Do you ever wonder where it came from, this tendency to argue for your limitations? We talk ourselves out of trying something new because we assume it won’t turn out well.
Personally, I don’t have a clue about when my habit started, but the cool thing is, I have begun to turn it around.
I’m beginning with me, but have started a quest to help more people to believe in the limitlessness of their own abilities. For me, the goal is to do this without motivation or willpower. This is not about mind over matter this is about changing a belief.
or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
~ Henry Ford
This is about being conscious whenever I enter a new situation and immediately begin talking myself out of it. It sounds something like this: “I’m not good at those types of things,” “I can’t do that,” “that won’t work,” “that’s too difficult,” or “it will never happen.”
Have you ever used those phrases? I doubt I’m alone here.
I find these beliefs cropping up most whenever anything mechanical is broken. I just assume that I can’t fix it — but that’s changing.
The shift began a few years ago when I first moved out to the country. My washer stopped working and I didn’t own a truck to take it to the city for repairs, so I called the manufacturer’s toll-free number and explained my predicament. The repair guy thought it was likely a faulty fuse.
I asked if he’d be willing to walk me through it and he did. First I had to pull out the little drawer where you pour in the soap, I had to find a little release button so it simply popped out of its holder. When I got the drawer out it exposed 4 little screws that I had to un-do. Then I was to pop open the front loader door (which meant first finding the emergency release lever in another panel) and once the door was open I had to unscrew 3 big bolts that loosened the front panel from the drum. Then I had to pull another panel off the very bottom, unscrew 2 more little fasteners. Once that was completed the whole front of the machine opened up and exposed the tube that held the fuse. I opened that and sure enough the fuse was burned out. I replaced the 28 cent part and reversed the instructions to close up the machine and it was as good as new.
The first thing I learned was that if I were designing washing machines I would make getting at the fuses a heck of a lot easier. Truthfully though, the fact that it was a little complicated gave me a unique satisfaction in the accomplishment.
The experience made me a little more sensitive to moments when I find myself in a new or uncomfortable situation and I begin arguing for my limitations.
It’s not so much about accomplishment, as it is about trying. What a shame it is to walk away from something before even making the attempt. The key is to break things down into stages and then take one step at a time. The truth is, most of us can figure out nearly anything (if we’re interested).
Are there any places in your life where you argue for your limitations?
Perhaps you talk yourself out of trying something because you think you will fail or someone might laugh. Have you ever thought about going to the opposite side of those thoughts and consider, “What if I succeed?” Or what if you might inspire someone by trying — like your kids, or your sister?
I’m learning to flip my initial reaction over in my head and come up with a new statement. For example;
- “I’m afraid,” can become, “Won’t it feel amazing when I get through this.”
- “This is difficult,” can become, “Here’s an opportunity to learn something new.”
- “I’m not smart enough,” gets transformed into, “If I break it down into smaller steps I can usually figure out anything.”
Another thing I’m watching for are sentences (or thoughts) that contain Never or Always. These are great places to do some flipping around. So, statements like:
- “I NEVER win at anything,” becomes, “I’m ready for my luck to change.”
- “I ALWAYS fail,” can turn into “I’m open to recognizing what I’m particularly good at.”
- “I NEVER get promoted,” perhaps switches to, “I’m going to learn to articulate my abilities and contributions and ask to be compensated for them.”
This is about learning to make a case for your capabilities, instead of arguing for your limitations. And honestly, I can’t think of a downside to the transformation. Are you up for it?
If you’d like some help discovering how to develop these skills check out my website below…
Layne Schmidt is the creator of www.RubyShuze.com, an on-line course for individuals who are interested in understanding what is getting in the way of experiencing what they want. With clear pragmatic exercises; RubyShuze will open you up to a whole new way of thinking that will transform your experiences in regards to Health, Love, Money and most importantly, your Sense of Self. All course work is practical and simple and is 100% Guaranteed. RubyShuze.com offers all kinds of additional resources, including a Free Monthly Newsletter.