Seven Myths That Keep Us Stuck
Guest blogger: Kary Oberbrunner serves the business and non-profit community as a speaker and coach. The author of several books, Kary also serves as a founding partner on the John Maxwell Team. He and his wife Kelly are blessed with 3 amazing children
What annoys you?
Fingernails scratching on the chalkboard? Soup served cold when you’re famished? Important cell phone calls dropped?
Did I get your number yet?
Maybe for you it’s not one of these but rather an empty toilet paper roll when you’re in desperate need of some? Or the feeling you get when someone just stole your parking spot and you’re running late?
Do any of these raise your stress level?
For me, none of these compare to my biggest stressor: being stuck. I hate being stuck, because stuck stinks! Stuck is slow death and chronic Pain.
Not only do I detest it, but I also loathe when other people are stuck. The only difference between being stuck in a rut and stuck in a grave is six feet. I like to see potential flowing smooth and free, unlocked and unleashed. I like to imagine the possibilities and taste the variety of options because I’m fueled by progress and adrenalized by production.
But I know the opposite too. I know plenty of people who are stuck. And I’ve not only seen the other side; regrettably I’ve taken up residence there in times past. I’ve camped in its courtyards and made my bed in its brokenness, most nights unconsciously. I don’t think any of us willingly choose to be stuck. I believe we slip into it rather unintentionally. Given a little time, though, we become full-fledged residents. This doesn’t excuse our condition; it only explains it.
I’ve discovered that many of us cling to 7 myths that keep us stuck.
I bet people taught you the same warmed-over clichés they taught me. See if you can finish these statements:
1. No Pain, no ______.
2. Winners never quit, and quitters never___.
3. If you can dream it, you can do ______.
4. No guts, no ________.
5. The early bird gets the _________.
6. It’s not what you know, it’s who you ____.
7. Be at the right place at the right _______.
Funny how much these myths shape our ideology and direct our actions, many times even indirectly. Although a tiny nugget of truth might reside within each phrase, breaking them down reveals some interesting false assumptions.
1. No Pain, no gain.
Key point: Hard work
False assumption: Pain produces promotion.
Truth: Choosing the right Pain produces promotion.
Story: I know people who work incredibly hard, never reach their potential, and die with their music still inside them.
2. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
Key point: Persistence
False assumption: Stick with something long enough and you will win.
Truth: Healthy self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses combined with persistence can convert into winning.
Story: I know people who never gave up their dream but failed to acknowledge they were completely unqualified to achieve it.
3. If you can dream it, you can do it.
Key point: Imagination
False assumption: Imagination guarantees you will achieve what you want.
Truth: Vision is only the first step in possibly achieving what you want.
Story: I know people who have an unlimited amount of ideas that never amount to anything.
4. No guts, no glory.
Key point: Risk
False assumption: Risk will yield reward.
Truth: The right risk at the right time in the right way with the right people will yield reward.
Story: I know people who take all kinds of risks and simply take recklessness with them wherever they go.
5. The early bird gets the worm.
Key point: Scarcity
False assumption: There is only one worm.
Truth: A mindset of scarcity, fear, and competition will produce a toxic attitude of threat and defensiveness.
Story: I know people who rush to take first and are in last place because of it.
6. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Key point: Luck
False assumption: You can blame your plateau on the person you don’t even know yet.
Truth: Before others will choose to believe in you, they will naturally judge if you believe in yourself.
Story: I know people who emitted the right frequency and attracted the right people to them because of it.
7. Be at the right place at the right time.
Key point: Chance
False assumption: You stumble into greatness when you stumble into the right space.
Truth: If you’ve prepared for the moment, then the moment is prepared for you.
Story: I know people who won while in the wrong place at the wrong time and others who lost when they were in the right place at the right time.
Taking the Deeper Path prepares us how to identify and overcome these myths that keep us stuck. Isn’t it time to break free?