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Whose life is this anyway?

Whose life is this anyway?

Confronting the real issues behind the college admissions crisis.

I was recently asked what I thought about the college admissions scandal.  My point of view is multi-faceted as I am in the business of matching people to their passions and finding their way in the working world.  I am also a parent who has raised four children, nearly all of them around college age.  What we are seeing in the news is just a small part of an epidemic.  I am mortified, devastated, and disillusioned by the real message we are sending to our children – you are “NOT” enough.  You aren’t measuring up so we are going to do it for you.  What’s worse – it’s a fully conscious effort to impose their expectations on a child that may not be ready or for which college may not even be the right fit.

The barrier to our self-development from the time we are children is limiting beliefs.  I have personally experienced the damage this can do to children and how we carry it into adulthood. In fact, this theme has been at the core of many of my talks.  Limiting beliefs are poisonous.  They get into our system and stop us in our tracks.  Limiting beliefs are isolating and cause us to hide rather than face our fears.  And to make it worse, technology can further isolate a generation that directs their energy into a device rather than another human being face to face.

It’s time to confront the core issues that are at the heart of this college scandal. As parents, are we pushing too hard? Are we projecting our expectations on children

based on our own limiting beliefs? Are we becoming more disconnected as they are more “connected” to technology and isolated from us and each other? And even if we confront these issues at home, what do we need to do to help them function in a society that is perpetuating the same systemic problems?

It can take a lifetime to confront limiting beliefs but understanding and accepting your children, employees, and colleagues as they are and reinforcing that they ARE ENOUGH is a place to start.  At the same time, as parents, leaders, and community members, we must also send the message YOU ARE ENOUGH in both words and actions.   Our message should be YOU ARE WORTHY BEYOND MEASURE. Just imagine what potential can be freed up if we share this belief with our children, family, colleagues, and employees.  My modest contribution to this has been the formation of the Hollister Institute – which helps our team and colleagues reach their full potential through effectiveness, communications, and leadership skills.  For all of us, the time to start is NOW to acknowledge the “limiting beliefs” epidemic and reach deep into our personal ecosystems to make a difference.

Starting today, add this practice to your personal and professional toolkit. Next time you experience some fear or self-doubt, take a moment to observe the narrative going through your mind. Stop and ask yourself — is this based in fact or truth? Rather than being closed down by unfounded fears, rewrite the narrative from a new perspective, a place of commitment to your worthiness! Then, take action in a positive direction toward your goal.