The past doesn't need to have any bearing on the future, unless you allow it to. It's only your rules that dictate how the future turns out. Maybe the last time you raised the tender issue of money with your partner, things escalated quickly into an all-out fight, but there's no reason that has to be the case this time.
What caused thing to escalate so quickly? How were you being that had things go that way? What can you be responsible for in this matter, and how can you ensure that things don't go that way again?
The future is created here and now. In this moment. Not in the past. It is only our insistence upon things going a certain way that has the past affect the future so strongly.
2. It might upset someone if I do that, so I shouldn't do it
I have terrible news - everything you do is likely to upset people. Not the same people, but people, all the same. Anyone that has ever done any work in politics will tell you that it's simply impossible to please everyone all of the time. By adhering to the rule that you should appeal to the largest number of people, you leave out the most important voter in the equation: you.
I remember when I had made the decision that law was not going to be my ultimate career trajectory, and needed to tell Bay that I wasn't going to continue with it. It was challenging and difficult. She didn't like hearing that I was going into a "softer" profession, with less guarantee that I would be
successful make money (is it even possible to be successful in something that you don't enjoy doing? Not under my definition of success).
It was difficult to tell Bay, and she required some enrolling — but that didn't mean it wasn't something I should pursue. I had a duty to myself and Bay to pursue what would make me happy. Failing to do so would ultimately make both of us unhappy.
3. If you're not motivated, it's a sign that you shouldn't do something
When people come to me and tell me that they don't know what they want to do, I ask them "How much time do you spend thinking about what you want to do? What have you tried so far?".
The answer is usually nothing. We think that if we wait long enough, the fire will get started for us.
You have to start the fire within, and until you actually start taking action, it won't start. Motivation and passion are created when we take something on and stick with it through the initial difficulty. As we build skill, we get more excited about what we're up to. If you want to create motivation, you have to be willing to do some work.
4. The fact that I'm disempowered means something is missing
Another way to word this rule is "If I'm disempowered, wait until later. I'll be more empowered tomorrow". Ever notice that in actuality, you wake up as the same disempowered jerk that you went to bed as?
Empowerment comes from action. It's okay to be scared when you're taking on something new with Bambi legs. It's the sign that you're doing something new. It's the sign that you're growing.
You turn disempowerment around by acting in the face of it. Oh, I'm disempowered right now? Well let's turn that around. Let's start acting, right here and now.
You will be amazed at how much empowerment you can create from the simple mantra of "Do it now".
5. Things will be different when I have more money/a new job/finish school/win the lottery
No they won't.
[Tweet "Changing your external circumstances won't free you from your internal rules."]
Changing your external circumstances won't free you from your internal rules. The vast majority of people that win the lottery report that the problems stay the same, they just grow in scale. People that struggled with money before still struggle with money — it's just that they're making impulse purchases of houses and cars instead of sunglasses and TVs.
When I was preparing to leave my work as a lawyer, I thought to myself "Boy, it will be fantastic having so much spare time". Predictably, I jumped into my coaching practice and recreated the exact same never-ending demands on my time that were present when I was working in law.
My external circumstance had changed, but my ruleset remained identical. If I was always managing a story that I'm never doing enough, then of course no career change will make a difference. The problem isn't with the career — it was within me.
If these five rules don't resonate with you, don't worry: you've got plenty of other rules that are holding you back. (If you're a regular reader of this blog and haven't yet requested a complimentary session, you've got some kind of rule about being supported...)
"Hell, there are no rules here — we're trying to accomplish something."
- Thomas Edison
What are the rules that are holding you back? Where is the point where your own responsibility ends and the problem truly becomes someone or something else's? What would be different if you actually remained responsible for everything that happened after that point?
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