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The Big Lie That Holds You Down

You already know what it is

The Big Lie That Holds You Down

TL;DR: You might have a false belief that keeps you from success, or keeps you from enjoying success when you achieve it. Challenging that belief, calling its bluff, is easy and usually has an immediate effect.

When I was 28, I walked away from a good job, a nice home, and a community of loyal friends.

I bought a one-way ticket to Italy and spent the next several years wandering around the Mediterranean.

I came back with more money than I had left with, moved into a nicer home, and quickly reconnected with my old friends—many of whom had come to visit me in Italy.

This may sound like a sunny fairytale filled with laughter and clinking wine glasses. And it was, or should have been…

Except I was constantly ruining it.

You see, I spent a lot of my time in Italy, Greece, and Turkey tormenting myself with a Big Lie. And once I came home, the Big Lie grew stronger until it stopped me from having more adventures and doing the amazing things I felt called to do.

Today I’m going to save you from the same fate.

Two Truths and a Lie, Part 2

Last week we talked about the 2 truths that you need to acknowledge if you want to have a life of adventure and reach more of your full potential.

The first truth is that you are capable of having, doing, and becoming anything you want.

The second truth is that if you aren’t moving closer to what you want to have, do, or become, it’s because you’re acting like you don’t want it.

I understood this more than 20 years ago. It’s the whole reason I made it to Italy in the first place.

But now, let’s talk about the Lie.

Everybody has a Big Lie that you've completely absorbed and internalized.

The Big Lie is stopping you from doing what you want. Or when it can’t stop you, it sabotages your ability to enjoy your success.

I'll give you an example.

For me, for a long time, my big lie was, “I don't know what I want to do with my life.”

While I was telling myself this, I traveled around the United States, sometimes on freight trains or a bicycle, doing odd jobs and internships.

Eventually I made my way to Italy, then Greece.

In the process, I paid off my student loans. I published my first stories and articles. I picked up languages and a lot of other useful skills.

I met and married the woman of my dreams. and spent a lot of time exploring exotic places that I love.

Yet all this time, I was beating myself up because I was “just wandering around and didn’t know what to do with my life.”

The truth is, I was doing exactly what I wanted to do.

But since I felt like I had some hugely important mission to “do something with my life” and I didn’t know what it was, I also turned away from several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for work, travel, friendship, and learning.

Now let’s talk about your Big Lie.

Look, life is an adventure. You’re wired for rich, engaging experiences that challenge you and hone your skills and force you to learn and grow.

Dissatisfaction, frustration, even fears are signs that you are under the influence of the Big Lie. These feelings are your Call to Adventure.

If you’re feeling unsatisfied with any aspect of your life, you’re already pushing back.

Finding and Defeating the Big Lie

The Big Lie might seem like it has a strong hold over you, but it’s like a vampire. It shrivels in the sunlight.

Once you shed light on it, the Big Lie becomes harmless. All you have to do is recognize the Big Lie for what it is.

Let’s expose it right now, step-by-step.

  1. List everything you want to have, do, or become that you haven’t achieved yet.

  2. Ask yourself, in order for this to happen, what would I need to believe?

  3. Ask yourself, “Do I believe this yet?”

  4. For every “No,” ask yourself, “What do I believe now that keeps me from believing what I need to?”

  5. The current belief that blocks you is your Big Lie.

  6. What would happen if you let go of this belief, defied it, or tested to see if it were really true?

  7. Ask yourself, “If I were free of this belief, what would I do first?”

  8. Go ahead and do that first thing. Embrace the adventure and do something that you’ve never done before.

 And just by doing that first thing, you’re on your way to a rewarding, adventurous life.

Going After the Adventure

I want to leave you with this idea that there are Two Truths and a Lie.

I'm going to pound this into your head over and over again.

I’ll be bringing it up in other videos, other blog posts, other tweets.

Pick something that you want. Start going after it, start doing it.

Once I overcame my Big Lie and understood that I did know what I wanted, I start going after it.

And that's how you learn and grow.

Embrace the adventure. You are capable of anything.

That wraps it up for this week.

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