Most of us are controlled by our past. Everybody is shaped by the people, culture, and experiences in their lives. Sadly no matter who you are, a lot went wrong in your life during this time, and those things programmed negative thought patterns that are holding you back today. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. There are untold secrets to success hidden in your origin story. You just need to know where to look.
Understanding Your Origin Story
In order to overcome negative programming, you need to see your life as a hero’s journey and begin understanding where you came from: the influences, environment, experiences that shaped your beliefs and choices and created the results in your life. Understanding your origin story can be the difference between the rise of a hero or the fall of a villain.
We’re social creatures and tend to become the people we’re surrounded by. That’s why you must process the key relationships in your life up to this point in order to see yourself accurately. The three types of influences to assess are:
Parental figures – parents are the most definitive relationship in our lives because they were our primary connection during most vulnerable and susceptible period of our growth (ages 0-7). My parents abandoned me, which created a devastating fear of abandonment.
Friends and peers – the people your age profoundly impact you. This includes siblings and significant others.
Subliminal – the movies and shows you watch and the music you listen to affects you more than you think. If we truly understood the subtle ways these things shape our opinions, our media consumption would probably drop by at least 50%.
The culture you grew up within says a lot about you. Most people either submit to it completely or dramatically rebel against it. Neither of these approaches are ideal, because both of them allow an imperfect past to control you. I mostly submitted to my childhood environment for about three decades. I grew up poor and therefore saw myself through a poverty mindset (more on this later).
There were key events that happened to you that you need to unpack to find the success hidden in your origin story. The experiences that shape us will fall into one of two categories: Anchors and Catapults. Anchors are traumas that sabotage us. I mentioned before how my parents abandoned me when I was young and that this created a fear of abandonment.
In contrast, Catapults are positive experiences that launche us forward. My grandfather acted as a surrogate father to me and never stopped reminding me that I was capable of great things. His encouragement helped me push through the darkest period of my life and overcome my negative circumstances.
Beliefs, Values, Tendencies
Our influences, environment and experiences form our beliefs, and our beliefs are what drive us. Along with my fear of abandonment was the belief that the people I loved would abandon me. Ironically this created a tendency in me to drive people away because I believed that they would eventually leave and I wanted to avoid that pain. I also believed that failure would lead to rejection and that rejection would lead to abandonment, so I developed an unconscious value in my heart for laziness, because avoiding work meant avoiding the possibility of failure.
Every choice we make comes from our beliefs, values, and tendencies, and our choices determine our destiny. For years I had a poverty mindset – a belief that I was unworthy of money and success. This led me to self sabotage as I subconsciously resisted financial success. My value for laziness and fear of failure made me not take work that I should have. Meanwhile I chose to waste what money I did have on things that would numb my pain, rather than saving or investing it.
Eventually I was homeless and living out of my car, and I stayed at rock bottom until I took responsibility for my beliefs and the choices I made from them. Once I realized that my choices had led me to where I was, my life results started to change. I stopped accepting the idea that I was no good. I got a job and took on responsibility. I faced my fear of abandonment by finding a mentor who then helped me discover my blind spots. I started to make money and learned how to use it effectively. When my life became more stable, I met my wife and started a family.
Finding Success in Your Origin Story
Everything changed when I started to understand my origin story and use it to my advantage. You can start understanding your origin story with the following steps:
1. Identify the Lies You’ve Believed
I believed I was unworthy of money and destined to be abandoned. Neither of these were true, but they manifested negative results in my life until I rejected them and replaced them with powerful truths.
2. Replace the Lies with Truth
Every lie in your life must be replaced with a truth that counteracts it. I had to believe I was worthy of finances in order to become financially healthy. Success had to be attainable in my mind before I could find the will to pursue and achieve it.
3. Hold on to Lessons Learned
The more you identify lies and replace them with truth, the more knowledgeable and wise you will become. With the realizations you discover will come valuable lessons that can alter the course of your destiny if you dare to grasp them. For instance, I learned that beliefs drive behavior, that hard work really does pay off and that I needed help from people further than me in order to get past my limitations.
4. Find Positive Relationships and Develop Yourself
You need to discover three things in order to find success in your origin story:
Mentors – I strongly believe everyone should have at least one mentor. No matter where we are, there are those who are closer to where we want to be and have valuable insight on how to get there. We also all have blind spots, and we need wise people to help us see them and move past them. Don’t stop searching until you find these people, and when you find them, prize them.
Gifts – gifts are mostly innate. They’re in your DNA. They can be misused, but they are difficult to completely abandon because they’re a part of who you are. For instance, Zig Ziegler is an evangelist personality type. He is a messenger in his bones. Something in him drives him to tell stories and recruit people into a buying a product or joining a tribe. Jim Carrey is an artist. He’s expressive and driven to create, and for him to stop creating would be worse than death. It’s so important that you discover what your gifts are, because they point you to your purpose and to the places where you can truly excel.
Skills – differ from gifts in that they are not necessarily built-in to your personality. For instance, Zig Ziegler is a messenger, but he still had to learn skills like cold calling, negotiation, and closing. Likewise, Jim Carrey still had to practice acting, improvisation, and stand-up before he could land breakthrough roles. Once you identify your gifts, you can more easily determine the skill-sets you need to develop in order to make the most of them.
Take the Next Step – Discover Your Gifts
If you’re struggling with identifying your gifts, take my personality test. My team designed it to help you pinpoint your strengths and save yourself years of confusion and struggle. This test will also help you determine your weaknesses, which will help point you towards the patterns in your life where negative beliefs, influences, environments and experiences may be hiding. I believe if you’re reading this that you’re a valuable gift to the world, and I want to accelerate you towards your destiny by giving you the gift of self knowledge.