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.

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.”