How To Break Through Self-Imposed Limitations
Between our limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits, we can be our own worst enemy. Do you ask too little of yourself in some ways and too much of yourself in others? Do you rely too much on past experiences and struggles without reflection to decide what will work in your life today? Do you internalize other people’s opinions when deciding what you can or cannot accomplish and should or should not do?
Here are some techniques to help you break through your limits:
Decide what you will no longer tolerate from yourself. What are you putting up with from yourself? Procrastination? Being too much of a people pleaser for your own good? Making excuses for not making it to the gym regularly? When coaching clients, I often ask them, what are they tolerating? The focus is often on what they are tolerating from others. In this case, I’m asking you to list what you will no longer do or accept from yourself. If you want to reach a new level, it’s important to make shifts in your own attitudes and behaviors that get in the way.
Define your goals. Identify one to three major goals you want to accomplish, whether it be over the next year or next five years, and break the steps down into manageable steps. This is important. We often become discouraged when it all seems too much. Take it step by step. Celebrate your successes along the way. And remember, success isn’t a straight line. Like most everything else in life, it’s a persistence game. Forwards and backwards, starts and stops. That’s normal. When you notice you’re off track, find your way back on. And if you need help to keep you focused and accountable to yourself, get it.
Define the five most important behaviors to help you break through those limitations. What can you do each day that will transform your life? Look to your goals for guidance. A few examples:
- Call or email at least 10 potential clients.
- Create – write, build, make something new.
- Do at least 25 pushups.
- Talk to one new person that could either be a potential friend or life partner.
- Spend 30 minutes practicing the guitar.
- Eat only home-cooked meals.
- Call someone you care about.
- Find at least one opportunity to openly express gratitude to someone.
- Pick moments to cultivate patience.
- Meditate at least 10 minutes.
What you do each day deeply matters. Taking a close and honest look at your average day will show you why your life is the way it is. What can you do each day that will guarantee that next year you will be moving in the direction you desire?
Identify your support team. Support is essential. We are not strong and resilient alone. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish you may need to create your own personal team.
When you build your team include people who will tell you the truth and not simply say what you want to hear. Even if you have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses, your ego is still hiding some of your weak spots from you. Breakthroughs require an openness to increased awareness and to push beyond your comfort zone. Depending on your situation, a medical provider, therapist, or coach can help you see the truth or the possibilities you are looking past.
Debrief each day. At the end of the day, make a list of the things you did right and those things you would like to do better next time. If you don’t want to write them down and have a spouse or partner, talk through your list with them.
Enhance your ability to focus. And last but not least, strengthen your ability to concentrate and focus. If you can’t focus, you can’t accomplish much of anything. Try using a timer, learn to meditate, make lists, or try another method. The ability to focus comes with practice.
Conclusion. Being cabined in by your self-imposed limitations can cause a lot of stress in your life. Reaching inward and breaking through those limitations can be one of the most rewarding journeys you can walk. Mindfulness can be especially supportive of this process. Mindfulness helps you increase your awareness, improve your concentration and focus, and treat yourself with greater patience and kindness. If you want support and accountability to break through your self-imposed limitations and meet your near or long-term goals, book a call with me.