I was having dinner with a friend the other day when he said to me, “You have the whole package. You have the personality. You have the looks. And you have the intelligence. So why aren’t you successful?” ouch!
My quick, without thought answer was, “I don’t know! Life maybe?” But can I really blame circumstances on my lack of success?
I went to bed that night asking the question, “Why aren’t I successful?” I awoke in the morning continuing to ask the same question. I pondered it all day. Later in the day I was talking with a friend about how sometimes a belief system can enter into our subconscious that affects our behavior and patterns. As we talked about the past, I had a sudden illumination of a belief that I had about success and hard work. Deep into my little girl mind, I had been imprinted with the idea that if you work really hard, you will lose your family. Now before you start arguing with me, I want to point out that things that get imprinted into your mind aren’t always truth, but often simply child-like perception. And those perceptions affect your behavior as an adult. Often this behavior, which can be rooted in a lie, can have serious negative consequences on your life.
I’ve always been one to examine my life. I like to find hidden lies, and replace them with truth. I call these “lie epiphanies.” The above was an example of a “lie epiphany.”
You see, when I was little, my dad was laying a foundation for success. He went to law school when I was a toddler. He got his first job as a lawyer when I was 4. He then started his own law practice and even became a county attorney. All of this took his time away from his little girl. The interesting thing about being imprinted with lies, is that the truth is hard to see through them. Often when I think of being a young kid, I think of missing out on time with my dad. I think about rarely seeing him. I felt like if I wanted to see him, I would have to go to his office. And then I felt like I was interrupting his “life.” But the truth is, he was working hard to build a solid business foundation. Every year we went on a 2 week vacation. We would often take an evening and play a game or go bowling. I fondly remember racing home from the bowling alley with my dad hot on my trail, even though his six foot frame with long legs could have easily left me in the dust. Why do we imprint the lost time rather than the in person time? I really don’t know the answer to that.
Usually a lie is formed by a hurt that gets scabbed over and simply stays, like a scar on life. We all have them! Sometimes they affect the way we treat or react to others. Sometimes they create fear around certain issues. And sometimes, they prevent us from being successful. The lie I believed with every ounce of my being is that in order for me to be successful, I would lose my family in the process. So, what that did was kept me from doing the long hard work that would be required. Here’s a truth. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to build a successful business. It’s not a get rich quick thing. It’s a take the stairs, one step at a time, and climb, climb, climb, until you cannot climb any more.
When I fell in love with Mike, he was working very long hours because he was building a business for himself. Knowing that I would end up not getting to see him because of all the long hours, I simply joined him in his work. I feel like he lost part of his family because of his work. Further imprinting the belief that if you work hard, you will lose your family.
It happens. I know it happens. But knowing that it happens is what I believe to be the entire reason that I am not successful. yet. My success was blocked by that scar that people who work hard lose their families. And family was absolutely the most important thing in the world to me.
My kids are almost all grown now. I know I won’t lose them by working hard. But still, I have this attachment that says I must be everything for them. I must not miss an opportunity to spend time with them, even if it’s to drive them to work or school. But the reality of my situation is if I don’t work hard, I mean, really hard, then I will end up in a really bad financial state at the end of the day (life). I could easily take full days tending to the needs of people around me. I felt like I was doing the right thing. And it is right to tend to those in your care. But in doing so, I’m not working hard.
It’s a tough thing to look in the mirror and say, “U are the reason you aren’t successful.” “U are the missing link in the puzzle.” “U are failing.” But when the epiphany happened, that was exactly what I had to do.
Now that I have illuminated the reason, I know that I will be able to set aside the things that distract me and move forward into success. Which interestingly, when I get to the place of success, I will have more time to focus on the needs of my grown children. When bills are getting paid on time, I will have time to go to a movie with them. When my client base is established, I will have more time to enjoy a vacation with my grandchildren.
It’s time for me to start building a future!
What’s blocking U?