Just because a set of belief or idea is widely held doesn’t mean that it cannot be false. Normally they are so immutable that they remain unchallenged despite strings of contrary pieces of evidence.
Since Myths serve to encourage and influence worldview, it becomes much more important to revisit them objectively. I have made an attempt to demystify a few of them so as to help you bring more clarity in your thoughts.
1: The Myth Of Accumulation & Ownership
This Myth has gained widespread acceptance and has successfully acquired the status of a gospel truth.
It makes you believe that you need to accumulate a lot of knowledge, socially accepted titles, and materialistic possessions before embarking on your most cherished life-altering journey.
If not, then Why do you think there is so much consumption of self-help articles?
It makes you feel more and more inadequate. Almost all of them play tricks with your evolutionary psychology of fear, failure, and inadequacy.
And you become pretty convinced that once you get rid of your inadequacies nobody can stop you from becoming the next Elon Musk.
2: The Myth Of Control
Our minds are evolutionary conditioned to appreciate the certainty. We love stability in our life; so much so that we become stressed at the very thought of uncertainty in any form.
The moment we foresee any loss in our control, we become way too apprehensive about the outcome.
We often try our level best to cope up with this uncertainty by making an endless to-do list, finding that perfect productivity app, or mindless consumption of television and smartphone.
You need to understand that most of the time you don’t control what happens to you in life, your only control is how you choose to respond.
3: The Myth Of Happiness
This is one of my favorite Myth because it makes you sincerely believe — If only you could earn more money, be in better physical shape, or have a more understanding partner, you would have made your unique mark on the world map.
And there is a reason behind this — the image of the world that you carry in your head, is just a representative model for your own convenience.
At best, you are only aware of few selected concepts and relationships between them. And ironically you are using them to represent the real system.
Being happy can never be the direct purpose of your life. However, it can be the byproduct. As rightly said by Ralph Waldo Emerson —
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
4: The Myth Of Work Life Balance
This Myth is sold primarily by stoking the fear of insecurity in you. All kinds of sufferings — physical, emotional, psychological, social, and financial are targeted.
As long as we are struggling with the constant fear of suffering, security will always remain our first and the foremost concern.
And this constant fear of suffering is not the best place to explore all your unlimited possibilities of life.
Once you are willing to venture outside the shadow of insecurities, there will be an instant realization on your part that it’s only “work” if you don’t like it.
If you love doing what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
5: The Myth Of Perfection
Perfectionism, in short, is the belief that, if we live, look and act perfect, then we’ll be able to shield ourselves from criticism, judgment or blame.
However, life as a perfectionist is emotionally unhealthy, because it makes your own self-worth dependent on approval or acceptance from others.
Whenever perfectionists fail to achieve perfection, they blame themselves for their inability and tell themselves to “do better,” regardless of whether that’s actually possible.
Perfectionism can also lead to life paralysis, i.e., the inability to put oneself out into the world, due to fear of rejection.
Life does not become beautiful because you are perfect, life becomes beautiful because you put your heart into everything that you do.
Life is never going to be perfect because whichever way you may be functioning right now, you could always bring in a little more of improvement.
6: The Myth Of Scarcity
Scarcity is the impending fear of uncertainty where you start doubting whether what you need will be available or not.
And this impending fear generated through scarcity mindset in turns activates the most primitive part of the brain that deals with the urgency of survival and competition.
But, how this mindset of scarcity gets manifested in your life?
By being more insecure you tend to cling on to all forms of socially accepted yardsticks of securities.
As a consequence, you end up coloring all those choices that you make on daily basis?
7: The Myth Of Experience
We have been fed this Myth for generations. We are religiously told to have some patience to gain sufficient experience because skill is never accepted as a substitute for invaluable experience.
However, extensive research has consistently shown that many people don’t improve at their work even after many years of experience; in fact, some actually get worse as they gain experience.
If you ever wish to become a truly world-class performer, it’s how — not just how much — you practice that makes the difference: it takes deep and deliberate practice to improve performance.
Deep and Deliberate practice means identifying the specific elements of performance that require improvement and then sharply focusing your efforts on those areas, practicing those activities and getting continuous feedback on them to get better.
8: The Myth Of Multitasking
Most of us subscribe and succumb to this myth almost without any resistance. Our attention is always being pulled in millions of directions daily.
We are surviving the days of information overload. With more ways than ever to be connected and communicate with one another, it can feel like there’s an endless supply of tasks that demand to be juggled all at once.
Smartphone usage is a case in point. On an average we end up checking our phone more than 100 times a day — that means we are spending more than 20 days every year glued to our smartphone!
It’s habits like these which encourages us to multitask which eventually makes us mentally exhausted, spiritually disheartened, and cognitively unproductive.
Multitasking also results in the release of stress hormones, like adrenaline, which has negative effects on our health in the long-term and also leads to short-term memory loss.
That means the little information we do take in when we’re multitasking is more difficult to remember at a later stage. So even though we might enjoy the thrill of multitasking and think it’s effective, it’s time to think again.
9: The Myth Of Motivation
Motivation at best can give you the much-needed kick start on your journey towards your goal. However, its role in your long-term success is debatable.
Motivation needs fuel, and that fuel is your habit of discipline. A habit that is simply built by your continuous and relentless efforts.
Discipline is action oriented. Here the emphasis is on doing things.
Whereas motivation makes you feel good. Motivation is just an emotional state of mind where you feel good about yourself.
Discipline is a skill that keeps you ticking each day of your life. It’s a habit which you cannot break if you ever wish to succeed.
After some time you no longer care if you’re motivated or not. As long as you are disciplined in your endeavor, your faith in your own ability would get strengthened with each passing day.
Slight but consistent change in your overall perspective changes how you end up seeing your world and which in turn changes how you see yourself. You can use your narrative to redefine yourself and re-imagine the boundaries of unlimited possibilities.
When you get rid of your limiting narratives, take massive but consistent action, and find the strategies that work, the results you are capable of producing are truly miraculous.
Just keep in mind that “We are what we repeatedly do. So do make a conscious habit of continuous and incremental improvement and see the magical transformation within you.”
Originally published in thrive global.
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