This Limiting Belief Kept Me From Trying New Things
The other day, I was inspired by an Ali Abdaal video on YT that talked about how writing book summaries has helped him recall significantly more from each book he reads. He cited inspirations like Derek Sivers who have built incredible collections of book summaries that can be found here.
Inspired by this, I sat down to start writing a summary for a book I had just completed. As I got started, I thought to myself, I’m not sure this is anything like Ali or Derek’s book summaries. Then I thought that if I published this, who would even read it given people like Derek are crushing it with their book summaries. Not to mention the apps out there of entire book summary libraries.
I started again and still thought, this just doesn’t seem to look like theirs. And then I stopped. I figured I would come back to it later.
This morning, while on my ritual morning coffee walk, I realized a limiting belief that was quietly hiding in a corner. It doesn’t always come out, but it does show up from time to time. This limiting belief has been a quiet obstacle to growth and progress in several moments of my life.
There is one best or right way to do something.
With this attempt at writing a book summary, I finally spotted the limiting belief before too much time passed. This limiting belief is a close relative of believing we have to be perfect when we start something new. While I thought I had perfectionism mostly under control this close cousin was still lurking.
I reflected on this limiting belief and replaced it with a more empowering one that I have also believed in other moments of my life.
There is more than enough room for differentiated and unique book summary approaches and styles. Different people have always appreciated books in different ways and summaries are an extension of that.
In fact, it is my particular interpretation and summary that would make it differentiated and interesting too. So yeah, mine will be different, but then again, it should be. I’m not Ali or Derek. I’m Roger and I read books through my unique lens and that’s why I should write the summary.
Warning about Inspiration
Inspiration can be a double-edged sword. It can show us a new and clear possibility. However, it can also set an example that we might interpret too strictly. Then, when we try it ourselves and it doesn’t resemble our inspiration, we run the risk of getting discouraged or at least putting it off until later which might mean never.
This morning was a reminder not to interpret inspirations too strictly and be mindful of possible limiting beliefs.