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A person walking on a pavement, with the word "stop" painted on it.

Are you limiting yourself?

Where have you stopped?

Can you recall a time when someone said to you not to do something because you might fail? What about the time that you were told that you weren’t good at something, so you didn’t really make an effort? Other people’s opinions can matter to us, especially when they come from people we respect and hold in authority, such as a parent, a teacher, a family member or a close friend. We end up limiting ourselves based on that belief.

Every single time we’re told we can or can’t do something and “take it to heart”, we reinforce some idea or belief that we already hold about our own abilities and capabilities, or we create a new belief for ourselves.

In reality, the only limitations we have are our physical limitations and our mental limitations, sometimes genetic, other times a result of circumstance.

Outside these things that are out of our control, the rest really is down to us and what we believe.

It’s just an idea

The limits we put on ourselves really are just an idea. I know it feels real and believe me I know what it’s like.

When I was in school my english teacher told me that I could not write essays. So every time i was faced with writing any form of essay, including my project for my degree. I procrastinated because of that belief that I had accepted. It wasn’t until recent years, over 20 years after I left school, that I realised how false that was, how much of a lie and a deep seeded belief.

I had to write 10 essays in 5 months for a security management qualification. I put it in my mind that I would not only do my best, but that I would get a distinction for the course. After the first two essays went in I was nervous, but when the results came back I knew that I was on my way to overcome that belief. Both were marked with distinction and the final result was also a distinction.

Until I accepted that I could, the way to how to write the essay just wasn’t there. When I decided that I would get that grade, that’s when the how came into my conscious from the subconscious.

The how was already there, but because I had placed a limitation to my ability to write an essay it was repressed – I repressed it.

Until I accepted that I could, I couldn’t. When I accepted and made the decision I could, it became possible.

It always was an idea that was put there by someone I held in authority and until I broke that belief, by taking action, I kept hold of it like a child their blanket or teddy.

Decide there’s no limit

Until there is a conscious decision that the limits you put on yourself don’t exist, that they are not real, those limitations will stop you moving, doing what you ought to and should be doing with your life.

There has to be action on your part – you have to act and do what you should and ought to do towards the goal you want to achieve, provided you have a goal that is.

There will be times when it gets difficult. You’ll see others succeeding and being at the position you want to be at. You’ll fail, big or small. But you don’t stop moving. You have to move to make that change you want.

You must change that idea in your mind of what you think your limits are. Tell yourself daily that you can succeed in your endeavour, that the boundaries you’ve placed on yourself are not real and that you are redefining your limits.

A final word

All ideas are just that – an idea. Change your thoughts, change your ideas and your beliefs will change. Change your beliefs and your life will change.

The only limitations we have are those that we accept. Ask yourself this one question the next time you find yourself in that situation:

If I did not have this belief, what could I achieve and how would I go about achieving it?

And wait for the answer. It will come. Just be ready to act on it. Only action overcomes a false belief and fear.

To rise above any limitation we must organise our thinking along constructive lines.
Raymond Holliwell

Photograph by: Bethany Legg on Unsplash

alt A person walking on a pavement, with the word “stop” painted on it.

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