What if I told you that the only person who truly limits you is yourself? I bet a lot of readers would say, "That is ridiculous." But are they being honest with themselves? I think that too often the very thing that is limiting us is ourselves.You are capable of more than you think. And you already have proof of this, but have you noticed it? And if you did notice it, did you accept that was the result of your efforts or did you ascribe it to luck?At some point in your life, you have surprised yourself by accomplishing something that seemed well beyond your abilities. Think back on it for a moment. Was that incident as much of a fluke as you thought it was?
The very thing that limits us is ourselves.
As I said earlier, too often, the very thing that's limiting us is ourselves. We tend to play it safe, doing the same things over and over that we know we're good at without trying to push beyond. After all, trying new things is scary. I recall many years ago learning to ski. The Austrian Alps were imposing so I booked half-day lessons for the first three days of my ski break. I had skied before in Canada, but that was on a hill with a drag lift. Nothing like the mountains in the Alps with their cable cars.My morning in ski school arrived, and the instructor was great. Patient and encouraging, he helped every student improve in a few hours.The afternoon was for freeskiing. To go out and put what you had learned into practice. And did I?
Olympics here I come.
The feeling of your skis running over the crisp snow was magical, and the sensation of speed was intoxicating. I loved it. And I could proudly say that I navigated a blue run without falling. Olympics here I come.The next morning we all gathered for our second session of ski school. The instructor told us to raise our hands if we went skiing after our class yesterday. Everyone's hand went up.He then asked, keep your hand up if you fell down at least once on every single run. The hands stayed up except for four people, mine was one of the four.We look at each other with smug satisfaction, expecting to be the class heroes.
If you are not falling, then you are not learning.
The words, "If you are not falling, then you are not learning." felt like a slap on the face. Surely the object was not to fall, or had I missed something?It made sense. Playing it safe and repeating the same lazy turns over and over again to traverse the slope would dramatically reduce the likelihood of falling. But it was not trying new things and was not helping to improve your skiing.
Push your limits.
The key to becoming a better skier was to push your limits. And that meant the chance of falling increased.The morning lesson carried on, and he adopted his usual patient and encouraging approach. The next morning he asked the same two questions. This time everyone, including me, kept our hands raised. We were all proud to have fallen at least once on each run. That meant we were pushing beyond our current boundaries, and it also means our boundaries will expand.Let's make a decision. The decision that today is going to be different. Today we're going to do something bold and daring. Today, you're going to push past our limitations. And here is how:
1. Tell yourself, "I am going to do this."
The moment you say those magic words, whatever you're pushing yourself to do becomes possible in your mind. It's when you tell yourself that you can't do something you're doomed to failure. On the other hand, a robust can-do attitude will help you to act with boldness until you can start feeling it as well. The important thing is to take action. Many times we delay starting because we lack the confidence or we are waiting for conditions to be perfect. We will never have enough confidence or perfect conditions. Start now with what you have.
2. Find someone who knows what you're going through.
Tapping into someone else's experience is one of the most powerful things you can do to help you realize your goals. A mentor whose boldness you admire has the wisdom to help you get where you want to go. As a bonus, they also become that encourager who will give you that solid kick in the arse when you need it. And that accountability partner keeping you on your goals and milestones.
3. What's the plan?
You're never going to be able to push yourself to your highest limits without a solid list of mini-goals and milestones to get you there. Bold actions require a roadmap sometimes!This is not a suggestion to develop the perfect plan before you take action. It is better to have a decent plan and take action and refine the plan than to spend all your time on the plan and take no action.
4. Keep a record.
By journaling and writing down every day's successes, you have something tangible that you can go back and review to see where you've been and how much you've accomplished. This record becomes inspiration and motivation.It provides a needed reminder of all those times when you acted with boldness in the past. If we did it once, then surely we can do it again.
