Young and ambitious are two words used when describing Mike Zhark. Mike was one of Kingpin Social’s students in the month of June. After deciding he wanted more options, Mike took the leap and decided Kingpin Social’s program was the best idea for him. Going into the school year armed with his newfound social skills, Mike Zhark plans to use his belief systems to his advantage to create the best options for himself in university. Mike is a nationally ranked Swimmer, will be joining the U of C Swim Team and spends his Tuesday Nights working at Mansion Nightclub. If you want to get in contact with Mike, click here.
Enter Mike Zhark…
A few months ago I was in a rut. I had just gotten out of a 3-year relationship, and I had no idea how to effectively interact with the world around me.
After several months of training myself to properly interact with my environment, I found Kingpin Social. I saw this as an opportunity to grow and gain an understanding of human interaction.
As a result of my decision to direct my life toward social growth, I have met a group of super cool, bad-ass motherfuckers who love to have fun, grow, and work in a positive environment. Among the many lessons learnt as from interacting with these guys, one key takeaway I had was to challenge your beliefs. I saw so much value in challenging beliefs that I invited one of my friends to hang out with this group of super-cool people to help him grow. However, when time came around for me to pick him up and hang out with these ultra high-value guys, I got a text.
Friend: “My parents are freaking out about this thing today man.”
Me: “How so?”
Friend: “They just flipped shit for like 20 minutes…said it wasn’t normal for people to be that committed to growth…”
In the end, he didn’t come out out of respect for his parents’ wishes. It did make me think though… was my own desire to pursue a path of self-growth a negative force in my life? In that moment, I challenged my beliefs. I let what my friend’s parents say affect how I thought, and I allowed it to compete against my current beliefs for dominance. Then I answered myself: they were right, it isn’t normal. It isn’t normal for people to constantly push their comfort zones. It isn’t normal for people to constantly strive for improvement. It isn’t normal to be a CEO, Doctor, or even pursue your passion. It isn’t normal for a 19 year old to be a Nightclub Manager. It isn’t normal to run a successful company with one of your best friends revolving around one of the most essential life skills there is. It’s sure as hell not normal for people to be in awesome relationships all the time. Looking at all of that, in what sense is it even logical to be normal?
As a result of the internal dialogue I had, my belief in the pursuit of self-improvement was strengthened. I gained more conviction in that what I am doing is the key to reaching my own potential, and it will take an even larger force than before to destroy or modify that belief. In this example, it became evident that the strengthening of my beliefs will provide me with more passion and drive to pursue whatever endpoint was associated with it, in this case…self-growth. The cool part about this is, you can apply this to any belief you hold as a person! But…why?
Why should we challenge our beliefs?
Our beliefs are the endpoint that support our values and drive our behavior within the actions we take. As individuals, we don’t have time to pick apart, analyze, and over-intellectualize every problem we have in our lives. Very often, we must proceed with courage and conviction in that what we are doing is right in order to achieve growth in the most optimal or desirable areas of our lives. Do you really need to break down your cereal-eating technique to the crunch? How would that help you make that interaction with the cute girl/guy at your regular Starbucks, or how would it augment your ability to fix your broken car in your garage?
Another vantage point from which beliefs can impact us is through our ability to accept or resist change based upon the strength of our beliefs. I would ask you to reflect upon yourselves for a second and view both a weak and strong belief you hold (these can be religion, habits, preference of colour, etc.) In each case, is the belief you hold constructive (positive) or destructive (negative) in congruent to your goals? In either the positive or the negative case, you would probably agree that the belief you hold could be more optimal.
Let’s look at a strong, negative belief from my life.
I used to believe that I was an introvert, and that the concepts of introversion and extroversion applied to everyone. I was a quiet, reserved person, and if asked to describe myself I would reply quietly, without emotion, “I am an introvert.” Every time I said this, I gave power to the idea that I was limited to the characteristics associated with being an introverted person. It even got to the point where I would avoid going out because I was so convinced that I drew my energy from being alone, and that it would be harmful for me to go out and even talk to other people. The limiting belief of introversion was becoming solidified and harder to break by the day.
How did I change this self-destructive behavior?
This lack of willingness to explore anything outside of myself became a huge comfort zone, leading to many destructive tendencies and habits. Soon, my girlfriend of over 3 years broke up with me. I was crushed, and for a few days I holed myself up from the world even further. After almost a month of mourning, I came upon the realization a major change needed to happen. No one was feeling sorry for me but myself. No one was going to make me happy by myself. A symphony of negativity had been playing its melody for the past who-knows-how-long. This major event in my life (delivered through a relationship) forced me to rethink my attitude towards meeting others. Soon after, I met the aforementioned bad-ass group of super cool motherfuckers who continue to drive me to be the best I can be. Nowadays, I wouldn’t say I’m an extrovert, nor would I say I’m an introvert. I simply am. Overcoming my limited belief allowed me to become attuned to the opportunities and dynamics of my social environment.
There are positive and negative examples in every one’s life. Just as I have converted from the very negative set of ideals above to a markedly more positive set, I have also made the positive set of beliefs more sound. Although context and personal views alter what is negative and positive for individual people, without a doubt it is always beneficial to embrace enlightenment and always negative to be ignorant or possess limiting beliefs. We have the potential and opportunity to challenge all of our beliefs through every interaction we make, through every event in our lives, and even on our own internally.
Our beliefs will be challenged throughout our lives, sometimes against our will, and sometimes as a result of embracing opportunities. When the time comes that our beliefs are challenged against our wishes, will we have strengthened those same beliefs to weather the storm and reflect our desired identity? Or will we conform to our environment’s potentially limiting and harmful thinking?
In the end, it is up to you. After all, it is you who believes so.