If you had an infection somewhere in your body, you would know because you would feel bad. Maybe you would be tired and run down, or maybe you would have some other, much worse symptoms. If you felt bad long enough, you might go to the doctor to rid yourself of the infection so you could feel better.
Your mind is also full of all kinds of infections. These infections cause you to feel bad in a different way. You might feel fine physically, but you might have self-limiting beliefs or an unhealthy attitude. These infections can make you feel fearful, angry, unhappy, or passive-aggressive. They provide you with excuses. They sap of you of your emotional energy, and much worse.
These infections are made up of your thoughts, your beliefs, you fears, and your ideas about how things are supposed to be. You picked up these infections from other people, including your parents, your peers in school, your co-workers, the television news, and your Facebook feed.
Here are three things you need to know about what your infections.
- You don’t know you have these infections or how you got them. You have no idea what you are infected with or where you first contracted it. The idea that where you are in your life is someone else’s fault isn’t unique to you; a lot of people carry that infection. The idea that you can be what you want or have what you want because of some circumstances of your birth is as frequent as the common cold.
- You are spreading your infections. Your children are catching a good bit of what you’ve got. So are your co-workers. You share your fears, your frustrations, and your deeply-held beliefs without ever considering that you are passing these things on to others, including the people you love.
- You can choose your infections. Most people, me included, are guilty of confirmation bias. We tend to seek information that confirms what we already believe, ignoring any evidence to the contrary. It would take courage to face our fears and admit to ourselves that we have stolen our own power. But once you are aware of your infections, you can replace them. The self-limiting beliefs can be replaced by an empowering set of beliefs. All you need to do is find someone who believes something that you vehemently disagree with and try on their beliefs.
Successful people, no matter how original, are infected with what has always infected successful people. Those who aren’t as successful as they want to be all share a very common, very well-known set of infections.
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Filed under: Values