It’s a Sabotage
You might not have planned it, but you’ve got to set it straight! The human mind is an excellent problem solver and able to do amazing tasks. But that same mind is capable of creating, perceiving, and believing ideas that are unaligned with reality and able to sabotage our efforts before we ever begin. Self limiting mindsets and behaviors are a huge hurdle to change our ultimate success. The story our minds perceive and repeat like a mantra becomes our reality, even when that reality has no basis in truth. How unfortunate that we can be our own worst enemy! Below are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 action step to help you reframe your mindset and avoid self limitations.
Almost all self limiting thoughts begin with “I”. How you define yourself will determine your outcomes. Sure, sometimes things work out or we get unlucky through no fault of our own. But success or failure are not terminal destinations. Both take effort. How often are you telling yourself “I can’t…. I don’t have enough time…I am an idiot…., etc? When we repeat these statements over and over we begin to become the outcome we state. Now, I’m not saying you need to be delusional and just say you can do something and it will happen, but try saying “I can’t YET, I need to find time for…I don’t know but I can find out”. Acknowledge that your goals will require change and effort, something most everyone is capable of putting forth. Time is a social construct, if you find yourself saying “I don’t have time” try saying “I choose not to do x,y,z” how do you feel about your choice? If you feel good then that task or commitment probably isn’t serving your goals. Feel a little guilty? Then you may be blaming time when instead you are choosing to avoid something that is important to your success.
Self limitations are a judgment. Quit judging yourself and assuming others’ judgment of you unfairly. How do you know the answer? Is it based in reality or your perception. Why are you concerned with what others think of you? Most likely they are not, and if they are, why does it matter? Have they stated a judgement or have you created it in your own mind? Are you comparing yourself to others and avoiding trying something because you are scared of falling short of someone else’s accomplishments? This is child-like; life is not a zero sum game. We can all be winners in the game of life and the score doesn’t matter. What matters is if you are achieving what you define as success, not someone else’s definition of success, or your perception of someone else’s definition.
Self limitation is a protection against failure. First, let’s think about failure. What is failure? Just because you do not reach your goal does not mean you are a failure. You have learned something, now try again with experience. Too many times we allow shortcomings in one area of life to affect all areas of life. We do this because we know the pain of not succeeding and want to avoid that at almost any cost. Behavioral economists define this as “loss aversion” (the pain and fear of loss is greater than the joy and gain of success) and it causes us to behave irrationally and become so risk averse we don’t even try. You are a human though, and mistakes and failure are a part of the human condition. No one is perfect, quit letting perfection sabotage you.
“The answer is always NO if you don’t ask/try”- Bill Brown USMC
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”-Jack Canfield
If you identify (you most likely do) with one of the ideas above, work on what is known as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Feedback). This is a fancy way of saying reframe your mindset through the words you tell yourself. Instead of ‘I can’t”, tell yourself “I can’t yet!” One statement is terminal and the other leaves room for improvement. They seem similar but they are wildly different in their affect on self limiting beliefs and behavior. No failure, only feedback.
Written with ❤️ by Coach Jared MacDonald