Most people will admit to having more potential than their lives show. They know on some level that they are far more capable than they have been giving themselves credit for. They know they have something “bigger” to offfer the world but maybe they haven’t quite figured out what it is or how to bring it about.
What keeps us from thinking bigger and taking consistent action toward what we say we want and what we know deep down we are capable of? Can we play a bigger game and have more fun and fulfillment than we think we can? Can we become more than we thought possible?
Are we fooling ourselves when we have visions of something far greater than we have yet to realize?
Or must we settle for what is and accept it as reaility?
What do you think? Here are my thoughts:
- Most limitations are self-imposed and are not “real”
The next time you think you cannot be or do something, realize you impose that on yourself. It’s almost certain that you learned to think that you cannot be or do something from someone else; perhaps a parent, sibling, friend, teacher or authority figure.
But once you learned to limit yourself by taking on the opinion of an outside source, you are the one that keeps it alive. If you have a healthy brain, whatever you think is possible for yourself or whatever you think is not possible for yourself is now on you. Your limitations are self-imposed.
- It’s time to question your “limitations”
Most people have the habit of responding to a limiting thought or belief with automatic acceptance. Why? Somewhere along the way that’s what they learned to do. We can learn to begin questioning our limiting thoughts and beliefs.
When you feel stuck or held back from something you want to change or to begin being or doing, identify the self-imposed belief that tells you you are limited in some way. Ask yourself the simple question “How do I know I can’t?” When your subconscious gives you the automatic answer, don’t just accept it. Keep probing. Keep the discussion going until you realize the limitation is an illusion.
- Take a small step outside the borders of your limiting thinking and behavior
Asking yourself “How do I know I can’t?” is one of those small steps to go beyond past limited thinking. After that question, ask yourself “How can I do this?” Take the small but powerful step of looking for solutions or innovations. Then take action, no matter how small. When someone who is afraid of public speaking joins Toastmasters and gives their first 60 second “speech,” they are taking a small step into a new reality they are creating for themselves.
We have to start somewhere. Taking the first small step begins to redefine what we think is possible for ourselves. The small step is the process of questioning our self-imposed limitations instead of automatically accepting them.
You can do more than you think you can. You can be more.
We can complain about the economy, our boss, our parents, our financial situation, our bodies and our age. We can say we are too young or too old, not experienced enough or too experienced. The last one is a common complaint of many job seekers; “I wasn’t hired because I am overqualified.”
All the above are self-imposed limitations. They are figments of our imagination. Are some jobseekers rejected because they are overqualified? Yes. Maybe many. But if that is what the jobseeker focuses on, they will take that into every interview and talk the hiring manager out of making them an offer. Their self-imposed limitations will become their self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Nobody will hire me because I’m too young and inexperienced. My boss will not promote me becuase I am too young and too inexperienced.” “I can’t get a better job because of the economy.”
Swiching gears, what about self-imposed limitatioins outside of work? “I can’t lose weight,” “I can’t find the love of my life,” “I can’t be happy in my current relationship,” “I can’t be happy until I…”
I’ts time to take a small step outside of these self-imposed limitation.
“How do I know I can’t?”
There are some real limitations. Just not the ones we usually entertain. The ones we entertain are almost always self-imposed.
We know that because there are always a small percentage of people who don’t entertain the limitations going on inside our heads. They are entertaining quite different thoughts and beliefs. If they can think differently, everybody can.
The key word in “self-limiting thoughts” is the first word: Self.
Are you limiting yourself? If so, you can do something about it.