7 Ways You Hold Yourself Back
Your talents and skillsets are a part of what will make you successful for sure. But, the truest judge of your potential is your MINDSET. People build roadblocks along their thought highways and those roadblocks set subconscious limitations. If you get to close to one, your brain kicks into hyperdrive reciting all the ways you can fail. It screams at you to go another, safer way. These mental roadblocks are just enough to turn away most people and get them back in line with the status quo of what is expected of them. They remain prisoners of the perceptions of others and themselves.
The first step of breaking through these roadblocks is recognizing them and the challenges they pose for you. These mental roadblocks are insidiously built. You are indoctrinated by your surroundings, beginning at an early age, to believe certain limitations about yourself. They become so ingrained into our very fabric, that we don't even question them. The little voice in your head telling you that you aren't smart enough, skilled enough, or even worthy of success begins early in life as snide, sometimes well-meaning, but always harmful comments from teachers, coworkers, and yes, even friends and family. Those words proliferate into a belief system you have about yourself that puts limits on your abilities, at least in your own mind. To conquer them, you must recognize them and how to retrain your brain to drive straight through them.
Learn to recognize these 7 ways YOU hold yourself back:
1. Your self-doubt prevents you from taking action.
American writer Suzy Kassem once said, "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." I believe that wholeheartedly. It is one of the most formative statements on my philosophy for living life. When I overcame my self-doubt, I was truly set free.
Let me ask you, when was the last time you met a successful person who told you what they couldn't do? I don't know that I've ever seen or heard someone I truly considered successful put limits on themselves. In truth, most of them seem to OVERESTIMATE their abilities and then rise to the occasion. Shake off your doubts and have the courage to believe that you are capable of being successful. You’ll ultimately prove yourself right.
2. You refuse to let others help you.
Life is a team sport. The sooner you realize that the better off you will be. This was one area I struggled with for a long time. I convinced myself that asking for help made me look weak, so I never did it. In fact, to my detriment, I often let things get way out of hand when a simple request of a friend would've solved the problem.
I'll let you in on a secret. People WANT to help you, especially those who already know, like, and trust you. People generally enjoy doing things for others. I believe it is encoded deep into our DNA, a throwback to the time when we could not survive without helping each other. I know it seems like successful people have it all together and don't need help. But, truly successful people have learned to leverage the help of others to maximize their effectiveness.
If you want to truly be successful, get help! There are plenty of people out there willing and able. And, like Tim McGraw sings, "When you get where you're going, don't forget, turn back around, and help the next one in line."
3. You think you lack the necessary education.
Look, unless you're going to be a rocket scientist or a cardiothoracic surgeon, formal education is probably not necessary to be successful. I've already told you your mindset is the most important part of success. You've been educated your entire life by your experiences. I learned how to sell talking drunk guys into handcuffs without violence. Those experiences were way more educational for me than four years of college would ever be.
The percentage of highly successful people who dropped out of high school or college is staggering. Let's look at a few. Ever heard of Steve Jobs? Dropped out of college. Mark Zuckerberg? Dropped out of college. Rachel Ray? She never had ANY formal culinary arts education. Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's)? Never finished high school. The list goes on and on and on. Do not let your lack of education hold you back. Learn what you need to learn to achieve your goals. The Library of Alexandria, in ancient times the largest collection of knowledge in a single place, contained roughly 400,000 scrolls. Today, the phone in your pocket contains the entirety of human knowledge. You can literally learn almost anything you need to from the palm of your hand!
4. You think your competitors are better than you are.
It is a natural tendency to focus on the success of others and see their strengths. Especially if you are, consciously or subconsciously, trying to undermine your own. While we tend to underestimate ourselves, we also have the tendency to overestimate our competition. Your "competition" is probably getting more credit from you than they deserve, even if they really are good.
Remember, winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners. Put your head down and do the work necessary to reach your goals. You might just beat your competition to the finish line.
5. You lack the belief that your goals are reachable.
The greatest failures don't come from aiming too high and missing. They come from aiming too low and hitting. Set lofty goals. Unreasonable ones. Impossible ones. Why? Because if you truly dare to chase impossible dreams, you might just surprise yourself.
Your shoot-for-the-moon goals shouldn't be your only ones, mind you. You should have some "normal" goals too so that you get the psychological benefit of reaching them. But do not let anyone tie a rock to your balloon. There is nothing stopping you from reaching the highest highs, and anyone who tells you differently is an energy vampire unworthy of being in your life.
6. You’re afraid to confront the reality of who you are.
When you put yourself out there, you will discover your shortcomings. It's not a matter of if, but when. Everyone has those, though. I have plenty for sure. Certainly, you do too.
If you sit on the bench, it's easy to mask your deficiencies. When you are in the arena, however, where the crowd can see, those shortcomings will come out. Are you afraid everyone else will see? Are you afraid you will? So what! I've failed more times than I can count. I can tell you from experience that people only remember the things I've done that found success, but I could fill volumes of bad ideas and failed ventures.
What if you do have what it takes to be successful? How will you know if you don't give it your best shot? So what if you fail. Fail again. And again. And again. And then, succeed. That's all they will remember anyway.
7. You believe that you don't have time.
Repeat after me: "I have time, but it is just not a priority for me." That's what you're really saying whenever you claim you don't have time. A lack of time is a convenient excuse for people who lack commitment. Do you lack commitment? Is your goal a priority? Then stop making excuses and make it happen!
You control your thoughts, and your thoughts control you. So, change your thoughts to change your life. Destroy these mental roadblocks. Conquer your own self-doubts, allow others to help you, learn what you need to learn, stop focusing on your competition, believe you can achieve your goals, confront who you are, and MAKE TIME FOR YOUR DREAMS! You CAN do it!