MYTHS OF INADEQUACY

I loved the study of mythology when I was a kid.  Those ancient tales were full of gods, centaurs, one-eyed giants, dashing heroes, and massive sea creatures.

The word myth- is defined as a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone.   For instance, in the picture above, ancient sailors believed in the myths of a giant octopus that could swallow up their ships if they sailed too far into uncharted territories.

These myths passed down from older and supposedly wiser seamen kept many from achieving their dreams of finding new routes to new markets.   Instead, they remained stuck in the old and poorly designed routes followed by generations of sailing ships.  Of course, some bold navigators, scoffed at the myths and they charted new routes to immensely profitable new markets.

They refused to believe the myths.

If you are going to become the person you were intended to be, you must confront the myths of personal  inadequacy.

Here some of the most popular ones:

  • Teachers and parents are always right
  • Job descriptions are inclusive and accurate
  • Academic degrees are barometers of success
  • Past failures are character definitions
  • Experience trumps creativity

Which of these myths has kept you from reaching for your dream?  Recognize them for the limiting beliefs that they are.  Whichever one you choose, there are plenty of people who succeeded in spite of facing that very challenge.

I love the story of Albert Einstein.  His early childhood teachers thought him to be ignorant and sent him home from school with a note to his mother telling her not to send him back.  When the boy asked his mother what the note said she replied, “They wrote… you are too intelligent and creative to attend our limited school and I should keep you home to allow you to blossom at a quicker rate.”   She did keep him home and his genius eventually changed the world.  Those teachers were wrong!  Are you letting the opinion of a long-ago teacher or parent limit you today? Recognize it for the myth it is and get started achieving your dream.

It’s time to quit living in the haze of mythology and move forward in full confidence that you have what it takes to succeed.

Emotional Cancer- 3- Fear

So I did this thing.

I went to Africa.  I was invited last year to speak at a conference in Tanzania, Africa and I agreed to go, but, a year later, when it got real that I was scheduled to make this trip, my dark side started working on my confidence.

  • It’s 8,811 miles away!
  • What if you get in an accident?
  • There have been terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
  • You are getting too old for 15-hour plane rides.
  • What if you get sick while you’re there?

You have to understand that I’ve been on such trips before. In fact, I have made over 20 trips to other countries to speak and minister.  I’ve even been to Africa before.

None the less, I was feeling fear…  not full-blown panic, but anxiety on a minor level.

I am writing this post from the conference in Arusha, Tanzania, and I’m delighted that I came. I’ve once again filled my life with sights, smells, and the people of Africa.  It is amazing! Why did I ignore my fears and take this trip? I did it because of some core mental distinctions I have around fear. These distinctions are:

  • You are only as young as the new experiences you are having. Don’t let fear make you old before your time by limiting your adventures.
  • You will die eventually, why not fill the time doing things that excite and expand you?
  • You must force your imagination to serve you by creating new dreams, not worries that shrink your world.
  • You have a limited “shelf-life.”  Don’t wait too late to take some chances in life.

I constantly encounter people who have allowed fear to limit their lives.  Not justifiable fear, like avoiding dangerous places and people, but imagined fears blown out of proportion. These are the people who die long before they are buried.

Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a long life, full of many dangers, most of which never happened.”

What’s the thing you need to do?  Force your fear into submission and get busy living a life that inspires you and others. Oh, and send me a response in the contact line.  I want to know what fear you conquered.

Kwa Heri – (goodbye in Swahili)

Want to be unhappy? Stay angry.

Unhappiness is not only  unpleasant, but it can have a negative impact on our success.  In my last blog, we looked at how a lack of gratitude can create emotional cancer in our lives.  Today, I want to look at the drain of anger on our emotional health.

Anger is one of the most destructive emotions we can let into our heart. It is a reacting emotion that is meant to be experienced short term. In short bursts, it is reasonable.  The trouble comes when we allow it to settle in for a long stay in the hotel of our mind.  Are you booking an emotional vacation when you should be pulling in for a rest stop?

Anger has powerful effects on our bodies.  It activates hormones for fighting that trigger our muscles for battle, but battles are only meant to last a few minutes. If we stay in battle mode long term, those hormones begin to wear down our immune defenses and over stimulate our cardiovascular system.  In short, we get sick.  Have you ever met anyone who was sick with anger?

Anger can become a habit.  Some people make it their default emotional setting.

They have been upset for so long, they have forgotten what peace feels like.  Rage becomes their calling card.

