You are not your past

A giant analog clock on a wall made of stone

For 26 years, I had two limiting beliefs cemented in my mind.

  1. I could never run a business—I’m not business savvy and none of it is common sense to me.
  2. I’m a talker and a thinker, but when it comes down to it I never take action with the things I want to do.

Today, I work 20 hours a week, make more money than I ever have before, have my dream job…and it’s all from taking consistent action and creating my own company.

Okay, that all sounds like a fake entrepreneur’s Instagram ad. I promise I’m not about to pitch my ebook or online course.

My point is: In the last year, I’ve flipped those two “certainties” on their heads.

I created a sustainable business that pays for my life. And the thought of not taking action if I want something feels nauseating. When there’s something I’m interested in that I think would benefit my life, my first thought is: How can I make it work?

To be fair, none of this came from a simple mindset shift or from a single event. This has all been a slow-growing and consistent progression. (Plus several anxiety-riddled months.)

So what can we do with all this? Or did I just want to brag about my life? While it does feel nice (and a bit slimy), I wanted to highlight an unfortunate truth:

We create fixed identities for ourselves by using the past to define us.

We can hear it in our language.

• “I always…”
• “I never…”
• “I’m not the kind of person who…”
• “I tend to…”
• “I could never…”

As Steve Chandler says, we mistake habits as traits. Repetitions as characteristics. Because we’ve done something more than once in the past, it’s set in stone that we’ll keep doing it.

I truly “couldn’t” run a business or take consistent action. Until I could.

When we think we can’t do something, we tend to prove ourselves right by not putting in the effort to make it happen. If I’m certain I can’t write a book, I never sit down to start typing. Therefore, my hypothesis gets confirmed.

Many of us have heard the phrase: “People don’t change.”

What fucking nonsense.

People change all the time. Our values, our habits, our goals…The vast majority of us are experiencing a neverending evolution.

Personalities and tendencies are real, but we don’t have to let them pigeonhole us and keep us stuck in the same place.

I’m aware that this blog sounds like a typical self-help book. But if we just take consistent, scary action…we’d be amazed by the ways we prove ourselves wrong.