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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 spirituality and success blogger. Her blog aims to help people motivated for growth and change find the confidence, happiness, love, and success they're searching for in life. Mandie is also a certified life coach, wife, Spikeball athlete, martial artist, former gymnast, and Ninja Warrior fan. She and her husband (also a life coach) are writing a book called The Enlightened Relationship. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mandie Bigelow

    Mar 29, 2018 at 3:10 am

    That’s great to hear. Glad this helped you. I know that sometimes when I feel fearful and try to force myself to be positive it only makes me feel worse. (Because I’m resisting how I feel so that causes inner conflict.) Instead I try to identify exactly what is scaring me and determine whether or not it’s true. If you can prove to yourself it’s not true the fear will subside. And also, sometimes the only way to get over certain fears is to work through them with action as you mentioned.

  2. wechuli isaac

    Mar 28, 2018 at 2:42 am

    Thanks this helped me. I’m fearful about something and im trying hard to control this fear because we are always told to entertain positive emotions only..however, i now know that i must deal with what i can control, which is action.Therefore, i wont quit or slow down just because i’m fearful. Instead i will work like hell..thanks

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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Life

3 Psychological Facts That Can Unleash Your Inner Power

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Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams. (more…)

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