In today’s episode I want to talk with you about the concept of ‘accretions’. Just like barnacles that stick to the bottom of a ship we can often end up with beliefs about ourselves that cling to the ship of our life and slow us down in significant ways. Today I want to help you think about auditing your own accretions so you can move forward into the life you were made to live.
Auditing your beliefs and why it matters
Well, hi, everybody. Jonathan Doyle with you, as always, for The Daily Podcast . How you doing? Wherever you are in the world, I hope things are turning your way. Gosh, don’t we go through seasons when things are difficult? It’s just hilarious, in a way, at the moment.
Many of you know I’ve been in a serious accident. I got two busted arms, busted knee, busted head. My daughter Olivia managed to destroy a couple of tendons in her ankle, so she’s on crutches, and then my youngest, Stephanie, was coming up the stairs the other day. Managed to not wear any shoes and ripped off the front of her toe. So I don’t know; it’s just this kind of season we go through, but you have them too, right? You may not be doing as dramatically as I am right now or this family is, but don’t we all have seasons when things just seem to go wrong?
Have you ever had a time when you’re just kind of looking at things, going, “Wow! Why is this happening?” I guess it’s a question of always asking helpful questions. I’ve done podcasts on that before. You always want to ask good questions. So when you ask a question like, “Why is this happening to me?” you often don’t get the best answers. The answer might be, “To test you, to strengthen you, to help you grow.” But if you ask that question, often you’re going to get, “Because the universe hates me!” So be careful of the questions you ask in life. Always try and structure your questions in ways that are helpful.
So let’s get through these seasons, right? You may not be in one at the moment, but they happen and they come around. But I do think that they help us grow, and they test us. If we handle them well, there’s a lot of growth there, and just on that, here’s a cool quote that I want to share with you. It’s from somebody called Sean McVay. Listen to this: “You show me anybody that’s great in anything they do. I’ll show you somebody that’s persevered, demonstrated that mental toughness to overcome some obstacles and adversity.”
You know, we just have this idea that successful people were just born beautiful. They were born with a million Instagram followers and everything just dropped into their lap. We all know a couple of people that probably have some real natural genetic talent advantages, but wow, the journey of the human life is just this endless journey of facing difficulty and adversity and somehow becoming stronger through it, through good choices, through good support. And this thing that I’m talking a lot about at the moment: mental toughness. Talked about it already this week. Just very quickly, it’s this thing that you don’t have to accept everything your brain serves up. So mental toughness is the decision. It’s the power. It’s the choice to think differently.
I always love the critique of that. It’s like, “Well, what if you’re just telling yourself things that aren’t true?” I’m going, “Well, ask yourself this question: What’s the effect? What’s the effect?” I’ve found in my life that if things are going badly and I start telling myself how terrible everything is, I can be down that rabbit hole of depression and unhappiness in a heartbeat. So I get much better these days at constantly choosing what I’m thinking about and choosing to think more positive things. And friends, I’ll tell you, if you ever meet me one-on-one and we had a chance to talk about it, this did not come easily to me. By disposition, by background, by life experience, I’ve had to work incredibly hard at this, so I want to encourage you that we can change our thinking.
Now, very quickly, what I wanted to talk about in this episode was … It was on my heart to talk to you about something called accretions. Yesterday, I talked to you about this idea of letting go. The next step to moving on in life is a lot of things to let go of. But today, I want to talk to you about something related to that, called accretions.
Now, the term accretions refers to kind of basically … I guess the way to understand it would be buildup. Think of a ship. You know how ships get barnacles on them? They get all that stuff that over months and years at sea builds up on the hull. Now, that stuff is technically called accretions or layers that build up. And for a ship, if you don’t get rid of that stuff, eventually it can become quite serious. It can affect how the ship handles. It can be really dangerous. So you’ll see that even the biggest ships eventually get pulled into the dock and they get the dry dock treatment and all that stuff has to be taken away. And if it’s not, we’ve got problems.
So it’s on my heart to share with you that I think our lives can be like that. As we go through this journey of life and we face difficulty and we interact with people, we can often get these accretions that build up. What are they? I think they’re belief systems. They’re things that we think about ourselves that are true. There’s that famous saying that there’s no more important words than what you say to yourself about yourself when you’re by yourself. Those are the crucial things. So these accretions are just these ways of thinking about ourselves that build up, and the filter we have to use is: Are these helpful?
You know, I grew up in my family. As a kid, it was always that there was this thing that I was a drama queen. They always used to say that if something happened, I’d be over the top about it. The funny thing is that I end up with a professional career on stage, talking to hundreds of thousands of people, so I guess they were kind of right, in a way. But it was this kind of belief, this idea that builds up, that maybe things that I feel aren’t real or aren’t as important. Or maybe I shouldn’t feel what I feel. So they’re like accretions, and as I go through life, I’ve got to sort of observe them, acknowledge them, test if they’re helpful, and then decide to let them go.
So that’s just one example, but what are the accretions in your life? I spent a decade speaking to hundreds of thousands of young people, teenagers. For so many young women, it was about their bodies. “I’m this,” or “I’m fat,” or “I’m ugly,” or “No one can ever love me,” and it was crazy. These intelligent, wonderful young women would have these beliefs that hit them really early in life, and they’re like accretions. They’re like these layers that build up over their sense of self, and they’re so powerful. What people believe about themselves and what you believe about you is incredibly powerful stuff, and I think it’s time that we started to pay attention to it. Young men had these ideas that their worth was only based in their physical strength or size or their popularity, and these things weren’t helpful. So the test of a belief is whether or not it’s helpful, whether it’s moving you forward, whether it’s leading to more blessing and growth in your life.
So that’s it for today. Look into your life and ask yourself the question: What are the accretions in my life? What are the beliefs I have, that I’ve held for a long time, that really are like barnacles of the ship of my life? There’s a metaphor for you. How good is that? So take some time. Get your journal out, and if you don’t journal, you should, because I can’t. I tried to pick up a pen yesterday. I’m in these crazy casts, and I can’t write, and I’m a massive writer. So you should be journaling or at least going for a long walk in the calm and the quiet and just having some time to think about that.
All right, come and follow me. Instagram: jonathandoyle47. Find me there. Instagram: jonathandoyle47. Facebook: The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Everything else is on the website, as always: jonathandoyle.co . And if you want me to do an episode on something you’re stuck on, hit me up on Facebook, if you want. Just hit me up on Facebook messenger, through The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Or email me direct: Jonathan@jonathandoyle.co. Let me know where you’re stuck and I’ll do an episode just for you, which I’m always loving answering questions for people. So hit me up with some questions tomorrow.
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