Awhile after dropping out of college, I began telling myself that being a dropout would hold me back. That being a college graduate would’ve made me more successful. The truth is, I don’t actually believe this at all. For many, college is no longer worth it, and the evidence shows that most graduates leave college with few real skills and thus few job opportunities. I think this insistence that college still makes you more successful is a lie. I think being a dropout actually gives you far more advantages. Yet I’ve been telling myself a story about how being a dropout will hold me back. Why?
Choosing to believe a lie can push us to accomplish much more than we would otherwise.
This is talked about in Don’t Do Stuff You Hate. The book describes a time when Kevin Durant played an incredible playoff game, but his teammates performed badly and they ultimately lost. After the game, Durant says, “It’s my fault.” Was it really Durant’s fault that they lost? No, of course not. Yet Durant chooses to believe that it was. He tells himself that it is all on him, and this pushes him to work as hard as he can. He chooses to believe a lie and uses it as fuel to achieve.
I will continue creating a narrative that I’m more disadvantaged than others because of my lack of a degree. When I choose to believe this, I push myself to work harder than I ever have. I push myself to learn so much and do so much that I ‘make up’ for my lack of a degree. I figure out how I can create advantages for myself.
As Isaac Morehouse writes, “A belief that the universe is trying to destroy you is incredibly disempowering. But once you know it’s not true yet selectively choose to play as if it is you become unstoppable. You can’t be unstoppable if nothing is trying to stop you.”
I believe the lie that being a dropout is holding me back, and this pushes me forward faster than any other belief could. So what lie should you start believing?