No, You Cannot Become Whatever You Want(Unless…)
It’s time for adults to take responsibility of their decisions.
“Live the life you dreamed of!”, “You can do anything!”, “You can become whatever you want!”.
A plethora of titles like these can be found in articles, videos, and books flooding the internet, the magazines, and the bookstores, trying to turn every person into a self-animator and creator of their own success. This form of “pop psychology” or the mentality of a surface “self pushing” has been prevalent for years now, giving rise to incomplete management of one’s abilities and skills.
Is It Enough?
By telling someone (or yourself) that they can do/become whatever they want, is it enough for them to accomplish the mission they choose? Even if you make them believe it passionately, is it enough for getting them into effective action? And then what?
Suppose we have Peter, a 30-year-old man who enters the sales industry with little relevant experience but with a big dream of succeeding in it. He holds in his hands such a text of self-help or a book of that kind etc., he watches a series of videos every day in which the speaker says:
“You’re awesome! You are strong! You were born to be a successful salesman! Visualize it! Imagine it! You can achieve whatever you want“!
(The exclamation marks are consciously put there because in such videos the speakers are shouting).
Let’s say that the method works and after a lot of brainwashing, he believes it (in a way).
- He goes out there and tries to make sales
- When the first “no” comes, he still holds on
- With the fifth “no”, he bends slightly
- By the twentieth “no”, he is frustrated (even if he has heard “yes”, too)
- He quits, and he blames the sales industry or creates the belief that he is not capable
Was it wrong that he thought he could succeed? Was the fact that he wanted to open his horizons and read or attend self-improvement speeches a mistake? No. But, the whole system was incomplete from the beginning, and he adopted it instead of filtering it at first through his real self, looking it up, expanding it, use it as a tool. (Because all these systems are just tools, not the Only Truth we have to … swallow without chewing it with our own teeth first!)
What could he have done?
How could he transform the self-stimulating delirium so that it is not a supposed self-help mechanism but a real breakthrough then?
Instead of “You can do whatever you want”.
It could be:
“You can do whatever you want,
- IF YOU ARE READY TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT GOES WITH IT
- If you decide that in addition to a benefit, there will be a cost
- If you observe yourself and follow a reflective practice for continuous improvement,
- If you work”.
If Peter (and every “Peter”) will accept that there is responsibility behind every decision and if he realizes that everything starts from himself, he will use the conclusions of his self-observation to improve himself. This will increase his self-confidence and make him more resistant to “no”. Above all, he will be learning himself more and more and this will bring up a more conscious way of life and behavior, a better flow in daily life, less self-torture, more honest relationships, and a sense of euphoria.
The benefits of this process will therefore not only be evident in his professional combat arena but also his life. If, moreover, he treats every experience as a lesson and moves on to the next cycles with his “toolbox” full of what he has gained, without childish irresponsibility and fatalism, then, his mental toughness will increase as well. And this is a powerful …arrow in his quiver.
Lots of ‘ifs’, huh?
Yes. And I’ll add one more.
If we have guts, let’s do it.
Anthi Psomiadou — CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International : Credit must be given to the creator/ Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted/ No derivatives