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You know how people like to ask who you’d invite if you could have dinner with anyone from anytime in history?
I always hated that question. It was probably invented by an extrovert, for one thing. Ask me who from history I’d love to text with instead.
(Joke! Though I know the introverts totally feel me on this one.)
I’d usually bail and answer with something typical like Jesus. Because hey, I have a lot of questions for that guy.
In truth, I’d always find myself doubting whether I could even hang with the people who came to mind. How could I possibly talk to them about something remotely intelligent or witty or insightful? It became stressful to consider.
Dammit, self perception. Get your act together.
Wayne Dyer would’ve had a good question for me: Is it true?
In Dyer’s book, Excuses Begone!, “Is it true?” is the first question in the book’s section about paradigm shifts.
We have 60,000 separate thoughts per day, Dyer said, and we repeat most of those thoughts from one day to the next, turning them into habit.
“Thus, many of us go through our daily lives in a habituated pattern endlessly repeating the same thoughts over and over and over again!
Now let me add a little bit of fuel to this firestorm. I suggest that the vast majority of those continually reiterated notions, particularly those that fall into the excuse category, are very likely untrue. It then follows that we use our incomparably brilliant minds to obliviously process false thoughts on a daily basis. Is it true? has to be the first challenge to this repetitious, habitual and unconscious activity of making excuses.”
We use our incomparably brilliant minds to obliviously process false thoughts on a daily basis.
That’s tragic, isn’t it?
What are your stories?
What does this have to do with who I’d have dinner with?
It’s a long-standing (bad) habit of mine to assume I can’t hang with certain people. As in, people who are smarter, funnier, better-looking, richer, more talented … you name it.
(To any of my friends who might be reading this, relax. You’re awesome and I’ve been living in fear of you finding out that I’m a fraud.)
The same thought, repeated habitually, thousands upon thousands of times.
We all have these stories. They provide us with built-in excuses that we neglect to challenge. What are some of yours?
Mine include: I’m too shy. I’m terrible at math. I can’t get the attention of the guy who’s cute AND nice. I don’t have a mind for business, and it’s too late to learn.
And how about the one where I think people with money and success are inherently different than I am? Oh yeah, that’s a particularly potent one.
But … Is it true?
Do you see how that question makes you pause? It interrupts the pattern, forcing you to stop and think.
I can’t be honest with myself and consider any of those statements true. I may have acted in a way that supported them, often for years. But inherently true? True just because? I can’t claim any of them is inherently true.
And what if I can’t disprove some long-standing belief? Then it’s either true or I’ve simply convinced myself that it is and created a sly little self-fulfilling prophecy.
And finally: if the story is indeed inherently true? Then … so what? Am I bound to it forever? Does it have control over me?
This one time, at Beach Camp
A few weeks ago, I attended a business conference in Daytona called Beach Camp, hosted by the awesome people from Beachpreneurs. There, during a roundtable session, I mentioned that I’d love to expand my reach — and businesswoman extraordinaire Kelly McCausey suggested I participate in an upcoming online business-building summit that she was organizing via Mom Webs Hosting. (They have awesome hosting, btw.)
I had already seen Kelly’s emails soliciting participants and very quickly deleted them. Looks like a cool event, I thought. But I don’t have anything to offer.
Kelly’s suggestion at the conference was the equivalent of the Dyer question — Is it true?
Hard stop. Ok, maybe it’s not true. I have an ebook/workbook package with good reviews and I have years of experience writing. And everyone seems to struggle with writing.
I agreed to participate even though I secretly wondered why Kelly would let me in. And when she promoted the summit and my face was up there alongside some other people I consider astronomically smarter, I hoped I wouldn’t make a fool of myself.
Is it true?
Last I checked, my session with Kelly was among the most-viewed videos and had a bunch of comments (There we are on the left!). That may change, as the summit is ongoing as I write this — and, you know, astronomically smart people.
BUT … I had assumed I had nothing to offer and was proven wrong.
Next step: ask myself the questionbefore someone else does. Why didn’t I figure out for myself that I could participate in the summit?
Now it’s your turn. Where can you ask yourself the “Is it true?” question? Pay attention to some of those 60,000 daily thoughts for chances to expose a lie. I’d love to hear how it goes!
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