The Way to Grow Beyond Limitations

Written by on August 12, 2020 in Adaptability, Self-Awareness
The Way to Grow Beyond Limitations

We’ve all found ourselves confronting limitations at one time or another, but seldom do we recognize the extent to which these limitations are self-imposed.

Throughout our lives, we interpret and internalize experiences with people, events, and circumstances, and in the process form beliefs about what we are capable of becoming and accomplishing.

In time, these beliefs become our reality.

A reality that continually influences attitudes, behaviors, and experiences to support those beliefs.

If you believe that you are not a capable person, this causes you to…

  • Focus on mistakes you’ve made and the times you failed (even if you failed because you didn’t try).
  • Discount or ignore all the things you’ve done right, and all the times you succeeded.

If you believe that you are unable to overcome a particular problem, this causes you to …

  • Avoid searching for solutions, taking action, or asking for help.
  • If the worst happens, even if it’s due to your inaction, you use it to affirm your beliefs that you were right about your inability to handle the situation.

Whether dealing with a problem or pursuing a challenging goal, the fiercest battle you face to keep moving forward takes place in your own mind.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.

~Henry Ford

The Nature of Our Limitations

Limiting beliefs tend to hide beyond your conscious awareness, but you communicate them every day through your attitudes, behaviors, and the stories that you tell about who you are, where you’re from and where you’re going.

See if any of these self-limiting behaviors sound familiar:

  • Avoid confronting fears and doubts.
  • Have a never-ending supply of excuses.
  • Label your faults: too much, not enough, (fill in the blank).
  • Expect the worst outcome to avoid being disappointed.
  • Lack of flexibility, unwilling to change or try new things.
  • Focus on problems instead of solutions.
  • Need constant external approval and validation.
  • Allow emotions to rule your responses and decision-making.
  • Seek perfection in an attempt to prove your self-worth.

These attitudes and behaviors filter your perception of what is or isn’t possible, effectively closing your mind to solutions outside of what you’ve always done.

Left unchecked, limiting beliefs relegate you to a life that is smaller and far less fulfilling than the one you are capable of creating.

The Basics

Theoretically, the steps to overcome a limiting belief are pretty basic, though almost always easier said than done.

  • Identify the faulty belief.
  • Prove it to be wrong.
  • Replace or eliminate it.

The key to this process is willingness. The willingness to become more self-aware about your attitudes, the way you respond to life, and how your beliefs were formed.

A journal is invaluable in this process.

Maybe, like me and countless others, you were bullied as a child. This can seriously deflate your self-esteem and confidence, but it can be overcome if you’re willing to do the work.

It could be you suffered a very public failure, or experienced the trauma of being betrayed by someone you deeply trusted.

Whatever the underlying cause, it’s time to get real about how your limiting beliefs have held you back so you can begin the work to bless them on their way and free yourself to move forward.

Of course, simply deciding to let go of a belief isn’t enough, you need to either remove the need for it or replace the faulty belief with something better.

The Power of Possibility Thinking

Possibility thinking is simply the willingness to override our natural tendency to focus on limitations rather than seeing a world filled with possibilities – even during a global pandemic.

If you believe something is impossible, then it’s going to be impossible. If you think you have reached your limit and can go no further, then you have.

The more rigid and invested you are in the limitations you define for yourself the tougher it’s going to be to find the best possible solutions to problems or see opportunities for growth.

More importantly, this will have a direct impact on your ability to weather setbacks along the way.

Possibility thinking involves:

  • Learning to reframe problems from threats to opportunities.
  • The willingness to do the hard stuff, ask questions, and challenge your perspectives.
  • Focusing on solutions and growth rather than excuses.
  • Embracing flexibility and looking for the lessons in detours.
  • The courage to ask for what you want and need.

Possibility thinking challenges you to accept that there are more solutions, options, and avenues available to you than you’ve allowed yourself to see, which means momentum is available to you if you’ll just choose it.

Closing Thoughts

For some opening themselves to remove the safety net of limitations in favor of the liberation of possibility thinking may represent a bridge too far to cross.

But you, like most people, are capable of way more than you can even imagine if only you will muster the courage to challenge the limitations that you’ve created for yourself.

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach, and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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