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Really think about what you’re doing with the rest of your life. Think about whether there is a ceiling placed on your success. I have noticed that there is a dichotomy between men and women in relation to goal setting. Sometimes men go way too far and women don’t go far enough.
This client that I am working with is a female. She said something that pissed me off. She said, “Well, that’s good enough for me.” I asked her, “Why the fuck are you putting a ceiling on your goals?” She got quiet.
I asked her, “What are we doing here?” “Why are you saying that is good enough for you?”
Have you ever heard people say, “I don’t want much” or “That’s good enough.” Why in the word are you putting limitations on certain aspects of your life? There doesn’t seem to be any limit on bullshit or Facebook. You can get that 24/7, 365 days a year.
Something that makes your heart go pitter, patters and that takes you to another place mentally usually scares the shit out of you. People say, “That’s good enough.” “That’s too much for me.” “I just want a little bit.”
That’s like being at an All You Can Eat buffet and saying just give me one of those prawns. That’s all I need. I know I can get 30, but I’m only going to take one because I don’t want to appear greedy. People think, I don’t want people talking about me saying I’m eating too much.
I have a task for you. I want you to sit down and think about all the times you’ve said, “Oh. That’s too much.” I’m not talking about price. I’m talking about something that you wanted, something that you craved where you said, “No. That’s too much.”
I started thinking about it. I asked my client, “Why do you feel you need to limit yourself?”
She said, “I don’t know.” We talked. I got real personal and asked her all kinds of questions. I asked her, “What’s your religious background?” It wasn’t religion. Then we hit on it. One person in your family tree can fuck up your life.
She had this aunt who always said, “People just want too much in life.” This is the key. She really liked that aunt. People tend to gravitate toward information and opinions from people they respect and appreciate, even when they are wrong as fuck. They treat it as gospel.
One of my uncles who is a good dude did something similar. When I told him I wanted to be an entrepreneur, he said, “Black folks don’t have that kind of intellect.” I was eleven. Fortunately for myself and my future, I said to myself, “Fuck that shit.”
But it was a battle because when you deal with someone in a position of authority and you respect them, it resonates with you. You’ve got to be really careful what you tell your children. I think I spent about a decade regurgitating my upbringing.
If you cling to certain things, even when there is evidence that it doesn’t work, it’s not good for you. Because of habits and social sanctions, you’ll keep on with it and be miserable, wondering why your life isn’t getting any better. I’ve seen this too often.
When we talked about my client’s aunt, she said she was a nice lady. I said, “Look, I am not going to insult your aunt. I will say this – many people feel it is better to downplay their wants and needs versus going through the pain of realizing they may not be able to get those things based on your current situation.”
For some people, that can cause them to go a little looney. People say things like, “I’m a good person.” The universe doesn’t care if you’re a good person. The universe cares if you’re a functional person and you contribute to society. That’s why so many people get capped and run over. Bad shit happens to good people and good shit happens to bad people. It’s where you are in the food chain that determines a lot of those results.
Speaking of the family tree, I was having a conversation with a friend because I had to embark on changing my family tree. When you see that shit is wrong and that it doesn’t serve you well, many people just sweep that shit under the rug.
I refuse to do that. Once again, you have to be careful what you tell your kids. One of the things I’ve noticed is some families foster a level of dependency because they don’t know how to promote independence.
There are times this type of situation is understandable. If you are a parent and you’ve never moved out of the family home, you can’t give your kids that example. It took me awhile to understand this type of circumstance.
When I look at myself, I don’t think of myself as remarkable because I went through a lot of shit. If I were remarkable, I reasoned that I should not have gone through all of that shit. I look at myself as a WIP, or a Work in Progress. Every day I get a little bit better. Things become a little clearer.
When I was growing up, one of the things I heard was that I was high-minded. Because I had big ideas and used to read National Geographic, I was told this. I remember saying, “I want to go there,” when I was looking through the pages of the magazine. I was told, “You’re just a poor little black kid. Your little black ass ain’t going nowhere, boy. Stop dreaming.”
I was also told, “You need to get yourself together and prepare to go to work in the steel mill or go ahead and do that mine thing. You can get one of the men to refer you in. That’s pretty much what you’re situated for.” I heard shit like that. I really did. I said, “Nooooooo!”
A lot of times, you don’t see this stuff as harmful. The thing that drives people crazy is that there is no malicious intent. When we think of harmful, we think of something malicious.
It all starts with a choice. Placing limits on yourself before you set out is very counterproductive. I have a question for you. Do you feel you need validation and the approval of others to be successful? Have you ever placed a ceiling on your life and said something like, “That’s good enough for me.”
If you’re doing your best, you’re going to seek counseling. You’re going to read books to become unfucked up. If you’re doing your best, you will acknowledge that you’re fucked up, which is a problem for some people. I was fucked up once, exceptionally fucked up.
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