J.D. Vance, unlikely graduate of Yale Law School, has written a best-seller, Hillbilly Elegy. It’s unlikely that J.D. would have graduated from the likes of Yale Law School because he grew up in a multi-generational hillbilly culture plagued by instability, domestic violence, drugs and hopelessness. The point of his book is the chasm that separates people of privilege and those who grew up as he did. He speaks of the vicious cycles, generation after generation of volatility, poverty, addiction and more, begetting more of the same.
Against all odds, J.D escaped the cycle. The book is well worth a read.
The reason it inspired my blog today, however, is not his amazing story but the struggle he continues to wage against a hair trigger temper when he feels the hillbilly code has been violated.
He tells of being cut off in traffic, and that his first instinct has been to leap out of the car and bash the offending driver. He has learned to recognize that call to threat, fear, anger and even violence, and he has learned to choose more appropriate responses.
You may be thinking that you would never consider violence against a fellow driver – and that may well be. But most of us, like J.D., have beliefs and values that operate outside our awareness. Something happens and BOOM! we are angry or afraid, and we take action based on those feelings.
Discovering those hidden beliefs that limit you will not necessarily make the feelings go away. But the point isn’t to make them go away. The point is to recognize them. If we can recognize them, we can create a pause, a moment to ask: Am I responding to an old script from long gone circumstances?And, if the answer is yes: What do I want from this situation?
But the golden question is: How we can finally learn to recognize these hidden beliefs? Because recognizing them is the golden key. Fortunately, I’ve spent the better part of my career learning how to discover those limiting beliefs. Once you recognize them, you are on your way to huge achievement.
In my upcoming book, Live Large – The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next,I will show you how to find those hidden, limiting beliefs. Once you do, you, like JD, will not be beholden to your history. And you will have all the choices in the world.
Can’t wait to tell you more about the book, it’s already getting rave reviews from early readers. You can pre-order on Amazon, Target or Barnes & Noble.
Until next Tuesday,