Learn how to break out of your can’t-do mindset to achieve big goals.
Of course you wouldn’t say that. You’d muster endless enthusiasm and prepare for a heated campaign—maybe head to the bookstore and buy Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. “Let’s make it happen,” you’d say. “We’ll create the best campaign slogan, design the coolest posters and start shaking hands.”
Here’s the problem: Somehow between childhood and adulthood, many of us quash our natural inclinations to dream and do big. Tiger kids become scaredy-cat adults, hampered by self-limiting beliefs that flatten our self-esteem, hurt productivity and dampen success.
“When you think about all the struggles we go through in life, most of it comes from our self-limiting beliefs,” says Arizona-based entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown. “When we’re stuck, it’s not because we are held back by someone else.” Brown suffered from that mentality for years, thinking she wasn’t good enough to work for herself. Then in the late 1990s she met a freelancer for the company where she worked full time.
“He was nice, but not too smart, and made a great living working for himself,” Brown recalls. “I thought, Wow, I think I can do this.” She went out on her own a few months later. Today she surrounds herself with “positive people who do great things. They make me realize what I am capable of.”
When you replace negative limits in your beliefs about yourself with positive images that focus on your potential, “your success increases exponentially,” Brown says.
For a moment, suspend any glass-half-full tendencies and be honest with yourself, even if memories like Brown’s make you cringe because they’re all too familiar.
Answer yes or no to these scenarios. Have you ever: