Replace Oppression with Opportunity
Welcome back to part 3 of our 6 part series, Reset and Replace.
A reminder of our premise: Most people don’t accomplish the goals they have in life because of their own self imposed limitations. Mostly likely, YOU are the one thing holding you back from all the success you want in life.
Last week, we talked about replacing Intention with Intensity. That dealt with your actions. Today, let’s dive into your attitude.
If your attitude or mindset is a little off, it could set you back weeks, months, or even years from your goals. Most people have no clue how to change their mind. But how you see yourself and how you think has more power and more influence on your success than you may realize. That’s why it’s vital that you:
Replace Oppression with Opportunity
Now first I want to clarify what I mean by oppression, because it is a highly politicized word these days.
You want to talk about oppression? In the country my dad is from, there was a military coup that took over that joint, and they are literally oppressing the people. The people are literally banging pots in protest, because that’s all they have. They are trying to fight back the oppressive military coup with slingshots. For real. I’ve seen videos - they’re literally fighting back with slingshots.
So when we’re talking about oppression, we can always get into the comparison game about who’s more oppressed. But I’m not talking about political oppression. So let’s just look at the basic terminology:
Oppression is when you're being held down by something that's unjust.
There’s a morality to it. There’s something wrong. I’m being held down, and it’s wrong. That’s oppression. Politics completely aside - I’m being held down and there’s something wrong about this.
See, most people are not oppressed by someone else. Their biggest source of oppression, the thing that is holding them down and holding them back the most, is their bad habits from 3 years ago.
The thing that’s holding you back the most is your self image from 5 years ago. It’s your self image from 10 years ago that you can’t shake. It’s holding you down. It’s suffocating you. And you gotta stop. You gotta let it go.
Some people are oppressed by the dreams they had when they were younger. You started working toward your goals with one set of ideas and one set of dreams...but you’re older now. You’ve grown up. So why do you feel beholden to your 21 year old self? You spend your entire 20s trying to prove your 19 year old self right. It’s bananas! And it’s holding you down!
I look back at the things I talked about when I was 19, 20, 21 years old...and I can’t figure out what on earth I was thinking back then. I hear myself and I think, “What is coming out of this kid’s mouth? He’s charming, he’s adorable, but what a load of nonsense he’s talking about. Wow.”
I didn’t want 25 year old Mark spending all of his time, energy, and effort chasing the dreams of 19 year old Mark. And at 39 I certainly don’t want to be chasing the dreams of my 25 year old self either. It’s ok to hit reset.
Who are you NOW in your life? What do you want NOW? Those are the things that are important to you, so let that be at the forefront of your mind. Let THAT be what pulls you into your future.
Let go of all your stuff. Your bad habits - fix them. Whatever is holding you back from going to the next level - stop it! Grow your self image! You’re allowed to reset your dreams, reset your habits, and reset how you see yourself.
How about this: if you have a mentor, start seeing yourself how your mentor sees you. Cause I bet you they don't have all the baggage you have from when you were a kid. They don’t hang on to your failures like you do. They don’t see you as the fat, awkward kid that you were in middle school. In fact, that image of you - even though it’s completely ingrained in YOUR mind - is completely baffling to them. They don’t understand it. Because they met you when you were in the pursuit, so all they’ve ever seen is your focus and your drive.
I bet your mentor’s image of you is very different from your image of you. I bet they see you way beyond the way you see yourself. Start to see yourself through their eyes, and maybe you’ll start to become the winner they’ve always seen.
Stop letting your bad self image oppress you. It’s suffocating you. You’ve gotta let it go
Because when you’re so busy being oppressed, you have trouble seeing opportunity.
Someone with an oppression mindset evaluates their circumstances to determine whether or not they have opportunity. Someone with an opportunity mindset just looks for opportunity.
See, everyone has circumstances. Everyone has responsibilities. The only question is, how do you see them? If those circumstances are a weight in your life, you have 2 choices: you can either let it buckle you, or you can let it make you stronger. You can let it break you, or you can carry it up the stairs with you. When you choose to use it as strength training, you see it as opportunity instead of oppression. That’s the shift.
When a very clear opportunity is right in front of you, you usually don’t think of all the reasons you can’t or shouldn’t take it. If I told you I’d give you $100 to ask a stranger how their day was going, you wouldn’t get all caught up in self doubt about what to say to them - you’d see the opportunity to make $100 and go talk to the guy! And yet you’re scared to go talk to that potential client (who could make you a LOT more than $100) because of what they might think of you. That’s being oppressed by your bad self image, and it’s stopping you from seeing and seizing opportunities in your life.
The problem with most opportunities is that they’re usually hiding behind work or hardship. It’s easier to see the work or the hardship and think about how hard life is, but if you just look a little bit past that, you’ll see opportunity and your world will open up.
You’re a single mom of 4? You have the opportunity to teach your kids a winning mindset.
You have a different personality from a coworker or a business partner? You have the opportunity to learn how to work with people who are different from you (more on that next week).
You’re struggling in your marriage? You have the opportunity to show others that it’s possible to overcome that.
You hold SO MUCH POWER when you decide to see opportunity in every circumstance. It truly is an attitude, it’s a choice. I’ve always heard that with every adversity comes a seed of equal or greater benefit - that is opportunity. But, in my experience, those seeds only come up for those who see it that way.
So the real question is, what are you looking for? Are you looking for reasons you can do something, or are you looking for reasons you can’t? Are you looking for ways to make things work, or are you looking for a reasonable excuse? Are you focusing on what’s stopping you, or are you looking for opportunity? Because whatever you look for, you’ll find.
Opportunity mindset pays you, oppression mindset keeps you stuck. And you can’t elevate yourself with the same mindset that got you stuck. Reset it and replace it. Start looking for opportunity everywhere you go. I’m looking forward to see what you find.
Join us next week for our next installment!