As I deal with the growing pains of starting a new business where I will put myself much more in the public eye, I have had the clearest of epiphanies:

Perception is a hell of a drug.

I still struggle with believing I am worthy, though these days I am much more conscious of insidiousness of those thoughts. Since I’ve become more conscious, I can see other limiting beliefs popping up in front of me that used to be buried in the back of my mind.

Now I call them out.

I’m in the middle of scaling my business from what was once just a “Me versus The World” career path (albeit a small world) to building a team that will work together to plow a path to a newer, bigger world. It’s tough on me. Any transition period is tough, really.

During times that are particularly challenging — like giving up control and delegating — those limiting beliefs become louder.

“I don’t think I can afford to hire someone else. I need to just buckle down and work harder.”

Historically, I wouldn’t necessarily hear that thought, but I’d be directly influenced by it. I’d forego spending the extra time up front to teach someone how to help get me/us further down the road, thinking I was saving money because I could do the work myself anyways. Then, six or twelve months later, I’d still be dealing with the same kinds of stresses and still be no further along the path than I was before.

Now that I can hear and see those thoughts, I don’t let them sneak past me. I call them out. Then I re-frame them.

“Taking the leap now and hiring someone capable will allow me to do twice the work and actually save me money in the long run.”

So I did hire someone. I hired two people, actually.

It’s definitely scary, because their checks go out on the 15th and 30th regardless, but we are starting to move this ship in the right direction and I’m thrilled about what the future holds.

We’re working on creating podcasts, video series, blogs, and all sorts of other content to help inspire people to make changes in their lives through storytelling. It’s my passion and I’m more excited by it every day.

But I hear a creepy, familiar voice off in the distance.

“I don’t want to be one of those cheesy personal-brand types of guys that you see all over social media. I’m afraid of what my friends might say.”

I grab a light and shine it on the little Gollum-like creature cowering in the corner of my mind.

I snatch that thought away from him and mold it into my own, which sounds more like this:

“Actually, I love to be on camera. And I have fun sharing knowledge that I’ve learned. And I think that what I have to offer is valuable. And people have confirmed that. And why would I care if someone thinks I’m cheesy when I’m completely happy doing what I love?”

Then I get back to work.

See, we can actually control how we perceive things, as long as we can recognize them and then call them out. This is much easier said than done, though, and takes a while to us to even get to the point where we realize how we are perceiving things, instead of just reacting to them.

Right above my desk, under my goals for 2018, I wrote out a two-column list with my Limiting Beliefs on the left and my new Re-Framed Thoughts on the right.

I come back to it as often as I need to and it helps.

It’s cheesy. And I don’t care.

Picture via Rain Bennett

Rain Bennett is a two time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, fitness professional, public speaker, and writer. His mission is simple: to help people realize that they too can be great, no matter where they come from or what they start with. It just takes passion, persistence, and a plan.

Bennett directed and produced his first feature length documentary in true indie fashion by traveling the world with only a backpack and a Canon DSLR camera. That film, Raise Up: The World is Our Gym won “Best of the Fest” at the Hip Hop Film Festival NYC and received global distribution through Red Bull Media House. He’s been featured in publications like Men’s Health and Sports Business Global and is a regular contributor to Breaking Muscle. When he’s not making movies or training clients at Sync Studio in Durham, he’s hosting a new webseries called The Perfect Workout Show.