“You are what you believe yourself to be”
– Paulo Coelho
So you’re not following your dreams, huh? Sometimes it stings your soul when you say that to yourself, I know it did to me. Then you ask yourself ‘Why not?’
You don’t believe your dreams are possible do you?
In simple terms, if you really believed you could have what you wanted, you would do what it takes to get it, right?
Let’s be real here, these dreams need to be relevant, realistic, and have a time frame. There’s a distinct difference between dreaming of having your own marketing agency, if you’re currently in marketing, however if your dream is to be an Olympic swimmer, but you can’t swim, then we have some work to do.
We all have limiting beliefs, and it’s these beliefs that hold us back from following our dreams.
Sometimes our limitations are real. We have weaknesses and there are things we struggle with. Other times however, (and this is usually the case) limitations are a figment of our imagination. We hold ourselves back and don’t give ourselves a fair chance to live up to our potential. Negative self talk starts to creep in, and I’m sure you’ve said at one point or another:
“I don’t have what it takes.”
“I’m not good enough.”
Whatever your limiting beliefs may be, it doesn’t mean you cancel your plan to follow your dreams just yet.
- Stop comparing yourself to others
Do you put other people on a pedestal and believe you can’t do what they do? When comparing ourselves to others, it tends to kill any confidence and makes us feel inferior.
I feel confident in my golfing skills, but sometimes when I watch a really incredible golfer I start comparing myself to them. I start to focus on what they are doing better than I am, and start thinking I’m not good enough. This leads to doubting myself about playing in a competitive tournament.
This type of thinking is natural but it doesn’t help. Golf is a game of skill and patience, there is no reason to downplay any potential I have because someone else is currently better. There will always be someone with more expertise and more experience.
This doesn’t mean anything about you though, unless you make it about you.
- Stop saying ‘I don’t know’
So many hold back and stay stuck because they don’t know what to do.
This has been something I personally have struggled with, so now I try to catch myself thinking “I don’t know”, and then ask myself, “What do I need to learn?” “Who do I need to connect with?”. It’s been a conscious effort to catch myself, but writing it down, either using my phone or pen and paper, and viewing it, has provided helpful perspective and direction forward.
There are always resources to help us create more of what we want. Don’t let “I don’t know” keep you stuck. Go out there, learn and experiment until you find out what you need to learn.
- Stop letting the past define your future
This is a biggie! Do you tend to rehash past mistakes and failures? Everyone has made mistakes, but not everyone interprets mistakes in the same way.
Mistakes and failures don’t have to define what is possible for your future. But, unfortunately, this is how many people view it. They let past mistakes define who they are, and refuse to embrace the positive, learn and grow from it, which ends up limiting possibilities for their future. The past doesn’t have to define you or limit you.
- Take action and test your assumptions
Nothing will literally shatter a limited or limiting beliefs like pushing your boundaries and living at your edge. Limiting beliefs tend to bring up fear, anxiety, and overall resistance. However, when feeling resistance, we interpret this as a sign we aren’t supposed to do something, or we can’t do something, nothing could be further from the truth! Instead of letting the feeling of resistance keep you ‘spinning the wheels’ in doubt and fear, get in motion and do what you know works. Don’t assume you can’t do something because you feel fearful and nervous, this is perfectly normal. These feelings simply mean you are pushing through a plateau in your personal growth – embrace it, learn to love it and get going!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Aaron Tenabel is the owner and founder of Stride Life Coaching. An ex professional swimmer and elite coach, Aaron now uses those experiences and skills to specialise coaching individuals wanting to improve their health, achieve work life balance, and find greater purpose, fulfilment and authenticity in their career. Aaron also specialises in working with professional athletes, wanting to find passions outside their chosen sport, and help develop, empower and plan for their life post career.