One thing I don’t believe is that my business will never be as organized as other peoples. And yet there’s no reason why this is 100% true. There is nothing stopping me from having a more organized business or hiring someone to help me run it in an efficient way. Yet that belief is there almost every time I look.
For almost every leader or changemaker I work with, there is at least one thing they don’t believe.
- They don’t believe they can lose weight
- They don’t believe it make sense to pay a lot of money to hire great people
- They don’t believe they can overcome their anger
- They don’t believe they will find a path that honors all the things they love.
But these beliefs are simply stories. Stories they have told about themselves over and over again until they became set in stone. This is who I am, this is how I work, this is the way the world is. And the hardest thing to accept to move beyond these beliefs isn’t some cheap hokum like, “anything is possible” or “You can do anything you set your mind to”. No, the hardest thing to accept is the crow we have to eat if we step outside of these stories.
As strange as it sounds, human beings and leaders especially are so good at taking pride is the things that hold them back. They wear their limitations like a badge of honor, declaring to the world, I know myself, I am the owner of my imperfection.
Which is why if they step outside of their stories and accept, “well maybe it could be different” they have to put down the mantel of self-knowledge and step into the ever-shifting sands of self-discovery. And this is deeply uncomfortable.
I know because I’ve done this many times in my life and it sucks. As much as it seems like a nice idea to step into possibility, when it happens around a limitation I’ve long held as true, it feels deeply unsettling.
Which is why so many leaders stay in burning houses for so long. You see this in the car industry, in political parties, and in failing companies all over the world. It’s much easier to believe your limitations and flail artfully than it is to challenge your fundamental assumptions and change your life.
Which is why my challenge for today is to ask yourself – What don’t I believe about myself, my life, and the world? (and) What would be possible if I was wrong?
The moment you ask this question my guess is that you’ll feel a knot in your stomach and that’s good. Feel the knot. Feel the discomfort of being wrong. Being wrong is the doorway to deep change. Which is something I keep having to remind myself and my clients about almost every single day.