Scene 1. June 2014. Lunchtime. Dhaka, Bangladesh.
While sitting in front of my office desk, I was stretching my legs, marking the national distribution channel deployment plan for the organization I was working. 1000 new workforce, 600+ logistics, and 600 new distribution routes were about to incorporate in 64 districts in Bangladesh. I was coordinating with Regional project leaders for updates on project status, operational ROI update, and project deadlines.
The project was in the last stage. Approximately six months remained before I depart for my higher study in Canada. Praising notes and recognitions from the department came out that time to mark my successful project executions.
I took a slice from a pizza-box, took a bite, and closed my eyes in comfort. Brightening days, shinning lights to guide my path, I thought!
Scene 2. June 2015. Lunchtime. Toronto, Canada.
After the first half of security guard duty in one of the residential buildings, I came downstairs to the reporting room. I asked the building security supervisor to time-stamp my lunchtime. ‘30 minutes’, he said.
I took my lunchbox, went to a nearby park bench, sat there, and before started having a bite, a thought just came out, ‘What the hell am I doing here!’
In 2015, I was a student and doing part-time work as Security, doing scheduled guard duties in different buildings across Toronto. Nope, I was not complaining about the job. It was the frustrated thinking of a never-ending dark tunnel of a bleak future.
I came back from lunch within 10 minutes. Several other guards took their lunchtime break in a conference room. I had twenty more minutes, so I started chatting with some other guards. One person asked me about my weekend plans, and I told him that I would be attending my continuing study class, apart from my full-time study.
He seemed curious, ‘But why, why are you spending your money and time there?’
My answer was, ‘To learn more about this particular field, connect, and identify how I can progress in my career.’
Sighed, he said, ‘But you can do more hours here, earn a bit more money. You should concentrate here, and once you have 4–5 years, you might be a supervisor someday.’
I didn’t blame him, as we often provide advice based on our experiences, and I appreciated his feedback. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t hate the job; I wanted to pursue my aspiring field. So I replied, ‘Sure, I will try out that route first and some other alternative routes because that’s my specialized area. If those don’t work, I will be concentrating more on this one.’
And, he replied, ‘There is nothing out there for you. I’m guessing you will be here for the rest of your life.’
Now, you might be thinking, where is the limiting belief that I am supposed to write about? My limiting belief was always holding onto the negative thoughts for any scenario and making myself frustrated in the process.
Since childhood, I was passionate about what I did and put together a back-up plan for the worst outcome. It was good for backup, except most of the time, the associated negative thoughts stayed with me, pushed me to the fear zone, ultimately made me a bit more frustrated.
What it did eventually was limiting the positive beliefs one by one. Even if I tried to think about better outcomes, I always reverted to the belief that my path would eventually drive me towards a frustrating future.
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. — Murphy’s law
When it came into my head, that added an additional layer to the already frustrating thoughts. After that conversation, I lost the appetite for study; I was not attending my school’s leadership development program, and I became more depressed. I asked my partner why I should even bother to participate, as it would not be a matter anyways.
She was supportive all the way.
She repeatedly uttered, ‘Do not succumb yourself to these dreadful thoughts. Try to make conversations with positive words by thinking positive notions, mingle more with positive thinkers, talk about your achievements in a prouder approach. What you will do in the upcoming future will be determined by your efforts. Make the effort. The fruits will come earlier for some and a bit later for others. But it will come eventually.’
Gradually, I regrouped my thoughts. I started to mingle with people who were inspiring and friendly. Leaving out a comfort zone, embedding completely different multi-cultural experiences, engaging with more people, and knowing more about Toronto, I love it now.
My life changed gradually.
After six months, I left the job to take a project-based sales role, then moved to the Financial Advisory line, and finally to technology consultancy. I completed the continuing study, completed online business management programs, and even learned about data analytics basics.
Yup, not yet to my once-marked desired role, but my desires are currently not static by a particular position.
Openness to newer doors and avenues for exploring are improving my views to shutter once-believed blinded opinions. Some of these viewpoints are taboo (and hated) topics in my homeland that I used to have some misconceptions about. I am grateful to my partner for helping me experience and refine my viewpoints, which helped me understand the world a bit clearer and more liberally.
My limiting belief of always assuming the darker outcome was pulling me down. Now, I don’t hold onto the bleak thoughts of negating positive thoughts. Opening myself for new challenges and ideas has helped me shape myself as a better human (compared to my previous state).
No, I am not a saint, just a better version of myself.