Have you ever been certain of something, but it turned out it wasn’t true? That’s the trouble with certainty…
I jumped in the car one morning before dawn for an early gym session. Living in rural Australia at the time, encountering kangaroos on the road was a common occurrence, so I flicked the headlights on high-beam. In a comical ‘cross-eyed’ fashion I could see one beam was pointing diagonally upwards, casting more light into the treetops than the road ahead. ‘My husband must have hit a kangaroo on his way home last night,’ I thought. After my workout, in the light of day, I noticed a dent in the side panel. ‘That must have been where it hit,’ I deduced. Driving back down our driveway I saw a mark in the gravel where the event obviously took place. ‘Wow, he was lucky there wasn’t more damage.’
When I walked into the kitchen and asked my husband about the ‘roo he hit last night, he looked at me blankly.
The headlights? “Yeah, I was trying to fix those yesterday.”
The dent? “That’s been there for ages!” (shows how much attention I pay to our cars)
The mark on the road? “Could have been anything!”
I had been certain I knew what had happened. I noticed something, drew a conclusion, and found evidence everywhere to support my assumption. It didn’t occur to me for a minute that I was wrong. But it was all in my imagination. A quote, attributed to Mark Twain, came to mind “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”.
It’s a powerful realisation – the brain believes whatever you tell it, whether or not it’s true. In fact, once you believe something to be true, your brain works to prove you right, collecting ‘evidence’ to confirm what you believe. Certainty eliminates possibility. It begs the question… what else do I believe, what else am I certain of, that simply isn’t true?
Be warned: questions like this will change your life.
I sought out counselling when I was nearly forty. I wanted answers. I had a LOT of questions about the ongoing impact of some trauma from my childhood, and I wanted to know why I struggled in the ways I did. But my healing began when I realised the answers I had were part of the problem. Turned out, there were many things I believed, about me/life/God/everything, that weren’t actually true. My struggles were rooted in lies about my worth and my purpose. And they were keeping me ‘stuck’.
It’s not easy, poking and prodding at things you’ve believed all your life, things that felt concrete, things that seemed important and unquestionable. But truth can handle scrutiny, it’s solid. What the questioning does is expose the lies that don’t deserve your allegiance. The discomfort was worth it to face the lies that kept me small, and uncover truth that has set me free. I discovered I was powerful to change my mind.
Think of it like a lock mechanism. A key works, or doesn’t, because hidden in a lock is a set of obstructions that prevent it from being opened without the correct key. Your misbeliefs and toxic mindsets are like those obstructions. You can’t see them, you may not even realise they are there, but they are ‘built in’ to how you navigate your life. You keep trying key after key to overcome the things you struggle with, but it’s like there is always something in the way.
A master key is designed to bypass those obstructions and UNLOCK the mechanism. Identifying those stuck mindsets and unraveling those misbeliefs is like using a master key. You can render those obstructions powerless because, in the end, they are. My friend Sandy Gledhill wrote a great book called ‘The Fearless Revolution’. Referring to fear (a very common obstruction), she puts it this way: “The only power it ever had was the power of my belief, so I stopped believing”.
To be clear, I’m not taking about ‘false positivity’ here. This is a whole level deeper than mustering up a ‘can do’ attitude, I’m talking about deep down convictions you may not even realise you hold, but they underpin everything you do. What we know in our heads cannot overcome what we believe to be true in our hearts. Even if that belief is a lie.
When you align with truth, you can push past those things that had been barriers. You can turn ANY key into a master key if you deal with the obstructions that are undermining your efforts and blocking your ability to move forward.