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How to Stop Limiting Your Potential: 3 Eye-Opening Insights That Can Change Your Life

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Have you ever seen one of those videos on social media showing how you’ve been using certain products, or eating certain foods, wrong your whole life? And you say to yourself, “Wow! I never thought of doing it that way!” That’s a little like how I felt when my personal growth mentor (and future husband) gave me some insights on the life challenges I was struggling to resolve when we were first dating.

These insights turned my whole world upside down! I couldn’t unlearn what I had learned, so I had to change my old ways of functioning if I wanted to move forward. It was hard, but it was worth it.

Here are the 3 life changing insights I learned that can change your life:

1. If what you think, what you do, and what you say don’t line up, it can hurt your self-esteem and your credibility.

I said and did things that represented the person I wanted to be on the outside, while I hid the things I wasn’t proud of and lied just to keep on people’s good sides. My mentor figured this dishonest behavior probably was connected to the low self-esteem I struggled with (which affected everything in my life), and he was right!

Besides hurting how I felt about myself, he pointed out, I could lose my friends’ or family’s trust the second anyone found out I wasn’t being genuine. He said if you want people to be able to count on you, you need to actually be the person you present yourself to be.

I practiced paying attention and catching myself every time I was being dishonest. It can take a lot of work, but if you get your values/beliefs, words, and actions in alignment, the person people see is the person that you are. Some will like it and others will hate it, but those who stick with you are the ones who appreciate, respect, and admire you for who you are not for the image of yourself you present.

You will feel better about who you are, your relationships will benefit because people will trust you, and your word will actually mean something.

“Hiding how you really feel and trying to make everyone else happy doesn’t make you nice, it just makes you a liar.”  – Jenny O’Connell

2. What you believe about yourself dictates what you choose to say; but what you choose to say also dictates what you believe about yourself.

Another way I was unknowingly limiting myself was through my language. It seems like common sense that what you say aloud reflects what you believe, but what surprised me was that you can also reprogram your beliefs with what you chose to say.  

Say “I need this” enough times when the truth is you want it, and you will begin to believe that you need it. Limiting words are things like can’t, always, never, and need. Non-limiting words/phrases are things like seems like, feels like, and right now.

For example, the statement “I can’t handle my life – it’s too hectic” makes you feel hopeless and disempowered, versus “I’m struggling to handle my life right now,” which reminds you that what you’re going through is temporary, and there’s hope for change in the future. The truth isn’t that you “can’t do it,” the truth is that you’re having a hard time “right now.

Whether you use limiting words/phrases about your abilities aloud or to yourself, you’re teaching your mind what to believe. Instead of using limiting words and phrases that aren’t true, try switching to more accurate and encouraging ones. Such as seems like, feels like, or right now.

3. You don’t need to control how you feel – you need to control how you act.

Trying to control your emotions is like trying to control waves in the ocean, you just can’t do it. And to make things worse, the harder you try the more frustrated you get – adding to your emotional overload. It wastes a ton of energy and gets you nowhere.

Instead, try to let your feelings be; realize that they will pass and focus on what you can control – what you say and how you act. You can feel angry but still talk calmly with the person you’re angry with. You can feel hurt but not treat the person you feel hurt by coldly or rudely.

Not being aware of the separation between feelings and actions can get you into a ton of trouble. I used to believe that if my feelings were strong enough I couldn’t help but act on them. Absolutely not true! This got me into trouble bigtime when I was younger.

I therefore believed that in order to act how I wanted I had to control how I felt. Learning that this too was complete B.S. changed my life. I no longer felt I had to put energy into doing something that was impossible.

“Heroes and cowards feel exactly the same  fear. Heroes just react to it differently.”  – Cus D’Amato 

Wondering how to put these insights into action?

Start by growing your self awareness – this is the beginning of all growth. If you pay attention to yourself, you can align your values, words, and actions for a better relationship with yourself and with others, help make your mind work for you instead of against you, and handle overwhelming emotions without doing things you’ll regret later.

What insights have you learned that helped you see the world and/or yourself in a new and positive light? Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Mandie Bigelow is a Wellness and Life Satisfaction Coach and writer. She runs a blog discussing mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, human potential, and relationships for those who want to break through any limitations holding them back and live a life of joy, passion, and meaning. In her spare time, Mandie enjoys playing Spikeball (roundnet), training in martial arts, and hanging out with her husband and two cats. She and her husband are writing a book called The Enlightened Relationship. Find her on Facebook @bloggermandie, or on Instagram or Twitter @mandiebigelow

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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