Most people live in a box.
A box they created themselves.
The box is confining. It causes pain and frustration. It eliminates most of the choices they feel they should have.
And it can pollute their judgment.
Very often, the difference between someone who’s “successful” in life and someone who isn’t is their box.
The difference between someone who’s happy and someone who’s unhappy is their box.
The difference between someone who feels fulfilled in life and someone who’s unfulfilled is their box.
The “box” I’m describing, is built every time we form an absolute belief about ourselves, another person, society, the world, the economy… or anything else. With each absolute belief we form, we create a new wall in our box.
You’ll know an absolute belief when you hear yourself uttering a statement like…
- “I am…”
- “I’m not…”
- “I believe…”
- “I don’t believe…”
- “He is…”
- “He’s not…”
- “The world is…”
- “The government is…”
- “They are…”
Or anything else that cuts off possibility.
I invite you to think of any black-and-white statement that allows no room for nuance as a wall of the box you’ve built for yourself.
Every time you lay out an absolute belief, it’s like running a program in your mind that stops your subconscious from considering any other possibility.
The average person making their way through life ends up with so many absolute beliefs about the world and their place in it. And they confuse these beliefs with their identity.
So much so that all they can do is exactly what they’ve always done. They’ve cut off so many pieces of reality that all they can do is walk to their fridge, drive their car, live in their house and hopefully find a little bit of love with someone.
When you study the typical founder, CEO or high-functioning individual, you will find that they have drastically fewer absolute beliefs (we all have some). This allows them to have much more nuance in the way they view the world and in the language they use to describe things, and this gives them a much bigger space to play in before they hit a boundary in life.
Think about your biggest hero’s. Does this hold true for them? Do you think they had/have fewer absolute beliefs about themselves? Did they seem less restricted about who they could be in life, what they could create, give or accomplish? This all ties back to the number of absolute beliefs they held.
Go through all the icons of our world and you’ll find this is true in every example.
Breaking the Box
I’d like to invite you to consider something.
Every absolute belief you carry is in some way a limitation on your life. It’s a wall of the box you’re choosing to live in.
If you were able to let go of every absolute belief you had tomorrow, your world would start to explode…
You would begin to see new possibilities all around you.
This would probably scare you at first. It’s one thing to consider your possibilities in the box you’ve created for yourself. It’s quite another to realize that there is no box… that you can be anything, live anywhere and form relationships with anyone you want…
You can achieve anything, and you can learn anything.
Should you choose to accept this invitation, here is a tactic, as simple as it sounds, to begin to shift any absolute beliefs you have…
Start fractionalizing every absolute belief into something that has more distinction. Pay attention to the words you use and the thoughts you have – and look for every opportunity to do this. Language is a powerful force in shaping our beliefs about ourselves and the world.
First, write down any beliefs you have about yourself, your family, your community, your work or your life.
Then go back through and look at each one with new eyes.
Begin to replace “I am ____” with “Part of me feels I am ____, but another part of me realizes that there’s more to the story, and there are possibilities I may not yet be in touch with.” Or “In the past I’ve been _____, but today I realize…”.
Going through this exercise verbally or in your mind is good but writing it down is far more powerful.
If you’re able to start noticing your absolute beliefs and shifting your language, you’ll be amazed at what happens.
You’ll begin to see choices you never saw before.
Your life will begin to start to feel less confined.
And other people will start to see you becoming more expansive.
I hope this helps you to feel richer in your life going forward – and to share that richness with others.
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And until next time…
P.S. Have you noticed absolute beliefs in yourself or in others? Have you ever felt limited or confined? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Shoot me a message and let me know what this brought up for you.