If you have been reading this blog for the last few weeks you may be practicing some mental fitness; getting all of your strengths in line, creating your vision of an ideal life, starting to create the formula that will move you along to the next best thing in your life. You may see it all so clearly and feel that you can achieve it, but it’s not happening. You may not be acting on your plans or acting on them in a way that is not productive to your end goal. It may just be that your limiting beliefs are preventing you from moving to the next level. Limiting beliefs are the thoughts we have that prevent us from exploring possibilities which may create better outcomes in our lives.
I saw how limiting thoughts can and do affect even the most determined individuals. It was the typical Hollywood story line, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks fighting adversity to make a break from his troubled life and come out on the other side. He was a star high school football player who came from a very poor, dysfunctional family and made the choice to live in his truck and shower at friends’ houses. His one goal was to get out of his small town and prove to himself, his family, and his community that he could make a better life for himself. He was the first person in his family to graduate high school and got a football scholarship to a college an hour from his town. He made it out. Just when you thought his story was over and he had built his own happily ever after, an update tells us that after eight weeks of college he dropped out. Finding the academic rigor extremely challenging and struggling with expenses like books and food that were not covered in his scholarship, he gave into the obstacle saw no other way out than a total retreat. Though his obstacles seemed insurmountable, what was holding him back was not money; it was his own limiting beliefs. He believed there were no other options, so no options appeared.
In the back of my mind I kept thinking that there had to have been some support he could have found. I don’t mean to belittle those who struggle financially, but I’m not sure if all resources and avenues were explored before giving in to leaving school. Being on a football scholarship, I would imagine that his coach or college counselors could have found him a tutor to help with the academic rigor. A work study or additional cost of living financial aid package may have been awarded to cover books and food. His only explanation was “I just don’t have the money for all the stuff like books and food that the other kids have.” This thought alone may have prevented him from exploring resources that may have helped him.
It’s important to look at your own thoughts and how they may be limiting you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What thoughts are truly rooted in reality?
- How are these thoughts holding you back from finding solutions?
- When you remove these thoughts, what seems possible?
Try applying these questions the next time you are faced with a difficult situation. See if there is a shift in your thoughts and outcome. Give it time; skepticism is ingrained in all of us. However, once you question the belief a new solution may emerge that you didn’t realize existed.