The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown
What operating system are you running in the background of your mind?
How is it impacting your financial success?
For better or worse, your unconscious programming is running the show and setting limits on what you can achieve.
I received a “C” in Grade 5 Art from my all-time favorite teacher.
As a parent myself, I now question how a young child could receive a low grade in art class unless she missed assignments or was disrespectful. And yet, I idolized that teacher. And I worked so hard to gain his approval.
Rather than judging my beloved teacher, I instead judged myself.
I accepted that I was just not creative. I even laughingly told the story for years, that I could only draw stick figures and I had better not give up my day job!
I never questioned that belief until I woke up and realized I was limiting myself in all areas of creativity, including ones that could actually enhance success in my day job.
The limiting belief that I just wasn’t creative was caused by a significant emotional event.
Significant emotional events are powerful life experiences which shape your beliefs and identity in a wanted or unwanted fashion.
Perhaps your father declared bankruptcy when you were young, causing a lot of grief in the family, and you unconsciously decided that money would never be important to you.
On the positive side, you may have won gold in your grade 7 science fair and you automatically took on the “smart science geek” identity.
Giving birth to your first child was likely so powerful an experience that you immediately identified with your new role of mother. In each case, an unconscious belief was formed which then molded or shifted your identity.
These momentous experiences are so impactful that they transform your identity immediately, for better or worse. You generally don’t think to question them because they have already been integrated into the fabric of your being.
Yet these underlying beliefs are your filter through which you perceive the world, all new experiences and future goals. If the belief is a positive one, then it’s a great one to keep.
However, there is a whole lot of B.S. (belief systems, that is) that just isn’t serving you, and is likely limiting you in attaining your goals.
Significant emotional events are just one way you add to the library of beliefs making up your identity.
The second types of beliefs are the life rules instilled by your parents or caregivers. Which ones have you been taught?
Your parents wanted to do everything possible to keep you safe and alive, above all else, and most of these rules did exactly the job your parents intended. In fact, you may have taught the same ones to your own children.
Most parents want to protect their children from uncertainty rather than expose them to potential risk. The challenge is that opportunity and success most often require uncertainty and some form of risk.
Playing it safe is not going to help you achieve your goals.
You were also taught certain beliefs unconsciously by your parents so repetitively they became your own… your programming and part of your identity.
One example would be racial prejudice.
Another might be the unspoken belief that people like you and your family will never have lots of money because you come from the wrong area or economic class.
I came from a farming community on the shores of the Great Lakes. We locals resented the rich city people who bought up all of the waterfronts so that local people couldn’t afford it.
Much as I would like to own waterfront property, how likely is it I could have it based on my programming of hating those people?
If you’re not exactly where you want to be, perhaps it’s time to update your operating system.
More often than not, you won’t even think to question this programming because it is part of the fabric of your environment, your culture and your traditions.
If you do become aware that these beliefs are not ones you want, you are often afraid to give them up because you may unconsciously feel it would be disrespectful or unloving toward your parents or culture.
Because this programming is so fraught with emotion, you may even be afraid that giving up such beliefs may cause you to be ostracized from the people you love.
Time to change any programming that no longer serves–if it ever did.
Why is this so important in achieving your goals? In “Not Reaching your Wealth Goals? Quit Focusing on Your B.S.”, we discussed how your subconscious would sabotage any efforts to change if your goals were incongruent with your identity.
Your beliefs are core to your identity and directly impact the perception of your capability to achieve any result you want.
It may not even be a belief unique to you.
There was a time when we didn’t believe we could ride in a horseless carriage, or fly in a plane, or speak to someone long distance over a phone, or fly to the moon.
Without belief, you run into the first blind spot and obstacle to achieving your results.
You must first believe in your ability to reach your goals as the first step in the process.
And yet, we humans have an irritating habit of putting limits on our capabilities by thinking that something is impossible to do. Then someone comes along who refuses to accept limitations, and the impossible becomes possible.
It all starts with belief.
The reality is that we have been imposing limits on ourselves and only using a portion of the creativity, intelligence and talent we actually have. Researchers are even showing that we can harness the neuroplastic potential of the human brain to improve our cognition and prevent decline.
How often have you heard the saying, “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst”?
This was a mainstay motto for my farming family as I grew up.
This is the perfect example of limiting B.S. taught by well-meaning parents who want to prepare their children for every eventuality.
And yet, hope (and that saying) has the seeds of doubt within it. If you just hope that you can achieve your goal, you don’t really believe you have the ability to reach it. You develop a blind spot (more B.S.) in which you can’t possibly find a workable strategy.
If you truly believe you are capable of achieving your goal, then you are highly likely to think of and employ the right strategy to reach it.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Another huge roadblock to achieving your results are your emotions, particularly fear.
Dr. Karl Albrecht states that there really only 5 fears we all share:
And yes, this is also part of your belief system. If you don’t have a strong belief in your capabilities, fear sabotages your efforts. Why is this?
“Most of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, but we are actually feeling creatures that think.” — Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.
Each limiting belief is fueled by fear. Fear — focusing on the unwanted as well as lack of belief — can blind you to the required strategy and block your results.
Your emotions live in your amygdala, in your primitive unconscious brain.
We have been hard-wired since caveman days to think overwhelmingly negatively and fearfully
In fact, your brain reacts far more strongly to negative news or images than positive ones.
The challenge is that you create visions and goals with your conscious mind. And it is only in command as long as you are consciously focusing. As soon as you move your focus of attention or go to sleep, your unconscious mind takes charge.
This means that your knee-jerk reactions will rule until you strengthen your vision beliefs and clean up your B.S.
You need to have a strong belief in your capabilities before the strategy can effectively come into play.
Humans jump too quickly to strategy. You want to spend all of your time and effort on strategy, even though it is actually a very small part of the equation.
A strategy is the HOW, and there are innumerable strategies to achieve your goals once everything else is in place.
Think of your mindset like the operating system of your mind through which all experiences and sensations are filtered. There are no more strategy problems in the internet age. Only B.S.
You need to release or reframe the limiting B.S., like peeling away layers of an onion. Or you can write over them with new belief systems you have chosen to support the results you want.
Beliefs can be created and strengthened with reinforcement.
You can choose to believe that you are always going to be fine, no matter what life throws at you.
You can choose to believe you will always have enough money to pay your bills.
You can choose a wealthy mindset.
Like me, you can choose to believe that you are creative.
In summary, in order to be the most successful, you must believe strongly that you have the capability to use the best strategies to achieve your goals. This will prevent fear from derailing you and will allow you to avoid any mental blind spots which may block your path.
Once you believe completely that you are capable of achieving your desired results, the inspiration for an effective strategy follows.
It all starts with belief.