Why you shouldn’t limit yourself

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It is easy to think that we are limited; that we cannot amount to much in life. We see other people do spectacular things, and we say to ourselves, ‘No, they’re just gifted. I can’t do those’. It’s true, a lot of us think this way, sometimes consciously, but many times unconsciously. We are used to those self-defeating beliefs we have internalized and reinforced over the years, as a result of those disparaging feedback and derogatory remarks we have received from other people. And then, there are haters who make it even worse.

It is a fact that destructive criticisms are more common than compliments, and most people would rather diminish other people than praise them. These people, who may as well be described as haters, are not happy in their lives. And for some strange reasons, they also want you to be unhappy in your life. If circumstances do not turn out well for them, they expect the same to happen to you. And rather than feel inferior to you, they prefer to feel superior. Your being happy simply reminds them of how unhappy they are. Such people will diminish you and make you feel that you are limited.

Many haters also feel the need to put someone down in order to feel good about themselves. Those folks that ridicule you, disdain, and make cheap jokes about you have done so because they are trying to feel good about themselves. An attempt to diminish and belittle another person is a sign of insecurity, low self-confidence, and low self-esteem. People who have healthy self-esteem have no reason to, and experience no urge to, devalue you. Such petty thought doesn’t even come to their minds. They are usually quite busy doing other important things. Only people who believe they are limited in some ways will expect you to be limited. 

In my article, ‘Achievement: nature or nurture’, I made it clear that you don’t have to be a genius to do extraordinary things. There are people who possess stellar business acumen, prodigious musical ability, and surpassing artistic skills. It’s difficult to tell if they are geniuses or if they are just ordinary people who are doing exceptional things. While some of these people are geniuses, others are simply ordinary people with extraordinary determination. Either way, we know that anyone can do exceptional things if they show firmness of purpose. Therefore, what you need is determination.

The fact that a person has failed many times doesn’t mean that they are incapable of succeeding. The fact that you have had poor grades, performed woefully, or have been considered weak in some subjects, aspects, or activities does not make you a failure. It simply means that there is something you aren’t doing right. The word “Failure” means “inability to succeed”, and is therefore a very disastrous word. If you believe that you are a failure, you are lying to yourself. The unpleasant reality of this lie is that it then becomes your reality because you believe it.

The fact that you have failed or performed poorly in certain areas of your life does not mean that you are deficient or inadequate. It says nothing negative about your intellectual potency. It could mean you are a hard-gainer, but it doesn’t mean you are a no-gainer. For the most part, it speaks a lot about your poor attitude to work, your defeating-beliefs, your procrastinations, your nonchalance, and your poor choices. You failed not out of deficiency, but out of poor beliefs and poor attitudes.

Yes, you may have failed plenty of times, it doesn’t mean you can never succeed. Sit back and review your past mistakes. Be introspective. Think about all those things you did wrong, the bad attitudes that contributed to failing, the procrastinations, the timidity that deterred you from acquiring knowledge or skill, the poor choices you made, and so on. Then make up your mind to do things differently. If you exhibit the same bad habits, attitudes, and beliefs over and over again, you shouldn’t expect to get a different result.

The moment you believe you are a failure (i.e. the moment you believe you cannot succeed), it then becomes your reality. The word, “Failure”, leads to effort-paralysis; it makes it impossible to put in enough effort. It is therefore important to change that failure mentality you have, and constantly remind yourself that you are laden with great potential, despite the fact that you may be a hard-gainer. It’s easy, just say, “I am laden with great potential, regardless of the fact that I may be a hard-gainer.” Whenever the feelings of failure set in, say those words to yourself.

Many times, we believe negative things that are not true, and then end up becoming the products of these negative beliefs. To achieve great feats in life, you’ve got to start by believing the truth about your life, which is that “You truly do possess great mental ability, and are not deficient, even though anyone tells you that you are”. A vision, aspiration, or dream doesn’t become a reality through magic, especially for a hard-gainer. It takes great effort, painful willingness, determination, and all the unpleasantness that revelers detest, to make them a reality.

Stop reflecting on those defeating-statements, those destructive criticisms, the negative labels, and the poor results after so much effort put in. If you fail, don’t quit. The wise thing to do is to try again, this time with a different set of attitudes and in a different way. If you failed because you put in just four hours to what you do, why not try putting in eight hours? If you failed because you consulted just four books, why not try consulting eight books? If you failed because you started working from eight o clock a.m., why not start working from five o clock a.m.?

When we visualize ourselves as people who are capable of evolving into something entirely different than who and what we presently are, we inspire ourselves with the passion to attain such feats. If we are consumed by this kind of passion, even if we are hard-gainers, we are capable of achieving great things. We possess great potentials; which means we do not truly know what we are capable of becoming. What we are capable of metamorphosing or transforming into, by merely applying ourselves valiantly, is unimaginable, inconceivable, and truly extraordinary.