I wrote this a couple of years ago on my phone and just found it. Thought it would still be worth posting on here 🙂
Here is my opinion on ten common myths people seem to believe, which can limit their own potential.
Myth 1. “You either have it or you don’t.”
A belief that some people have certain talents and you don’t is an opinion that becomes a self-fulfilling propecy. It’s not necessarily the truth. I honestly believe anyone in the world has the potential to do whatever they want to. Being good at anything requires practice and someone telling you that you’re better than you think.
Myth 2. “There is only one way to do a specific task.”
You’ve been completing the same task in the effective process you devised years ago. Suddenly a new upstart joins your department and suggests changing it. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” you think and you assure her that it doesn’t need to be changed. But the truth is anything in life deserves a second look at how it’s approached. Times change and you’ll open your potential to new possibilities by listening to other opinions and giving things a go.
Myth 3. “There are rules to creative expression.”
There are these ideas floating in the ether that every song needs a hook with a four chord progression in the same key, every band needs to release an EP before an album, every photographer needs to buy certain lenses to start out with, every author needs to publish short stories first, every film need to follow a conventional story arc etc.
Actually, there are no rules. You can do whatever the hell you want!
Myth 4. “You should have faith that the right opportunity will come.”
Yes, opportunities can come your way and yes, often you’re pointed in the right direction by signs. But you can really take charge of your life if you give up your belief in fate. That’s not to say there is no such thing as fate. I don’t know whether there is or not. But I do know that by imagining fate doesn’t exist, you can be more inclined to make opportunities happen, rather than wait for them. Give up your belief in fate, even if it’s just for a week and instigate your own perfect opportunities. Then, when you see amazing new opportunities arise, it might feel like it must have been fate. But even if it is, it’s much more fun than waiting, right?
Myth 5. “Those people are idiots, they really don’t know what they’re doing.”
If you dismiss people who annoy you then you’ll become more and more quick to judge others. And then what? Your circle of friends are full of people who similar to you? How can you expand your horizons, expand your network and find encouragement when you need it if you aren’t giving every single person you meet the time of day? Plus it’s not about what’s in it for you. It’s about seeing everyone else in the world as an equal in a world where they are otherwise judged.
Myth 6. “I can’t go this gig, concert, film, play because I have no one to go with.”
When you’ve been to gigs, concerts, films and plays before, did you have an amazing conversation and social interaction with your friends last time? You mean to say that you couldn’t because you couldn’t talk through the performance?? Tell me why you need them to come along again?
When I could only nab a single ticket to see Radiohead live I was disappointed I couldn’t go with a friend. It actually ended up being one of the best nights of my life, not worrying if my mates were having a good time or not. It was just me and the band! I’m a bit addicted to attending shows by myself now. Most recently Amanda Palmer at Union Chapel was just unforgettable. Reviewers, photographers and journos do it all the time anyway!
Myth 7. “That person has got it in for me.”
So you can’t find happiness right now while your friend, boss, colleague is out to get you?
Well that sucks for them right. It must be a mission for them to have someone constantly on their mind for whom they want to make life hell. Why not really stick it to them and be ignorant to the whole thing.
Also, this might be in your mind. Just because you are always on your own mind, does not mean you are always on theirs. Be extra nice to them and think big picture. Don’t be a victim, take charge.
Myth 8. “Feminism is overrated”; “People can’t be bisexuals, they can only be straight or gay”; “Travelling on a gap year at 18 is the best way to see the world”; “My opinion is a fact.”
Next time you go to state your opinion as a bold fact, remember that simply adding two words to the beginning of your sentence will make all the difference between listeners who appreciate your addition to the discussion and listeners who don’t want to have conversations with you anymore. Remember to add the words “I think”. Passing an opinion off as a confident fact will only make you seem ignorant. A good quote I read was “ignorance breeds confidence more than knowledge does.” Always remember that your personal thoughts and beliefs have been influenced by your particular life and are filtered through your particular perspective. So state “I think” and enjoy a discussion that is not immediately shut down by your bold statement.
I acknowledge that this blog, for example, is entirely my opinion. It’s not a fact sheet.
Myth 10. “No one else is doing it.”
Crowd phenomena is dangerous. We are drawn to popular opinion and assume it must be correct or the best way. What we don’t consider is the questioning thoughts from everyone else. We may all secretly want to question why we’re making this decision, but because no one else is doing it – we don’t.
Be that lone black sheep who puts out an opposing stance and see how many people secretly thought the same way you did all along. Going against the grain is scary, liberating and can earn you a heck of a lot of respect. Be first.
So those are my ten myths to watch out for. Go forth and conquer! I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments 🙂