Side effects of an anger life:

  • Loneliness – sensible people will cut you out of their life
  • Career stagnation- businesses cannot afford the messes angry people make
  • Financial stress – it costs money to get out of jail, get divorced, etc.
  • Reputation damage – you will be known as storm waiting to happen

Ditch the destructive emotion of anger:

  • Lower your expectations of others – people are weak, get used to it.
  • Raise what it takes to offend you – don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Hold tightly to peace – you can choose to keep cool.
  • Release offenses – if someone offends you,  let it go.

“You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited.”  Author Unknown

Life is short and people’s memories are long.  Don’t let the emotional of cancer anger continue to limit your success.

Ancient wisdom from a timeless book says:

“And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”    Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT

If You Do This, You Have a Chance to Reach Your Dreams

 

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a leadership event. I shared key truths in the speech from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down four of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was “to start thinking big.”  Today, I want to share the last concept I shared with the group, which was to do a new thing.  

You have to do something different.  There is no change without new activity.  If you want a better job, you have to improve your skills and bring more to the marketplace.  If you want to improve your skills you need to go back to school, get some professional coaching, or take an online course.  If you are not reaching your goals with your current action, then it’s time to do a new thing.   As one jokester put it, “If it ain’t working, don’t do it harder.” 

What are you unhappy about in your life?  If you want it to change, you have to do a new thing.

This means:

  • You can’t stay in your comfort zone.
  • You can’t depend on your old network.
  • You can’t refuse to learn new skills.

The lady, who heard me speak, took action.  She decided it was time to do something new and she was willing to take a risk. She filled out a resume for her dream job, and mailed it to a potential employer.  She landed the biggest job of her life, but it would never have happened if she hadn’t done a new thing.

Do a new thing today and move yourself toward your goals.  It’s the only way things will ever change.

By the way, if you’re enjoying my posts, please subscribe to my blog. You can do so right here on the left side of this page by just entering your email address.  It would help me immensely and it’s one more new thing for you to do. 

You’re Not A Tree

SHE TOOK ACTION AND SOMETHING BIG HAPPENED

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that.  Here’s her quote

“I took a leap of faith after a friend encouraged me and I pondered on Kim’s message, I took a deep breath; this mind re-framing  he shared at the East Texas Leadership Summit was truly a game changer for me. One of the five points was:  Do a new thing…(send your name to a prospective employer).  I did, and the new  position was offered to me.”

 She was blown away by the new opportunity and the increased salary.

What opportunity is waiting for you if you will just take action?

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

I’ve always loved the Jim Rohn quote, “If you don’t like the way things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

In my next blog, I’ll share another of the five points from the “Game Changers” speech and I’ll coach you on how to make powerful changes in your life.

 

 

How Long Will You Be Limited by Your Past?

How long do we have to be limited by our past?

Are we ever safe from our failures?   Is there a shelf-life on our mistakes?  Can we overcome painful memories?

Far too often, we suffer internally because of things we remember that we did wrong or past embarrassments.

Memories shape our lives. If they are negative or painful, they become a prison of self-limitation.  The most interesting thing about memories is that they are unreliable.   The longer we have a memory, the more we embellish and color it with nostalgia.

I occasionally visit a home I lived in over 50 years ago.  I love to go by and see where I played as a boy with brothers and friends.  I am always amused by how small everything is compared to my memory.   A small shed still stands that we used to jump off of as boys.   In my memory it was 20 or more feet high.  In reality, it is only about 5 feet and most people would have to stoop down to walk under its low hanging roof.  The discrepancy in my memory is because I was only about four-feet-tall, when I made my daring leaps off its tin roof.   Everything looks different to me now from my current six-feet height.

We also tend to add details to our memories that were not really there.  The more you tell a story, including the more you tell it to yourself, the easier it is to incrementally add to the tale.   This is why your father’s memory of walking to school when he was a child morphs from a couple of city blocks to a couple of country miles. It’s also why his exploits on the baseball and football field become tales of legendary skill and success, when in reality, they were just stories of an average kid making an average team.

The truth is our memories are flawed.  What you remember so vividly probably did not happen exactly as your picture it.

It is time to take the sting out of your painful memories.  When they show up to limit you or shame you, remember they are being blown out of proportion.  When they give you that familiar unpleasantness, remember that you are remembering from who you were, not who you are today.  You wouldn’t make that mistake today.  You wouldn’t choose that bad decision as the person you are today. Don’t let a flawed and exaggerated remembrance trouble your peace of mind.

