Stuck in the construct of an industry

Beliefs are so engrained sometimes they can be quite shocking. We may not even see them as beliefs anymore, but rather, undisputed truth. A belief in itself is an acceptance that something exists, especially without evidence or proof. It’s amazing when you start to consider everything that we believe to be true in our lives, without evidence of it at all. We believe that many things must be a certain way. We believe that the way we cook and sleep and get to work is all done in the best possible way. Yet, we rarely take time to explore if the belief is true. We just accept it and carry on blindly stepping through our lives.

One of the most fascinating and strong beliefs I come across is the belief that “This is just how it’s done in a particular industry and if I want to work in it, I have to conform.” This usually means slogging oneself to near death (honestly) with very little consideration of any other possible approach.

Over and over again, incredible high performers show up to work and give everything they have to delivering. This might look like waking early to check in on things as soon as one wakes, or staying late, or working weekends, or never ever being able to switch off, just in case. It may also look like knocking everything else out of your life when a big deal is underway or perhaps cancelling family holidays to deliver something. The cost is huge. Not only have I seen it severely impact the health of people, I have seen it break down marriages, cost people relationships with their children, lose significant amounts of sleep, lower self-confidence, and turn intelligent people into concerning mental health statistics.

Really, all they need to do is ask the question:

“Is this how it has to be done?”

The answer is so simple: “Of course not.” We are incredibly powerful beings when we decide to use our willpower. We can change the course of our lives in an instant just by deciding to. It doesn’t mean you have to leave the industry either, just ask yourself, how can an intelligent person like myself do this differently. My support is: put your energy first. Put your health first. If you take care of those two things, you’ll be able to see clearly. You’ll be able to think clearly. Then get smart about what really needs to be done and what other ways are there of doing them?

It’s rare, but when I see people start to make these changes, they create a movement of others who ask “how are you doing that?” and just like that, whole companies, whole industries begin to change.

Just because something has been done a certain way since the beginning of time, it doesn’t mean it is unchangeable. In fact, this is the exact reason why we must change. The choice is yours and it’s a simple one to make. Be the change.

Keep up to date with the latest neuroscience and high performance insights by joining us for free live sessions on LinkedIn.

Register for 20/20: Clearer Views on the Neuroscience of High Performance.