You spend 100,000 hours at work in your life. Are these limiting beliefs holding you back from making the most of those hours?
Follow your passions! Do what you love!
Have you ever heard this advice and rolled your eyes? If you have, you’re not alone. I used to think this advice was trite.
When I was eight, my parents divorced, leaving my mother alone to raise two children in small-town Canada where jobs were few and far between.
In an effort to land a secure job with health benefits and a pension, she worked herself to the bone to keep our family afloat.
My father was always “entrepreneurial,” but most of the time that just meant that he chased business venture after business venture. He never really landed on or succeeding at any one business and working himself silly for pennies.
The environment you grow up in often manifests itself in your beliefs as an adult, and this was certainly the case for me.
As a young adult, I believed that people needed to do whatever work they could to feed their families. I thought following your passions was a short road to becoming a broke entrepreneur who worked around the clock. I assumed the road to job security and comfort was paved with pensions and health benefits.
That’s because I held a handful of toxic limiting beliefs that held me back from doing the work I love.
These limiting beliefs are surprisingly common, and if they aren’t dealt with, can make you settle for work you don’t love, spending half of your waking hours in mediocrity. Do you believe any of these things?
1. The Passionate Career is Not a Lucrative One
We see it all the time.
Kids that go to college for Art History and end up flipping burgers at McDonalds. Painters, writers, and musicians who never quite make it big. Starving artists who followed their passions straight into poverty. So, it’s easy to assume that if you like money, the passionate career is not for you.
But I have good news: Gone are the days of the starving artist. With the rise of the internet and the shift toward a craftsman culture, you can do what you love and make bank.
For example, Lain Ehman earns six figures online with a scrapbooking website. Musician couple Us the Duo signed a record deal from their cover clips on Vine. Jeff Goins supports his family through his writing.
Loving your work is not a debt sentence. You can do what you love and pad your savings account.
2. Golden Handcuffs Chain Me to My Job
You hate your job. Or, maybe you like it, but it doesn’t exactly fit into the “do what you love” category. And, you feel you can’t leave because you have a pension, health insurance, and job security.
Those pesky golden handcuffs are chaining you to your cubicle desk, and you can feel them rusting.
Let’s spend a minute unpacking those golden handcuffs and challenging this belief…
- A pension isn’t the only way to save for retirement. You can save for retirement far faster and more lucratively on your own.
- You can enroll in private health insurance.
- The concept of any company giving you job security is laughable. There’s simply no such thing as a secure job within a company. If you want job security, you have to build it for yourself.
If you look closely enough, your golden handcuffs are more like yellow elastics. You can slip them off your wrist quite easily. Sure, it might hurt a bit as you do so, but soon the pain will go away, and you’ll feel far more free.
3. Work Will Always End Up Being Monotonous
When I was in college, I thought the idea of following your passions was silly. Work is work. I assumed that you should do what you love in your spare time, so you don’t end up hating your passions because you rely on them to put food on the table.
And I assumed that, no matter what, you’ll never quite love what you do for a living if you rely on it to pay your bills. But this was a crippling belief that held me back from doing work I loved for years.
When I finally took ownership of my career and stopped settling for building somebody else’s dream while mine was being neglected, I began loving my work. It no longer feels like work; I’m excited to get started each day, and it’s hard to not work most days.
The idea that work always eventually becomes a drag is a limiting belief.
4. Money is Scarce
There are two common mindsets about money:
- Money is scarce
- Money is abundant.
My experience has been that whichever you believe becomes true in your life. So if you subscribe to the scarcity mindset, it becomes true for you. Money is difficult to come by, and whether you do work you love or hate, money won’t come easily.
If you have the abundance mindset, you’ll see an opportunity to earn everywhere. Even (and especially) by doing work that delights you.
When you assume money is scarce, you don’t want to take any risks to pursue work you love. After all, you assume there’s no money in your passions. So banish this limiting belief from your life so you can finally start to do work you love.
5. I Like My Job and That’s Good Enough
You like your job. The commute is not too far; your boss is reasonable (most of the time) and you enjoy your coworkers.
So why look a gift horse in the mouth?
You assume you should keep your head down, count your blessings and be happy with a job you don’t detest.
But you spend almost 100,000 hours at work over the course of your career, and time is not a renewable resource. Wasting 100,000 hours on work you don’t love is a tragedy.
“Like” is not good enough, and you deserve better. Kick this poisonous limiting belief to stop settling.
Kick These Poisonous Limiting Beliefs to the Curb
Gone are the days of the starving artist. Gone are the days of the 40-year career, of settling for a job you like instead of love, and of passions being designated as hobbies.
We have been given a unique and wide-spreading gift over the past decade that has opened possibilities and doors our grandparents could never have imagined for their careers.
So kick these limiting beliefs to the curb. They’re holding you back from living the best life possible.
Photo: Flickr/ Kailash Gyawali