5. Challenge yourself.
If you're even slightly competitive by nature, then use that to your advantage. Set challenges for yourself. Make a bet that you can do something by a specific date and then push yourself to achieve it or over-achieve it.When you achieve your milestones and goals consistently, you show yourself what a winner you are. Never be afraid to challenge yourself. To go beyond your limits and achieve your dreams, you need to press on boldly. Daring to cover new ground and challenge every limitation.
Don't stop until you get to where you want to be. You can do this!
This post includes nine kick-ass success habits and behaviours that high achievers engage in regularly and three actionable steps you can take right away to make success your norm. That is right! If these nine habits become your norm then you will experience far more success.While there is no way to know precisely what makes some people successful, we can learn a lot by examining successful people. Often high achievers exhibit similar habits and behaviours.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -
Max Planck, German quantum theorist and Nobel Prize winner.
The nine habits below, show up over and over again in success stories. If you want to be more successful in life, these behaviours might be an excellent place to start.
1. They Set Goals
Successful people know what they want. More than that, they actively set goals to get what they want. Having goals in mind doesn't count either. You need to write your goals down, and then break them down into an action plan.
2. They Stay Healthy
Staying healthy is key on the road to success. A proper diet, solid exercise routine, and getting enough sleep are 3 of the most powerful things you can do. Being healthy will let you focus on the pursuit of success and not worry about always getting sick or fatigued.
3. They Face Fear
Fear is one of the biggest roadblocks to success. Just think about things you might have missed out on because you were too nervous about taking a chance. Successful people feel fear just like the rest of us, but instead of giving up, they face it.
There may be a handful of geniuses who can create and think surrounded by a mess, but for the rest of us "normies" a cluttered space is nothing more than a distraction. You will save time, energy and boost focus if you keep your space neat and tidy.
6. They Keep Balanced
What is the point of success if you don't take time to enjoy it? Hard work is clearly essential but remember to relish the good times along the way. Having a life balance will keep energy levels high and give you something to look forward to besides work.
7. They Take Time to Think
Do you ever make time just to think? Successful people do. They know that being successful means continually thinking "what next?". If you want to be more successful, schedule 20-30 minutes of quiet thinking time into your day.
8. They Surround Themselves With Inspiring People
If you want to be successful, it helps to have successful friends. Besides the doors they may open for you, having successful friends will inspire you. You will learn what makes them tick, and it's never a bad thing to have a like-minded social circle.
9. They Plan Their Day
Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do next? Successful people don't. They take time to plan their day because they know that the time invested will pay off. Taking half an hour to plan your day, could save countless hours of wondering what to do next.
Action Step: Set a goal.
It doesn't have to be a huge goal, but whatever it is, break it down into smaller goals. These smaller goals will now become your action plan.
Action Step: What do you want to learn?
Whatever it is, now is the time to start. Choose a topic of interest and figure out what books or courses can help you learn more about it. There are often free courses online, and your local library will have many of the books you need.
Action Step: Start thinking.
Choose a time, ideally at the same time each day, to do some quiet thinking each day. You don't have to plan what to think about, just think about whatever comes to mind. Think about ways to improve your career, business or life in general.There you have it, nine success habits and behaviours and three actionable steps you can take to make success your norm. They say that knowledge is power, but I think knowledge only becomes power when it is put into action. Are you ready to put your new knowledge into action?
Most of our limitations are self-imposed. For some crazy reason, we do that to ourselves.
I hear you say, "No way. That is rubbish. What stops me from achieving my goals are real obstacles that even Superman could not overcome. Don't you know, I have tried everything!"
Yeah, you have been trying and failing for too long. Far too long. So, what gives? Do you have the limitations you think you have, or is something else going on?It could be that you've limited yourself. As I said earlier, most limitations are, in fact, self-imposed, for one reason or another. So how can you tell when a limitation is real or something else entirely?Look for the word "they." Anytime you make a 'they' statement what you're talking about is your self-doubt. You may feel like 'they' are keeping you in the same tedious job or from becoming financially independent.
