Today, I want to discuss how to stop limiting yourself. To be honest, you may be doing this without even knowing it. It turns out I was.
I just started an incredibly exciting executive program to take my business and life to the next level. One of the benefits of the program is getting to connect with 200 entrepreneurial women (“my classmates”) around the world with the same dreaming big attitude.
The other amazing thing about being a part of this course is that it has four live events in the next year in Miami, Sydney, Paris and Los Angeles.
Anyway, about a month ago, I had an introductory call with one of the directors, and I asked her when the dates for the live events were going to be so I could plan out my year.
I told her that I thought I’d be at all of the events except for Sydney because I didn’t think it’d be possible.
She happily gave me the schedule but followed up with, “Well, why don’t you wait and see what happens with Sydney? It isn’t until February — you never know what’s possible or what you’ll want at that time. Don’t limit yourself.”
In that moment, I felt like I was back in school getting in trouble for not raising my hand. (I was always the very eager child who wanted to answer every question.) I knew she was 100 percent right though and was glad she pointed it out. I was limiting myself and taking myself out of the game.
To be honest, I thought I was done blocking opportunities in my life. After all, I teach my clients not to be self-limiting! It just goes to show that sometimes you are unaware of the ways in which you hold yourself back or don’t dream big enough.
And what about you? How often do you think too far in advance or immediately rule something out? How quick are you to lose faith or tell yourself not to get your hopes up? Do you discount job opportunities before you even apply? Do you assume programs or courses won’t work for you? Have you given up on your own “Sydney” dream even though it’s six months away? Have you forgotten that anything is possible?
In life, our thoughts and words become our reality, and your mind soaks up whatever you focus on — the good and the bad.
So by me telling myself that Sydney probably won’t happen, I’m actually making it more of a reality than if I was open to the dream coming true and in a more positive state of mind. I hope that makes sense. What I’m trying to say is that self-fulfilling prophecy does exist so you need to be aware of your thoughts and words.
So here are five ways to help you make big things happen and stop limiting yourself:
Five Ways to Stop Limiting Yourself
1. Think in 90-day increments and live in the moment.
2. Remember that the mind often plans based on what it knows. So, for example, if you’ve never started a business, then the mind will naturally hold you back because you’ve never done it before. (Clearly that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t though!).
3. Be as positive as you can.
4. Consider your thoughts and words carefully.
5. Hold onto the belief that anything is possible, because it is. (If you need to write that on a Post-It and put it on your mirror, then do so!)
I hope it’s obvious just how key this is to creating the life you’ve always imagined.
[About the author: Emily Williams is the founder of I Heart My Life and leading success coach for female entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @ iheartmylifenow]