“One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average person’s familiarity with the word ‘impossible.’ He knows all the rules that will not work. He knows all the things that cannot be done.” – Napoleon Hill
I was in NYC with my mom and had a short conversation with a woman during our bus ride. She was about 55 years old, used a cane, and was at least 75 pounds overweight. As a result of being hit by a drunk driver several years ago, she told us, “she was limited physically.” I listened to her story and understood her challenges. However, a different story flashed in my mind of Anthony Robles who won the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships in the 125-pound weight division. He also was limited physically because he was born with one leg but still managed to become a champion athlete and one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Arizona State history. Two people with limiting factors in their life, yet two very different outcomes.
We all have a story. Many of us believe our story defines us, but what really defines us is how we interpret the story or facts and choose to move forward.
According to the National Science Foundation, our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day. Ninety-five percent of these thoughts are repeated daily.
Your thoughts become your beliefs which, in turn, become your mindset. Your mindset governs your actions, which lead to your results. In short, if you have a mindset that limits your potential then you will likely accept limited results in your life.
Be honest, do you have a mindset that limits what’s possible in your life or one that encourages you to see potential and possibility and move past obstacles? Are you more familiar with the words can’t, unattainable, and impossibleor do you naturally see solutions and challenge the status quo?
One of the most effective ways to change your mindset is to be honest with yourself and consider the following question:
“What is your current mindset costing you?”
Are you staying in a corporate job you dislike because you have convinced yourself you are not qualified to do anything else or start your own business and be an entrepreneur?
This could be preventing you from feeling excited about your day, finding your passion, and making a valuable contribution to the world.
Are you staying in an unfulfilling relationship because you have convinced yourself you can’t meet anyone else or don’t deserve better?
This could be preventing you from meeting a loving life partner who respects you and wants to build a great life together.
Are you applying to college or graduate school programs but not challenging yourself to reach for the best school (for you) because you’ve convinced yourself you’re not smart enough to get in to a better school?
This could cost you job opportunities, earnings growth, and a valuable network further down the road.
Sometimes it’s hard to quantify the costs of having a limiting mindset but they are real and show up in every facet of your life on a physical, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual level. Is your mindset costing you happiness, good health, time, love, money, laughter, opportunities, or peace of mind?
Take a moment and move through the key areas of your life — Career, Relationships, Finances, Fun & Creativity, and Healthy Living — to consider if your mindset is holding you back from reaching your greatest potential. This exercise is fun to do with a friend as well.
Remember, you decide how you think and what becomes a can or can’t. Start asking yourself what’s possible and what you really want to accomplish.
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Our thoughts are powerful because they create the mindset that we live by. In moving forward, sometimes you need to take a moment to reflect if you have all the internal resources necessary to be your best – mindset is one of them. It’s time to be aware what your current mindset is costing you.
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret to success.”
– Norman Vincent Peale