“We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots.”
– Jean Toomer
The thing that I’ve come to see over and over again when I meet with people is that they already know what they want. Many of them already know what their dreams are. They already know what they have to do, and yet they don’t do it.
And it can be a very intense process to break through all the limiting beliefs that hold people back from creating their dream life.
Here are some:
I’m too old.
I’m too young.
I’m not smart enough.
I don’t have enough education.
I have too much experience.
I’m under qualified.
I don’t have enough time.
I don’t have enough money.
There are millions more, but those are some of the most common ones that I see. And what’s fascinating is that these beliefs can overtake people.
It’s always a miracle when I see individuals who begin to understand that they are not their beliefs, but their beliefs are simply patterns. So it’s not so much about learning to change who you are as it is learning to change certain patterns within you.
Scripture tells me: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NLT
Or, you can simply look at it this way:
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
I’ve always believed that when I have a limiting belief, it’s true in the moment, but not ultimately true.
There have been several times when I have had almost $0 in my bank account. My limiting belief was, “I don’t have enough money to start a business.” And while that might be true in a sense, what was also true is that people have started very successful businesses with less than I had in that moment.
And so I realized that perhaps a lack of funding was an opportunity to get creative.
So no matter what your limiting belief might be, that circumstance might be true in the moment, but there is always another way of looking at problems and circumstances so that you can call forth more resourcefulness and creativity than you thought you had.
While our circumstances might not be ideal, who you really are is FAR greater than that. Circumstances never ultimately dictate how far in life we go. Rather, it is how we respond to our circumstances that determines our path.
We are always responsible for how we respond to life.
In everyday life when you don’t get that promotion at work, or if you have been laid off (like I was last year) or fired from your job, you may feel like it’s the end of the world. It’s NOT!
Look at these people who were “failures” and then rose above their circumstances. They used the talents God gave them and came out on top! These are people are commonly known as “Famous Failures”! They remind me that “Failure” is just another stop on the road to success. Circumstances could have easily made them give up, but they didn’t! Their stories encourage me!
1. WINSTON CHURCHILL failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62.
2. THOMAS EDISON’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked.
3. HARLAND DAVID SANDERS, the famous KFC “Colonel,” couldn’t sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him. But then one did, and today there are KFC restaurants bearing his image all over the world.
4. STEVEN SPIELBERG was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director.
5. MARILYN MONROE’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress. Monroe kept plugging away and is one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.
6. SOICHIRO HONDA was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed. But then he began making motorcycles, started a business and became a billionaire.
7. VERA WANG failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She began designing wedding gowns at 40 and today is the premier designer in the business, with a multi-billion dollar industry.
8. WALT DISNEY was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most childhoods wouldn’t be the same without his ideas.
9. ALBERT EINSTEIN didn’t speak until age four and didn’t read until age seven. His teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped.” But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel prize in physics.
10. SIR ISAAC NEWTON was tasked with running the family farm but was a miserable failure. Newton was sent off to Cambridge University and became a physics scholar.
11. OPRAH WINFREY was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She’s also a billionaire.
12. VINCENT VAN GOGH only sold one painting in his entire life, to a friend. He sometimes starved in order to create the 800 paintings he’d eventually do. Today, his works are priceless.
13. DR. SEUSS’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.
14. HENRY FORD’s first auto company went out of business. He abandoned a second because of a fight and a third went downhill because of declining sales. He went on to become one of the greatest American entrepreneurs ever.
15. J.K. ROWLING was unemployed, divorced and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. J.K. Rowling is now internationally renowned for her 7 book Harry Potter series and is the first person to become a billionaire from writing.
16. STEPHEN KING was initially so frustrated with his first novel, Carrie that he threw it in the trash. King’s wife found the manuscript in the trash and took it out. To date his 49 novels have sold 350 million copies.
17. MICHAEL JORDAN was cut from his high school basketball team. He went home, locked the door and cried. He is famous for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. He is also famous for his amazing leaping ability during basketball slam dunk contests; this ability earned him the nick names ‘Air Jordan’ and ‘His Airness’.
18. THE BEATLES were rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said, “We don’t like their sound – they have no future in show business.” I guess The Beatles showed them!
So the question is, if you are experiencing limits in your life, how are you responding? Are you responding with a more limited view, or can you broaden your horizons and see that in this moment there is a greater opportunity for more creativity and resourcefulness than you thought you had?
And if that were true, what would you do?
Matthew 19:26 ” . . . With God all things are possible!”