Fear doesn't discriminate.
Still, in truth, it's your fear holding you back. Fear doesn't discriminate. Each one of us will feel fear at some point in our lives. It can stop the strongest of people dead in their tracks, and it is probably the biggest killer of dreams.You get all excited about beginning to follow your dream and then quickly you have to deal with fear. The fear of getting started, looking like an idiot, rejection, making a mistake, and on and on. Plus, there is also a fear of the unknown. Get real, is there anything we don't have some sort of fear about?It's not just with big dreams either. Fear can be destructive even in your daily interactions by convincing you to turn down invitations because you're afraid to go by yourself or you're scared to go somewhere new. Or you're afraid of speaking to new people. Have you checked your motivation? It could be that you've lost sight of why you want what you want. When your goal becomes muddled and unclear, it can look and feel like a limitation.
Your underlying motivation.
Understanding your underlying motivation has a massive impact on your life. And it provides a great answer to a cliche interview question. Motivation is highly individual, so it is crucial to know precisely what it is that motivates you? Are you feeling vulnerable? When you're worried about how you're going to look to other people, it's easy to put limitations on your actions. The reality is, no one likes to be the subject of other people's laughter or ridicule. The question is, is anyone paying any attention? Most of the time when we're worried about how we're going to be perceived, there's no one even paying close attention. Do you lack confidence? If you've started doubting your ability to reach your goal, it's easy to formulate limitations to keep you from having to go further. Each one of us experiences a lack of confidence at some time. However, when we experience a sustained lack of confidence, it becomes crippling.
A lack of confidence.
The phrase seems pretty self-explanatory. It's the opposite of having an abundance of confidence. But it looks completely different on different people.Some people lack confidence in their abilities. Others lack confidence in their personal appearance. And some lack confidence in their ability to voice their opinions.Of course, no one is confident all the time. Each one of us experiences a lack of confidence at some time. And it's perfectly normal to feel less than stellar every once in a while. If this is the case, then it can be beneficial to look back at your history. Where have you succeeded before? What does that tell you about your ability to handle this situation?
Ask for help.
Have you tried asking for help? Are you stalled out due to lack of knowledge or because you've gone as far as you can on your own? It might be the right time to enlist the help and support of a mentor to help you push past this specific limitation.I get it. There are some stubborn people out there who would rather walk into work butt naked than swallow their pride and ask for assistance. Yes, I know because I was one of those stubborn people.For some crazy reasons, many of us perceive a request for help as a sign of weakness. And we don't want to appear weak. When, in reality, asking for help is a sign of great strength.
Time to call for reinforcements.
Asking for help means you're self-aware and self-assured enough to know when it's time to call for reinforcements. That doesn't mean that asking for help is easy. Not at all, approaching someone to ask them to lend you a hand can actually be anxiety-inducing.Where are you emotionally? Is depression or worry, keeping you down and inventing excuses for you to stall out? Address the emotional issues that are making you feel like you can't get past this point.Being emotionally out of balance usually involves one of two things. Either being so attached to and identified with them that your feelings are all-consuming. Or not allowing yourself to experience your feelings as they evolve by avoiding or suppressing them.
When we have emotional balance, we allow ourselves to feel whatever feelings come up, without getting overwhelmed. And we learn to accept our feelings without judgment.The majority of us try to avoid physical as well as emotional pain. Not many of us want to be in pain. The Pleasure-Pain Principle suggests that we behave to minimise pain and maximise pleasure. The logical part of our brain tells us that if we can avoid the pain, then it won't affect us. Ironically, efforts to keep painful thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations at bay may work temporarily. Over the long run, it only prolongs those experiences and intensifies the suffering connected to them.
Do you need a mental health day?