Good coaches teach us that though the past is always with us, its ability to hurt is a personal choice. Decide today that your memories from years ago are out of date and toss them into the trash.  Move forward, focused on who you are becoming, not limited by who you were.

Make your personal mantra: I’m not who I ought to be, I’m not who I’m going to be, but thank God, I’m not who I was, and quit allowing yourself to be shamed by an out of date past.

ARE YOU AS LOVEABLE AS DANNY?

TO CLAIM THE REAL YOU – ELIMINATE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

 

To allow yourself to step forward and claim your worth in the world, you need to overcome lingering beliefs about your self-worth.  How can you boldly put yourself in the public eye if you are being slammed by critical statements within your mind?   Do you have doubts about being worthy of God’s blessings?  Do you fear that you are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough to achieve your goals?  Even worse, do you constantly tell yourself these things?

This negative self-talk has to stop because:

  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • You are the only person exactly like you in the entire universe.
  • You were put here with unique gifts and talents with which to bless the world.
  • You are just as worthy of success as anyone else.

For a primer in self-esteem study, let’s look at the career of actor, Danny DeVito. DeVito’s short stature is the result of a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth in those afflicted.  This diminutive actor has won the hearts and minds of millions in spite of his unorthodox appearance.  If Danny can refuse limiting beliefs about his success, so can you.

Realize that how you feel about yourself could be putting a “lid” on your success.   Search your mind for any trace of poor self-esteem and commit to purging it from your life.

Things to remember to overcome poor self-esteem:Remember everyone is a jerk sometimes.

  • Remember that your past does not have to predict your future.
  • Remember that you are a work in process and cut yourself some slack.
  • Remember that if you disqualify yourself, someone who needs your gifts will miss out.
  • Remember that mistakes and failures are part of life.

Past mistakes and failures are not disqualifiers for success.  In fact, they are usually a prerequisite for real impact in the world.  Do a quick study of some of the game changing leaders from history and you will see that all of them overcame something on their path to success.

Decide today that you are going to boldly go after your dreams.  Refuse to allow any false beliefs to limit your success.  Danny DeVito has legions of fans.  Why don’t you put yourself out there and see how many people will love you, too?

Claiming The Real You

HOW TO FIND THE COURAGE TO BE THE REAL YOU

The advertising campaign “Be All You Can Be,” promoting recruitment for the US Army, was one of the most successful in advertising history. It ran for 20 years.  It motivated enlistment with the idea of joining the armed forces in order to become a better you.

Here’s another good idea; simply allow yourself to be.

I wrote my last blog about not being afraid to be yourself.  Now, I want to give you four ideas in finding the courage to be yourself. The first is to value your uniqueness.

Self-improvement is important, but it can become an addiction.  While we are busy getting better, we should also enjoy being who we are.

How can we allow ourselves to just be?

Remember that today’s you, may be one of the best versions of yourself you ever produce.

This is true in the fitness arena.  I used to whine and groan about being fat.  All through my thirties and forties I was constantly disappointed in my body. But, I sure do miss that body today. If I could just turn back the clock, I’d never criticize myself again.  The body I had then was in some ways the best one I’ll ever have. The reality is that age brings deterioration, so today’s you may be one the best versions ever.

Remember you are a work in progress and cut yourself some slack.

Memorize this code: PBPWMGINFWMY   It will reduce the stress in your life.It means: “Please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.”Everyone has flaws. Most would like to be a better version of ourselves, but masterpieces      are not created overnight.  Don’t miss the glory of this day, because you are disappointed in how your diet is going or some other frustration on your goal list. Be gentle with yourself. You will get better.

Step one on claiming the real you is to accept yourself with all your “warts and weaknesses,” as being part of a human race that is flawed and broken.   Keep working at your goals, but enjoy today.

Other people love you. Love yourself and you’ll be better able to love other people.

Claim the real you, because the real you is pretty fantastic right now.

QUIT BEING AFRAID TO BE YOU

Quit being afraid to be you. If you want to create something that has power and lasts, then you have to be the authentic you, no matter who that annoys or makes angry.

A copy has no power to inspire.  A cheap knockoff has limited appeal.  People want to see and hear something that is real, and they get pumped when they encounter leaders who are irrepressibly themselves.

Why do we fear being ourselves?

