Limiting beliefs are killing your career.
“I have to ask, what do you do?”
I received this question with nearly every encounter on a recent road trip. Three weeks of mountain biking through Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado does seem like a luxury.
People “have to ask” because what company offers three-week vacations?
People “have to ask” because “I’d love to do something like that,” and then proceed to tell me what’s holding them back.
A desire to travel is the single most common response to hypothetical “what if?” career questions. So why do we fail to make it happen?
Let Me Tell You About Darius.
As a kid, Darius’ family vacationed in the nearby National Parks and shared with him the grandeur that our public lands have to offer.
Visiting all the national parks was a bucket list item without much attention, until Darius made a realization. If he visited one, even two, new parks a year, he would finish sometime in his 70s.
So Darius took the bold path to embark on a journey to visit all 59 parks in 59 weeks as part of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
When I tell this story to live audiences, something strange happens — even the most inspired listeners fall into a mind-trap.
“Sure, no kids, no responsibilities. Some day you have to get a real job.”
“Must be nice to have a trust fund.”
“We can’t all just quit our jobs and do what we want.”
These same comments surfaced whenever Darius was covered in the press.
Your Limiting Beliefs.
Limiting beliefs reflect assumptions and negative beliefs that hold us back. We psychologically handicap our potential before we ever begin.
Darius has no trust fund.
After college, he was an elementary school teacher in South Dakota where he made less than $30,000 a year.
He moved to Virginia and continued to work a “real job” with a modest income.
He prioritized living minimally with the willpower to pinch pennies for three years.
He then got creative by hosting a crowdfunding campaign. Supporters could receive post-cards and even join Darius for portions of his journey.
Darius depleted most of his savings at the completion of his 59 week trip. As a 30-something, he moved in with his parents while preparing for his next employment. How many of us are willing to make that move?
Bold moves create serendipity.
Darius is now invited (and paid) to speak about his inspiring trip, spreading love of our national parks, and the reality of making his dream possible.
After discovering his 360-degree park photos received millions of views, Darius was inspired to create interactive lessons to bring the love of national parks into schools (recall that Darius was previously a teacher). This new project earned him acceptance into a startup accelerator.
Oh, and he was cast in a Subaru commercial in support of the national parks.
Letting go of limiting beliefs.
When we hold limiting beliefs about our time, money, family, or ability, then they become heavy anchors dragging down our potential.
- Are you ready to buckle down and save month after month?
- Are you ready to move in with your parents (or your adult kids)?
- Are you ready to get creative with new strategies to surmount obstacles?
Your mindset plays a powerful role in either limiting your beliefs or expanding them.
When you prime your mind to see what’s possible (rather than limits), you strengthen your ability imagine new paths and recognize opportunities to match your ambitions.