Sure, you’ve heard the success stories. You might read books or even see it on your Facebook feed- someone who has made a successful living doing what they love. They have happiness and ease. This may be followed by feelings of envy and even some sadness that you can’t do the same. Perhaps that person had the resources you don’t have or were lucky to have the stars align. Whatever the reason, you may be absolutely sure that you can not pursue your dreams and live your passions.
I’m going to let you in on a scientific fact that will completely disprove this thought: your brain is designed to have you think you can’t have what you want.
Your biological machinery is designed to keep you exactly where you are: unfulfilled, bored, and stuck in the same routine. There is nothing wrong with where you are according to your brain because its sole purpose is to have you survive- to literally keep you alive. However, the brain’s definition of safety is not merely physical safety, but emotional and mental safety. In simpler terms, safety means keeping you in your comfort zone.
For many people, the comfort zone is defined early in childhood. We are taught from our family, our society, and our education systems on how to ensure a good future in which you will have the security of a paycheck and stability. You know the drill: get a college degree and find a company with good benefits that will provide you with steady income.
There is nothing wrong with this lifestyle. Especially if you found this stability doing something you love. But if you’re reading this article, let’s assume that isn’t you. Let’s also assume you have a lot of reasons why you can’t have it all and pursue your passions.
So who made up those reasons? More importantly, are they even REAL reasons?
Your brain pumps out a lot of thoughts on a daily basis. Have you ever noticed that often its default mode is one of negativity, instead of positivity? It will give you all the reasons why you CAN’T do something instead of all the reasons that maybe you can.
Your brain, in wanting to keep you safe from the potential emotional and mental harm that could come from taking a risk, will give you these disempowering thoughts that most of us believe as the truth. And then you won’t take any action, which leaves you stuck.
These successful people that you may envy are not different from you. They have merely learned how to view themselves and the world in a completely different way. They have trained themselves to view their thoughts as a creation of a biological machine that they can consciously CHOOSE to listen to or not.
Instead of saying ‘why not’ they ask ‘why yes?’ They look for creative solutions instead of listening to all the reasons their circumstances limit them. And they take action, consistently.
Have a dream? You now have a choice too: you can continue to listen to those negative thoughts that aren’t real or learn to take on a new perspective that gives you power in your life. You can stay where you are or take a new action. Choose.
Every little bit helps, and it includes words like these for me. I thought I was alone in having that wall of envy - “How come that person can make it happen and I can’t?”
It is a daily struggle to overcome the obstacles to finding your passion - whether it’s lack of resources or just identifying what that passion is. I was raised to be conservative and stable. My family did not comprise dreamers. However, we are amazingly hard working, loving people who have a lot to give. And that’s what keeps me moving forward.
Amazing amazing article. Thank you!
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