“You have to be realistic” and three other limiting beliefs holding you back

Once upon a time, I lived a magical life in Japan. There, opportunities unfolded in incredible ways, with ideal timing and ease:

  • I put an ad in the local newspaper to teach piano. Within weeks, I had a roster of Japanese housewife students paying $100 an hour.
  • An American friend was moving back to the US and gave me her apartment, her car and her English students. It worked out for both of us.
  • A series of events led me to work at one of the top investor relations firm in Tokyo, where I convinced the president to promote me to managing writer, interviewing Japanese CEOs and making much more than I would have in the States.

None of this would have happened if I had been “realistic.”

In fact, looking back, I see how unlikely the odds were of getting to Japan. I didn’t know anyone there, didn’t have a network of potential connections and, at the time, there was no Internet.

And yet, within a few months of the idea popping into my head, I had dropped out of law school and was flying across the ocean to meet my Japanese homestay family at Narita Airport.

The whole experience illustrates, for me, the power of our beliefs, both empowering and limiting — beliefs that we don’t even deliberately choose; we just see that others around us have them so we subconsciously accept them as truth.

Here are three you could just let go of:

You have to know how it’s going to happen.

Guess what, your brain is not capable of imagining all the possible ways something could happen: it’s a record of the past, it can only know what has happened.

Instead, focus on what you want and why. I knew I wanted the experience of living in Asia, even though I had no idea how it could happen.

As it turns out, my dad worked at John Deere, which had recently formed a joint venture with Hitachi, and through that he met a Japanese colleague who offered to let me live with his family in Japan.

It takes X amount of time to do something.

Most people think life is linear: In order to get from point A to point B, you have to do X, Y and Z and it takes a certain amount of time.

We all have different beliefs around how long something takes…to build a profitable company….learn a language….recover from an illness… And so, it does, in fact, take as long as we think it will.

When you’re clear on what you want, however, it’s like broadcasting a stronger signal. Now you come across just the circumstances, the people, the information you need and it doesn’t have to take time.

It’s just a coincidence.

Most people believe in cause and effect. If they can’t explain how it happened, they say it was just random.

In the quantum model, however, everything is possible, happening in synchronicity, engineered through alignment of like energies.

One of my favorite exercises is to look back at my life so far and connect the dots — how that flight being cancelled, for example, led to me sitting next to a certain person which led to a conversation which led to me moving to this city which…and life seems to take on a deeper meaning.

Of course, it’s up to you what you want to believe. I’m just sayin’… ;-)