You’re not a social media star.
You’re not a Linked in “Influencer.”
You’re not the best in your industry. Whatever your industry is.
You’re not the leading voice on “ ______ ”
You’re not “crushing it” in your entrepreneurial start-up venture. Heck, you may not even know exactly what a start-up is.
You’re not a “rock star.” Dave Grohl is a rock star. You’re not. Trust me.
You’re not nearly as bad as you think you are. You’re not “the worst ever.” But you’re also not nearly as “good” as you think you are at whatever you’re doing.
You’re not destined to keep going on whatever foolish decision you may have made, as if you’re eternally damned to never change course and turnaround.
You are never, ever doomed because of one simple mistake. You must turn the page and begin anew.
You’re not lazy. You’re just living on old ideas. Hit the “Refresh” button and start again.
Your biggest “Win” will not define your life. It will lead you to your next bigger Win.
Begin by telling yourself the truth. Tell yourself the truth in your personal relationships, your career, your thought life and in your most important relationship — the one you have with yourself. This is where the greatest, most fantastical and dangerous lies are told. Make a shift. Start telling the truth. Level-up and eliminate the B.S.
Honesty is paramount and it’s always where you need to begin for both your success, happiness and self-esteem. Confidence comes from trusting yourself, which is different from faith. But confidence also come from believing in yourself, by having faith that what you’ve already done will help you build to what you’re doing now — to what you will do in your future.
Your past, present and future are connected by your thought life; this means your opinion of yourself and the dealing of the facts at hand to tell yourself and others the truth about you. This is as certain as how you comport yourself in public, as it is in the way you handle yourself when no one is looking. That’s called character. And your character will always define you.
Whether you realize it or not.
Invest in building your character. Every. Day. Tell the truth. Stop lying and thinking that you’re going to achieve your parents’ ideal vision of who they want you to be. Stop lying and thinking that you’re going to achieve some B.S. vision of what you think will make you happy. Let your heart lead you on that one. Let your intuition sniff out the B.S. It always does.
Stop lying to yourself about some job that you perceive society will care about, but you truly couldn’t give a damn about. Stop lying about your strengths, weaknesses and even your doubts.
If you start by doubting yourself, how can you ever truly believe you will do anything? You have to believe and have vision, which leads to clarity, which enables you to keep creating the mental architecture you will need to position the pieces in your life in such a way that will bring you joy and satisfaction.
If you’ve never truly given things your best effort, then stop lying to yourself and saying that you “gave it your best shot.” Where has that gotten you? Further down the long road of excuses.
Begin now. Begin giving things the best effort you can NOW. Begin giving things the clearest, crispest thought you can NOW.
Experience. What is it? It’s a baseline. It’s an account of what you’ve done, but by no means does it have to define your future. By no means does your experience dictate that you have to continue trudging forward from whatever mile marker you’re at in your mind. Take the good. Learn from the bad. Ditch the unnecessary baggage. And then decide where you really are on the journey.
So many of us get on a path and start going along, letting our experiences dictate the terms for our lives. We don’t actively choose what we truly want, but rather we compromise based on the choices at hand with the directionless way we’re moving. We tell ourselves the lie. We tell others the lie. Then, we begrudgingly and often unknowingly live it. We bury the truth.
Don’t compromise with your life. Never compromise with the big picture. You will need to compromise in personal relationships. You will need to compromise in your business relationships. Sometimes in your business decisions or ventures. But you should never, ever compromise and settle for a path that your intuition is telling you is a road to nowhere.
Give some thought to where you are right now in your career, entrepreneurial venture, education, relationships and thought life. Are you making your career your own? Are you making the most of whatever situation you find yourself in? Please, stop lying and thinking that you’re biding time in some meaningless stretch, thinking that your “big break” is suddenly going to come.
It never works that way. Big breaks come for those who seek the truth and make the most of the moment at hand.
You may be making decisions that aren’t in line with your values. You may be in desperate need of a course correction. You may be on an upward trajectory, but it may fit the paradigm of some other person or entity’s framework, not your own. That’s worse than moving backwards. Better to know you’re not moving forward, then to think you are but only find yourself slipping.
Move forward armed with the truth.
No one will ever care about your success, well-being, goals, dreams and values as much as you. Which is why the earliest shift you need to make in your life and career is to operate from a position of clarity and purpose. This means that you define what you want. You plan for what you want. You commit and dedicate yourself to what that is and you enforce its action with consistency and repetition.
Stop living someone else’s life. Stop thinking someone else’s thoughts. Stop measuring other people’s success against your lack thereof. It only leads to envy, anger and confusion.
Stop living in mental and emotional purgatory because of failures, other people’s opinions or perceptions of you, or because you’ve made your biggest mistake — thinking you’re not good enough. You’re absolutely good enough. You very well may already have the ideas or plan. You just need to begin with newfound purpose.
Come to peace with the greatest reality of all: You control your thoughts and actions EVERY DAY. You control the way you think about yourself and you are always empowered to do what you want to do. You can ALWAYS change your course. You can do anything you want within reason. It takes time and effort. Deep thought and shifts in attitude. It’s possible and it’s real.
And that’s no lie.
Seek the truth
This article first appeared on Medium.