  • We fear we are not good enough.
  • We buy into the lie that other leaders have it all together, all the time.
  • We have the tendency to overemphasize our failures and downplay our successes.
  • We feel arrogant to assert our ideas and opinions.
  • We wonder why people would want to hear what we have to say.

But, you are the only you in the universe.  You have life experiences that no one else has.  You see things in your own unique viewpoint and that viewpoint might just set someone free.

In the biographical movie “Walk The Line,”the young singer, Johnny Cash tries to get a record deal by singing a gospel song that has been recorded by Jimmy Davis.  The producer Sam Phillips stops his performance and says “this is awful.” Then he asks this question.

If you was hit by a truck and you were lying out in a gutter and you had time to sing one song—one song that people would remember before you’re dirt, one song that would let God know what you felt about your time here on earth, one song that would sum you up—are you telling me that’s the one song you’d sing?  That same Jimmy Davis tune that we hear on the radio all day about your peace within and how it’s all real and how you’re gonna shout it.  

Or would you sing something different, something real, something you felt?  ‘Cause I’m telling you right now, that’s the kind of song people want to hear.  That’s the kind of song that truly saves people.  It ain’t got nothing to do with believing in God, Mr. Cash, it has everything to do with believing in yourself!”

I don’t agree with Sam’s theology, but I agree with his plea for authenticity, and so did Johnny Cash. He put away his props and sang for the producer a song he had written called “Folsom Prison Blues.”  The rest as they say “is history” and a new star was born.

I ask you, what are you meant to say, sing, do, or produce?  Will you continue to spin out weak copies of other people’s work and ideas? Or will you start singing the song you were put on this earth to sing?

Quit being afraid to be you. If you want to create something that has power and lasts, then you have to be the authentic you, no matter who that annoys or makes angry.

 

 

What’s Intimidating You?

What’s Intimidating You?

Subtitle:  Adventures in Car Hauling

My son-in-law bought my dad’s old truck from my mother.  The truck no longer ran and there was a lot of confusion about what might be wrong with it. But, Charley figured it would make a good starter vehicle for my grandson, who was fast approaching driving age.   He learned that other family members possessed a long bed trailer suitable for car hauling and he decided to drive down and haul the truck back home to Tyler. I decided to go along with him on the 3-hour trip, so I could see my mom, sister, and the rest of the family, and because I had brokered the deal.   We made a boy’s trip.  My son-in-law Charley, myself, and two of my above average grandsons set off on a distinctly, masculine adventure.  How hard could it be?

We thought we could do this. I mean it wasn’t rocket science. But, the more we talked with an experienced person, the more our insecurities mounted.  Neither one of us had ever pulled an 18-foot-long trailer, and we had never hauled anything as large as a truck.   As we learned about the things we needed (tie down straps, come-alongs, and weight-centering strategies, our fears began to mount), we realized this was serious stuff.  If we messed up, at the very least, it could be expensive, and at the worst, someone could get hurt.   But, we did it. We faced our fears, we loaded that truck and safely hauled it back to Tyler. We were feeling pretty proud as we rolled into the Rose City, thinking we had once again earned our “man cards.”

This adventure of car-hauling and the mental gymnastics we went through made me think about how people get intimidated out of attempting things that will take their careers to new levels of success. 

  • They turn down a promotion, because they’re not sure they can handle the stress of leadership.
  • They change their minds about relocating to a dream company, because it’s out of state and they have never moved before.
  • They own a company that is offered the chance to bid on a contract that will pay them the kind of money they have been dreaming of, but turn it down, out of fear they can’t hire enough quality employees to fulfill the contract.
  • They perhaps are encouraged to write a book about a life changing experience, but refuse to take action, because they have never written anything before.

All of these opportunities have the same key factors.  One, they offer tremendous potential for improvement in life. Two, they require the learning of new skills or the need to enter into levels of leadership, not yet experienced. Three, they are fear inducing.

These tips from my car-hauling experience might keep you from missing your opportunity.

  • Refuse to be intimidated. Everything is new the first time you do it.
  • Remind yourself that it can be done. Others have hauled cars, so can you.
  • Seek out good instruction. My brother-in-law provided needed expertise that greatly increased our chance for success.
  • Have confidence in yourself. You have made it to your current level of success through hard work and discipline and you can make it further using the same tools.

I don’t want to encourage you to do anything foolish or dangerous in life.  But, I also don’t want you to get intimidated out of what may be one of your greatest chances for success, because you’ve never done it before.

Take on the task.  Take up the challenge.  Haul a truck if you need to.  You might even earn your “man card.”