The Thesis

How we see ourselves and the beliefs we carry in our minds can have a profound impact on our ability to achieve success in our work life.

Our full potential can be realized when we free ourselves from a confining self-identity.

“Know Yourself” is the first pillar of the framework for a reason – we need to set the foundation for who we are and want to become in our pursuit of a fulfilling career and life.

This passage was adapted into a directive style from, “Chapter 4 – Releasing Negative Self-Beliefs”, in Radical Compassion by Tara Brach. I highly recommend this book and Tara Brach’s online resources to learn more about loving yourself and the world through her four-step RAIN meditation.

1. Explore your self-beliefs deep within

Understand that our beliefs, feelings and emotions live not only in the mind, but also in our bodies.
Open up your mind, body and soul to explore the addiction to your unworthiness and self-judgment.
Embrace that it’s time to exorcise negative self-beliefs buried deep inside.
Recognize your fixation on information that only confirms your belief in personal deficiency – you may be your own worst enemy.
Lose your mind – your world is ready to change when you stop the inner dialogue.

2. Shed your skin

Feeling comfortable with your flawed self becomes a part of who we are.
Challenge the core belief that something is wrong with you.
Focus on a place where you are down on yourself and ask: What am I believing about myself?
Do not worry or consume energy about how others will react when you let go and change.
“The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes” – Friedrich Nietzsche

3. Let it RAIN until the sun comes out

Practice RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture to begin the cleansing process.
Let the RAIN loosen resentments, guilt, and beliefs that do not serve you.
See that those mental representations and fear-based beliefs are “real but not true”.
Continue to practice RAIN until it smoothes over deep-grooved negative beliefs and feelings.
Feel the sun-like warmth and freedom when they fade from your awareness.

4. Take the exquisite risk to freedom

Bravely venture into the unknown to grow and learn who you are beyond your beliefs.
Recognize that the ancient fear of falling short is deeply rooted in our survival brain.
Deepen your awareness of what is possible – ask, “Who am I if I no longer believe [limiting belief]?”
Set up your experiment to test and disprove the belief in your unworthiness – use data where possible.
Embrace the risk of change that peel back the protective coverings of the gold that awaits.
The biggest loss for you and the world is not reaching your true potential in life.
Start today – our days are numbered.

An example of “Know What is Real but Not True”

During my time running career workshops at Microsoft, occasionally I would have attendees ask me: “When will you write the book and give it out at workshops?” I never thought of myself as a writer or good enough to be one someday. These folks were actually serious, but I would politely downplay it as it made me feel anxious and nervous. My whole career had been about tech and business – writing words was not hardcore like writing software. I didn’t go to undergrad or grad school to grow skills as a writer. The fear of failure or inadequacy, when compared to a professional writer, was definitely real.

What was crazy, is that I even had a fellow colleague who offered to help me create content and proofread! I still did not believe in myself at a time when others already did. I had mentally limited my potential due to a self-inflicted belief without any data.

To slowly overcome this fear, I would occasionally write a blog post or LinkedIn article to communicate an idea that was on my mind. I could feel the fear as hit “publish”. As an analytically-minded person, I saw this as an experiment to disprove the hypothesis. To my surprise, I would often receive an email, message or comment from people that thanked me for sharing the post. I still have many of those messages saved to convince myself “it’s not true”.

More recently, I have been transforming workshop slides and other content into written form on the Career Strategy Framework page. I found it would only be through words that I could succinctly translate and repeatably deliver the framework ideas to others. To keep my fears in check, I mentally remind myself that I have an audience of five (my kids). If other people read my content, then that’s all upside!

Who am I if I no longer believe [that I am not good enough to be a writer]?

A writer…that has found growth by synthesizing actionable ideas into the fewest lines of code content possible (that ideally are useful to others!)

A father…that saves his kids valuable time by passing down his version of the Guide to the Good Life.

A coach…that openly shares content to challenge the mental models of people as they navigate and practice in their chosen field.

Free…a mentally healthy person that uses writing as self-therapy to continually grow and adapt to the changing environment.

Someone that is more interesting and relevant to driving impact in this short life.

Thanks for listening!