Who has the power over you?

“Don’t quit paddling until you have reached your desired destination … isn’t that the reason you started paddling in the first place?” ~ Carrie Ruelle

One of the greatest obstacles that the aspiring entrepreneur will have to face is the intangible yet stagnating and ever present mental power struggle. Why? Because most of us were born and bred for mediocrity in an environment where approval-seeking behavior was the flavor of the day of every day of our lives.

 

Let’s define what this power struggle looks like by telling a story:
Born in 1980, right before what some would describe as one of the most prosperous economic periods in US History, Average Jane was a product of the typical mindset related to success. The prescription for success in this era was that a formal education was the magic key to a happy and fulfilling life.
According to the educational standards of that day, Average Jane was naturally, intellectually gifted. She also seemed to have a “built in” need for validation, especially from figures in authority. It should be easy to imagine a very smart teacher’s pet by the 2nd grade! Someone who, by the age of seven had been successfully primed to follow a system that would prove to only truly serve the financial success of the few at the expense of the many … hint: She, like many of you, was “trained” to be one of the many!!
Literally, her entire life, both educational and professional experiences seemed to validate her “position” in the world. She’d done ALL the right things having received her MBA with a 3.97 GPA by the age of 27 while being married with three children … sometimes having daily commutes in excess of six hours!! She did it all and was a FORCE to be reckoned with … or so she thought!!
What she hadn’t realized, and wouldn’t realize for several years, was that she’d been set up for indentured servitude by a system … a conspiracy of sorts. Who knows where/how it started … but all we know is that a picture of this certain type of life was indelibly imprinted on her mind. This picture was infused with a good career, nice home and car, children (maybe a husband) and an overall life that was good and comfortable. All she had to do to “guarantee” this life was take the “right” steps (i.e. Go to school, get a good education and get a good job). If she just did those things, everything would fall into place.
Reality began to creep up on her around the age of 28!!
She had the education, the job, the family, the home, the income (although it took both parents working to make it) … but somehow, they were still just barely comfortable once the incomes were adjusted for inflation, cost of living increases, health care expenses and hell, just small amounts of the fun stuff, there wasn’t anything left. She worked longer hours … worked harder and harder … began to go for promotions at work … the only thing that changed was the negative toll all the working was taking on her family relationships. Her friends and family began to joke that she was cheating on her husband with her laptop!!
Her bosses continued to pick apart her work without any real cause … just minute bullshit to justify not promoting her. She rotated between coworkers who were depressed or passive aggressive and sometimes both and worse things (and she had her own set of issues too) … but at the same time, she had a home, cars, family … RESPONSIBILITIES!!! She felt trapped!!!
She began to greatly appreciate the one to two week breaks that she would get around Christmas time … something in her heart had ALWAYS told her of her greatness. These one to two week hiatuses would only serve to confirm that she needed the time … the opportunity … while maintaining the pay to create opportunities to explore what her life was “really” meant to be. Because whatever it was, she was really starting to truly believe that it wasn’t “this!” “I was created for more than this,” she would say to herself almost daily, “because if this is what life is about, God could’ve kept it …”
But … what to do? What could be done? How could she possibly free herself from this hell? She couldn’t just walk away from everything, could she? She had RESPONSIBILITIES after all … it would be completely and totally selfish of her not to endure!! Day after day, she literally tried to convince herself that she was just ungrateful and unappreciative … but nope, that wasn’t flying either!! She knew in her noir that she was destined for greatness … she just had to be brave enough to TAKE IT!!”

 

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