Shadow Games of Belief and How We Self-Sabotage

Ever tried to catch a shadow? I remember as a kid seeing shadows, mine and other people’s and playing a game with them. Looking back, the best term is probably Shadow Tag. I’d try to jump on the shadow to get either the shadow or the person to stop moving.

I truly believed I could catch shadows.

Over two decades later, I know now that shadows are created when a solid object blocks light, and thus I can’t catch them. As fun a game as it was, and is with kids, I never succeeded in catching a shadow. I never caught a person with their own shadow either. At best, I would jump into the dark place made by the shadow and proclaim I had won. 😀

Now, obtaining adult success often feels like chasing those shadows as a kid. Sometimes, those shadows lurk in our subconscious beliefs.

I know it’s not.

I also know that no one else’s idea of success looks quite like mine.

I do know we all fight similar troubles getting there, though, when we look past the superficial stuff and get to the core of the issue. The superficial stuff is the finances, the health problems, all those pieces that look different like shadows on a sidewalk.

The core is the beliefs that stop us from doing.

Don’t give me that look. I’m serious!

I know, you probably believe that you have no beliefs holding you back. Like me all those years ago, you’re also probably wrong. Sorry. You’re not the first.

I was wrong when I believed my lack of success stemmed from a bad hand and bad luck. It came from holding beliefs about success inconsistent with logic and natural law.

Like the idea that I had to be capable of paying $32K in cash for a brand new car to be a success. Or I had to be able to pay cash for my house in order to be a success.

Logically, because I come from quite humble beginnings, there was no reason to believe these things were common or realistic, but I believed them.

As for natural laws, well no crop will grow that hasn’t yet been planted. I hadn’t done the planting, and so such wealth was beyond me to obtain. I had to look at my beliefs, and find the one driving my behavior on an instinct level.

I didn’t like what I found.

If I follow the advice of [a parent with little understanding of money or economy], I can become wealthy.

If I am wealthy, I am successful.

I don’t think so. Once again, I had to change my beliefs in order to change my instinctive behaviors. Worth it, BUT NOT EASY! First, I had to figure out what beliefs would actually lead to behaviors that would prove useful to me.

If I follow the advice of individuals who understand success, I can become a success.

If I am a success, I may become wealthy.

If I want wealth, I must understand currency and economy. (We have currency now, not money. Money would mean actual gold coins in your hand. I digress.)

I adopted these beliefs. And when I adopted them, my entire mode of action and behavior changed with them. Instead of waiting for opportunities to “get rich”, I did some serious soul-searching to find what I excelled at—what I loved doing enough to do it EVERY DAY.

I changed my definition of success to include a planet-load of work.

I started reading books on success, on business, on finance, and began building a plan. Granted, this took a solid ten years to see fruition. As I said, worth it. Not easy.

However, I can now say I consider every day that I work on that plan a success. Does that make me a success? Who knows.

In the meantime, what beliefs do you suspect in yourself that may be leading your success? What about the ones driving your failures? If you found the beliefs above in yourself, would you have replaced them the same way, or done something different? I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below!

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