If you've been plugging along for a while without seeing much success, it's easy to get burned out and then perceive that as a limitation. Taking a sick day from work for a cold or any other physical health issue is commonplace. However, taking time off to tend to your mental health is more of a grey area. Most companies do not have policies for mental health or personal days, and if they do, they are not promoted. So it can be challenging to take time off when you feel you need a mental break. A lot of us will feel hesitant or guilty to use some of our precious holiday entitlement, and so we push ourselves to show up anyway. Think about it, when you're feeling stressed, both you and your work suffer. This potentially leads to other issues that can hurt your performance and your co-worker's performance too.
Maintaining well-being and health.
Knowing when to take a mental health day is crucial to maintaining your overall well-being and health. Try taking a day off so you can get your head back in the game tomorrow.Recognising when you're at the root of these self-imposed limitations is a good thing because that means you also have the tools to get past this point. Close self-examination will help you determine what you need to do to move past this point, and so find the success that is waiting for you.
Human excellence is not a byproduct of luck or something that a few selected people are just born with. History is full of examples of people who made their own luck and who fought adversity, drastically improved themselves, and went on to do great things.The good news is that if they did, then so can you. What many of us do not realise is that we can accomplish things that we might think impossible. We have everything we need to create and build something much bigger than ourselves. Each one of us can attain human excellence.A big part of that, irrespective of the goal, is harnessing the ability to improve ourselves continually. Only by mastering this can we expect greener pastures in life. So how exactly do we do it then? We can attain human excellence by adopting three new habits.
Start waking up early
This is the advice that countless successful people, from business tycoons to great artists, often give in their autobiographies. The original idea behind it is to wake up at a time when the rest of the world is asleep and therefore, unable to distract you from your goals.You also benefit from the fact that early in the morning, your head is not full of distracting thoughts and problems that it might be ridden with later in the day. By starting your day early, you get a head start over 99% of the world, creating a feel-good psychological factor that motivates you to stay ahead for the rest of the day.
Improve much faster
Your productivity increases and you instill in yourself a sense of self-discipline and mastery. Whether it is going to the gym, learning how to code an app or writing the next great novel. Waking up early will help you improve yourself much faster than you otherwise would.
There is a remarkable difference in how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. We are always kind and polite when we talk to friends and colleagues, but when it comes to self-talk, we are terribly harsh. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself, and you will be amazed by how true this is.For example, when you skip a workout in the gym, your mind tortures you with your guilt-ridden self-talk. When you make a mistake at work, you think about it for days on end. If someone you know spoke to you like this, how long would you want to be their friend? Not long.
Inspiration in small victories
This is why it is essential to ease up on the critical self-talk, especially when you are in the early stages of trying to improve yourself. A mark of human excellence is top be kind when you make an error and find inspiration in small victories.
Make small changes, take small steps
Rome was not built in a day, and if you are desperately looking for quick ways to human excellence, then you have to remember that such a process is usually a marathon and not a sprint.This is why motivational speakers the world over recommend that you take small steps while you are making small changes. So if you have three different goals that you want to accomplish over the next few months, then you are better off to insert them in your daily routine one after another than all three at once.
If you start working out, learning a new language and playing the guitar on the same day, then your mind will feel overburdened. As a result, it will invent new reasons to procrastinate. If there is one thing that our minds hate, it is when we break old and bad habits and build new productive ones.Taking small steps helps as well. Instead of working out for two hours, 7 days a week, try to keep it for one hour, 3 times a week. Slowly and gradually increase this frequency until your mind proves to be of no resistance at all.
Towards human excellence
Be proud of yourself that you have decided to take steps to improve yourself. Most of the people in this world go their whole lives without feeling any desire to do so. So just by deciding to take action, you have risen above the rest and are moving towards human excellence.Take heed of the tips mentioned above and surround yourself with things and people that inspire you. Keep an open mind, and a positive attitude and you will realise that improving yourself and achieving human excellence is all about the right state of mind that you can instill in yourself with the due practice of the principles mentioned above.