Unlearning — the new lesson plan
2020 has definitely been the year where I’ve learned the most.
The year where I’ve read the most books, done the most amount of self-reflection, taken the most action towards my dreams, and overall developed more than any year before that.
It’s also the year where I’ve realised how many unrealistic limiting beliefs I’ve held way past their expiration date.
The belief that I’m not smart enough, not talented enough, not lucky enough.
Intelligence can be developed. Talent is useless if you don’t put in the work.
And luck? Well, luck is more of a psychology game than anything else. It obviously helps to believe in the Universe and that she’s willing to give you everything you are willing to ask for, if only you were to ask for it.
Ask, and you shall receive.
There’s a reason that saying is so widespread and so well-known.
The numbers game
Throughout the year I’ve noticed my own mental limitations slowly but surely fade away and open space for abundance.
A rule of thumb I’ve been noticing in my Life recently is:
When you take away something negative and limiting no matter the size, you open up space for the positive, and it tends to come in a bigger size.
We can only hold a certain number of beliefs in our mind at any given point.
Filling your mind with limiting beliefs, and then trying to fill it with positive ones is not gonna work because the cup is already full.
And you can’t simply swap them out either.
You have to make a conscious effort to breakdown and remove the negative parts to create space for the positive ones.
This happens to us all the time.
When a negative stereotype you had about a person or persons gets shattered by something very small and replaced by a positive experience, suddenly your whole worldview gets updated.
This, however, is more of a passive example. For us to get rid of negative beliefs we need to put in the work and consciously deconstruct them, unless you’re willing to go seek out the experiences that will change your world view, even then, you’re already winning, because you believe you can change.
Relationships, whether that be friends, family, a significant other — are a massive part of our lives. So choosing the right ones is crucial for your overall happiness.
This happened in July when I chose to finally stop speaking to a very toxic person who I considered a very close friend.
Within weeks I felt more confident, positive, focused, and overall happy.
Shortly after I went to work at a summer camp where I ended up connecting with some amazing people and forming what looks like to be good foundations for good relationships with some really good people. Not one. Several.
I traded one negative long-standing friendship for new, positive, potentially long-standing friendships.
This is one of many examples I’ve experienced this year.
If you’re willing to work through and heal the reasons for your limitations, and then let go of said limitations, you’ll notice massive shifts in you Life.
I became a writer this year, have been a photographer for over a year, and have been making videos on and off for the past year or so.
In all 3 fields, I’m relatively new.
With photography, I’ve been told I have a talent and that my photos really do look good. They tend to capture a certain sense of nostalgia and longing as if you’re trying to remember a dream you’ve never had.
With writing, well, I’ve always enjoyed it and was always good at it to an extent. My school and college essays were always highly regarded by the teachers as being well structured, informative, and well written.
With my videos — I tend to have good pacing, and as I’ve been told — I’m really good at capturing emotions and transferring them into the story.
Let’s focus on photography and writing for a bit, as these are the ones I’ve done the longest in comparison.
I’m by no means amazing at either, nor am I skilled and experienced.
I’m still pretty new to them.
It doesn't mean I’m utter shite at them either.
I’m well-read and quite eloquent due to being a bookworm, which has allowed me to write some good pieces for someone who’s only a beginner.
With photography — I’ve been training my eyes for years through studying art & design and doing parkour, which has allowed me to hone my skills in having an eye for detail, good framing, and an understanding of how colours work together.
I’ve also met people with way cheaper gear going out and actually earning money from photography. (this is a reference to a friend who’s earning money from photography using her £80 Canon that is no longer in production vs my £1000 kit of a Sony A7S with 24–70mm lens)
All of this points to a lack of confidence in my skills and a lack of the correct beliefs about my skill set and experience.
What if I were to replace my limiting beliefs about my artwork with limitless ones? How much faster would I progress and actually enjoy myself?
I’m not saying to become arrogant about my work and start thinking it’s the best.
I’m saying what if I looked at my work without all the self-flagellation?
Overall Life satisfaction
Notice how much easier your Life is when you have a productive set of beliefs.
You spend less time stressing about whether or not your work is good and you actually focus and get on with it.
You spend less time wallowing in self-pity and more time honing your skills.
You spend less time whining about not being lucky enough and more time actually gaining experience and developing the talent you thought you didn’t have.
When you have the right set of beliefs about yourself and the world you tend to be more productive because you simply remove a lot of the unnecessary hurdles, which leads to improved use of your energy, which leads to more time spent being actually productive, which means more gets done, which means you get closer to your dreams and objectives.
As important as it is to learn and develop new skills, it’s just as important to take time to check in with yourself and see if there are any dusty old beliefs hindering your success.
You can’t fill a cup that’s already full.