We have one chance on this green planet. We have one shot at living, laughing, and squeezing every drop of fun out of this life. We have one run and we still keep wasting it waiting for someone else’s approval. We keep squandering our gifts because “He” or “She” is standing in our way and for dozens of other reasons. We’ll be discussing some of those below.
Fear is one of the strongest emotions. We’ve all been afraid at some point. We all have certain fears stacked onto our chest about the future unknown. The fear comes in all shapes and forms and that makes it a double-edged sword.
You can be afraid of failing. You can be afraid of losing money. You can be scared of destroying your reputation. You can have anxiety thinking about failing to live up to your parent’s expectations, and so on. All these things hold you back from taking your shots.
Or you can use fear the other way.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. —— Theodore Roosevelt
Fear of never trying. Fear of never reaching your potential. Fear of dying with regrets, unfulfilled dreams, and half-assed goals. Fear of disappointing your talents, and never listening to your calling.
These fears will push you towards a better life. They’ll push you to enhance your skills and not take anything for granted. Use fear to your advantage. Be afraid of never trying more than failing.
What will my parents say?
What will my partner think of me?
What if I fail despite going against everyone’s wishes?
Our loved ones are often the ones standing in the way of success. They so without even knowing. They stand in the way not because they don’t want you to succeed. Instead, they don’t want you to fail. They don’t want you to get hurt even if you’re trying to make something good of your life.
Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory. —— Jim Carrey
The expected judgments of others and never-ending desire to fit in are major contributors to procrastinating on our dreams. Don’t let your loved ones cripple you. Instead, use the strongest emotion humans have to push yourself further than you ever have. That emotion is love.
How long do you think it took for Rome to become the monstrous kingdom it was? How long do you think it took to invent the airplane? How many failures did he have to endure before inventing the light bulb? You don’t need to think to understand the qualities those creators had. They are summed up into one word. Patience.
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. —— A.A. Milne
Patience is currently the biggest problem of our generation. We want things immediately. We can’t wait for a website to load. We don’t want to stare at the screen while a video is buffering. We start twitching listening to someone share the hard-earned life lessons because the video duration is 3 hours. We don’t have time. Or maybe we do? What we lack instead is patience.
Anything worth having in life requires you to be patient. If you are failing to deploy patience, then you don’t need to go further. That’s the problem you must carve out for building a better life.
There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness. —— Shannon L. Alder
That’s a disease for creators. Writers. Singers. Painters. Artists. The same habit cripples them all. The pursuit of perfection is hopeless. Trying to create the “perfect” product is the worst call you can make.
You can spend years trying to write a perfect book. You can spend hundreds of weeks trying to lay the colors together perfectly in a painting. You can write a million words trying to come up with the perfect song.
Or you can say screw perfectionism.
If you can focus on delivering “good” instead of “perfect”, the levels of what you call “good” will slowly rise. Don’t underestimate the power of sheer repetitions and practice.
When you keep practicing for long enough, your “good” will rise to the point where it will seem “perfect” to others. The repetitions will reward you with several creations instead of a never-finished product.
That’s because the repetitions allow you to finish and release multiple times. Each time teaches you something new about the process. You learn from your consumers and fix your mistakes based on their feedback. You carve out your mistakes and bad behaviors before they turn into deep-rooted habits.
5. Negative Manifestation
Our brain is extremely powerful and gives you the ability to shape the world with your thoughts. You can use these thoughts to build yourself a mighty castle of success. Or a smelly self-loathing gutter of failures.
Even when you’re not trying to manifest something, your thoughts still control your body. They control how you’re feeling about getting things done and moving forward in life. Hence, if you’re always creating self-limiting beliefs, your brain will eventually start to take them as reality.
This negative manifestation becomes like the fog on your windshield. You can’t see the road without wiping it away first.
6. Breaking Promises
Your word is your bond including the words you say to yourself. We put great value on the words we give to others and go above and beyond trying to keep our promises. Ironically, the promises we make to ourselves are made, broken, re-made, and re-broken a dozen times per week.
This is more damaging than it might look on the surface. I can tell you that from firsthand experience. When you break your promises to yourself for a while, it starts becoming a habit. Your brain doesn’t take these promises seriously anymore. Your brain knows that these can be broken whenever things get difficult.
Working on a project, trying to study, preparing for something difficult, or even sitting down to think become cumbersome tasks. Your brain always has something more fun it wants to chase. When you keep following the same pattern, you stop trusting yourself, and that stings.
Start small for a change. Take note of how you’re talking to yourself. Be conscious of the promises you’re making to yourself. Always analyze what a promise is going to take to finish before deciding to pursue it.
7. Emotional Recklessness
How stiff are you when it comes time to face emotions and stand your ground to protect your goals? If you are giving way as a candle gives to fire then that’s going to hurt you in life and business.
You need to get a command of your emotions and learn how to separate yourself from the situation. I was reading “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink, a decorated Navy seal. The most important lesson he teaches throughout the book is: learn to separate yourself from emotions.
We have countless other examples of businessmen, high performers, warriors, and people we admire. They have all preached the same thing.
Conclusion and final words
These might seem like obvious things and repetitive advice. Still, these are the things where the real power of mastering yourself exists. All these points are easier said than done and I’m aware of that. But have to grapple with these dragons to climb the mountain of success.
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