When you follow your convictions, people notice. Things change. You change. Your path becomes clear and your course begins to take shape. As that happens, the seeds of your vision take hold and become rooted in those very convictions. The decision to take the first step demonstrates your courage and is driven by the belief you have in yourself, your ideas, and your motivations. The result is a personal transformation manifested by the courage to follow through and pursue your dreams. Don’t ever ignore that!
In a previous article, I outlined five of the top ten limiting stories we tell ourselves. Each of these stories paints a narrative that puts us at a disadvantage and has the potential to outright derail any hope of achieving anything significant. I stressed how you don’t have to buy into any of that nonsense. In fact, that narrative robs you of the courage you need to step past negative self-talk and into action mode to make a clear difference in your life and the lives of those you care about most. If you missed that article, you can find it here.
I received some pretty interesting comments that have brought us back to take a closer look at the remaining five most used limiting narratives we tell ourselves. As we look at each of these together, I’d like you to think about the alternate perspective we’re able to cast as we contrast the negative narrative with a more positive and empowering one.
Let’s get to it…
- “I’m too old. The course of my life is destined to be what it is.”
This is one of the oldest excuse lines in the book. It is most commonly used when someone just doesn’t want to take action to change their lot in life. Taking a closer look tells us that the age excuse is a sign of exasperation. You’re never too old for positive change to take place in your life. In fact, you have more of an advantage than you may realize. For example, an increase in age is widely seen as an advantage where wisdom, knowledge, and experience are required. Wisdom arms us with the knowledge to ask for help when we need it, clarification when required, and courage to remain true to the convictions we hold dear.
- “I don’t have the talent or skills. Even if I try, I’ll probably fail.”
One of my dreams was to be a published writer. I spent nearly three years writing my first manuscript. I didn’t have any special talent or expertise, but I knew I wanted to be a writer so bad that I would do whatever it took to become just that. The candid truth is that we all start out with a clean slate. It’s true that some are more inclined to accelerate in a given skill more than others. But if you possess the will, you also possess the power to develop virtually any skill you set your intentions upon. The truest part of this specific limiting statement is that, yes, you will probably fail. In fact, you will most likely fail several times…before you ultimately succeed. But with each successive failure, you learn and develop your talents and skills to become the person you desire and to achieve the goals you set.
- “I’m not smart (talented, brave, handsome, pretty, or worthy…).”
The two most powerful words in any language are “I am”. These two words, preceded by whatever follows them, defines you. The placement of the three-letter word “not” between the first two words and whatever follows has a destructive power so great it can destroy nations. This limiting phrase puts the wrong focus on what you are not rather than what you are capable of becoming. It also speaks to a deficient self-esteem most likely derived by the fact that you have not yet stepped away from the shadow of comfort and familiarity. Change only comes when you demonstrate the courage to take action. Only then will your limiting self-talk transform from one of disadvantage to one supported by the inspiring notion of “I am.”
- “It takes money to make money. And I don’t have that kind of money.”
This false narrative implies insufficiency and lack from the start. It is backed by an even stronger declaration of “I don’t have…”.
Let’s first clarify the belief that “it takes money to make money”. This assertion is only partially true. If you have money you can indeed use that money to make more money. The sad truth is, most people don’t. The next truth is that you most likely have enough money right now to leverage it to start working for you to make even more money—the principles of which would require a completely different article and, most likely, an entire book to fully exploit.
Let’s give this limiting statement some credence on its merits with a caveat that removes the limitation. If it’s true that it takes money to make money, then find a way to make enough extra money to put it to work. Or go out and find someone with money and bring your insight to help them make money. Chances are, you’ll win their confidence and begin making money for both of you. Then you’ll virtually eliminate the second part of this limiting statement because you will indeed “have that kind of money.”
- “I can’t change because I always seem to find a way to mess things up.”
Our declarations define us. It’s a universal law of nature that tells us to be careful what we ask, because we just may get it. If the above narrative comes anywhere close to the way you think, it’s time to recalibrate your internal programming. Be courageous enough to recognize it, acknowledge it, and take a stand against it…right now!
The fact is, you can change and you will change. Isn’t it better to change in the direction of your desires rather than to allow life to sweep you up in the current? Look, you will “mess up” from time to time. (Go back and read point number two on failure.) Messing up should always be considered from the perspective of the value it provides—an indication that you’re learning, growing, and changing.
Ready to remove the limiting stories from your life? Need help doing that? Reach out to me. Leave a comment or connect with me. I can help you see things from a perspective of courage and empowerment that’ll help you discover your hidden strengths. Together, we can find your personal breakthrough so you can operate with confidence in the lane of your intended purpose.