so difficult about the exam. You’ll be amazed at the reply: “We don’t know. We never tried to take it”. Haaah !!
It’s an endless cycle. People believe it’s so hard just because other people told them so, and so on it goes… Fake Beliefs !
So, what can you do about that? What’s the correct action to take when dealing with other peoples opinions that are about to become beliefs? In my opinion, you should first test that belief. Yes, simply test it. If someone told you that you can’t lift that box over there, just try to do it. Just because he can’t lift it, doesn’t mean that you can’t. Don’t take his word, just give it a try. If someone didn’t have the qualities required to land a job, it doesn’t mean that you can’t either. People differ in their qualities, strengths and weaknesses. Let’s just sum it up in one quote:
If you think you can do it, then you will. But if you think you can’t, then you are right.