Debunking 3 Myths That Hold People Back

Debunking 3 Myths That Hold People Back

Photo by Reshat Fanana
Photo by Reshat Fanana

In my last article, Dare to Follow Your Heart, I proposed that the common thing that stands between a person and what they want to accomplish in life is often the willingness to dare and the faith to believe that it is possible.

A myth is a misrepresentation of the truth, a false belief or idea. Despite the misrepresented and distorted nature of myths, many are widely held in society today. Myths are often the result of cultural, social, religious, and family upbringings. Therefore, they are ingrained in our psyche and shape the way we live, behave, and make decisions, both at a conscious and/or unconscious level.

I believe the following three myths often stand in the way of following our hearts.

Myth 1: If I follow my heart, I may disappoint others.

It is virtually impossible to meet other people’s expectations all the time. Your family, friends, and colleagues have expectations about you and for you. They may think they know what is best. In spite their best intentions, your heart may take you in a different direction. Some will like where you are going and some will not. Decisions, as most processes in life, come with gains and losses. You can only do so much to avoid disappointment in others. However, there is once thing I recommend: be considerate of others and seek to wise counsel. After all, doing what makes you come alive will bring life and happiness to others.

Myth 2: If I follow my heart, I may fail.

Many have grown-up to believe that failure is a bad thing and must be avoided at all costs. Our society is obsessed with perfection and success, thereby resulting in an unhealthy fear of failure. This fear of failure has paralyzed many hearts. Following your heart is sometimes considered as challenging the status quo. The status quo proposes that you follow the motions and the things everyone else does. There is an unspoken myth that if you fall outside the way “everyone does it” you may fail. Truth is that failure may come either way, if you follow your heart or not. Failure helps us grow and become better people; better parents, leaders, friends, and workers. Can you live with failure? I bet you can. The reward and satisfaction that comes from following your heart is far greater than failure

Myth 3: If I follow my heart, I may be criticized.
People have a tendency to criticize. You may be criticized if you run with the crowd, if you stand out among the crowd, or if you run away from the crowd.  Chances are others will voice their opinions and comment about the things you do. Criticism comes in two ways, constructive and destructive. One fosters improvement and the later may freeze you from doing anything at all. Don’t let a destructive critic dictate the decisions in your life.

These myths are also alive in some organizations. Leaders, managers, and CEO’s have major decisions to make on a daily basis. The thought of disappointing subordinates, co-workers, and board members can be paralyzing. The thought of failing to implement, execute, and/or deliver successfully may shoot stress levels over the roof. Falling prey to criticism by the media or by consumers is indeed horrifying.

  • Do you relate with one or more of these myths?
  • Have you not followed your heart because of myths?

Odds are that you relate. The good news is that you don’t have to live by these or any other myth any longer. The first step to dispel a myth is to recognize it. Second, have faith and follow your heart. Finally, experience the joy and let others know!

Go ahead and follow your heart. Ask someone out. Change careers. Start a business. Pray and get to know your Creator. Sign-up for that marathon. Forgive and restore a broken relationship. Take a yoga class. Volunteer at a not-for-profit. Launch that new product. Get married.

Your heart is speaking. Are you listening?

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