Are Your Thoughts Creating Limits on Your Future?

It's Not Who You Are That Hold You Back, It's Who You Think You're NotDo you shoot down career ideas with any of these thoughts?

“I’m not the type of person who …”
“I couldn’t possibly…”
“I’m not talented/cool/strong enough to do that …”

Stop! These phrases are a sign that you’re creating limits on your own future. There’s a difference between knowing yourself (and your limits) and putting limits on yourself.

One comes from self-knowledge, and the other comes from self-doubt.

And how you think about yourself has amazing power. As the saying goes, it’s not who you are that holds you back. It’s who you think you’re not. Which brings us to this week’s career challenge: don’t put yourself in a box.

Here are some basic ways to tackle this challenge head-on:

Give Yourself Room to Change

One way we define ourselves is by looking to our past. What did I do then? What was I thinking in a similar situation? This can provide great insight, but you don’t have to tie yourself down to an older version of who you are.

Give yourself the space to grow, improve, change. This means accepting things you’re not proud of, learning from their lessons, and moving on. Your present defines who you are, not your past.

Fly Your Freak Flag

This phrase is a reminder to go out and be who and what you want—regardless of what other people think. It’s all about showing the world the positive, awesome, shiny, nerdy, authentic you. It’s about taking a stand and saying you’re not going to let other people’s opinions decide your future.

Sometimes the only way to see yourself in a new light is by letting go of how you think other people see you.

Turn Off That Voice in Your Head

You know, that little voice that says your not good enough? It needs to get kicked out.

Here’s a brainteaser to change up your thinking:

1) Think about someone who makes you happy. Do you think about their shortcomings first? Or do you think about all the great stuff, like their good qualities and the way they make you feel?

2) Now think about someone you have trouble dealing with. Is it their shining moments, or their flaws you think of first? It’s probably the flaws. Chances are, when you think about yourself, you’re treating yourself in the same way as the person you don’t like.

3) One way to flip this around is by thinking about how your best friend would define you. What qualities might they highlight first? It’s a great way to snap out of a negative spiral.

What’s holding you back from becoming who you want to be? More important, when do you change that?





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AnnieAbout the Author: Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover strong careers and connect with the right education to achieve their goals. Follow Annie on Twitter!



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