We often limit ourselves by deciding we can’t do something before we even try. These limiting beliefs may lead us to ask ourselves, “Why bother?” or tell ourselves, “This is silly.” When we do this, we are effectively telling ourselves the answer is “no” before we even ask the question. When we do that, we’ve stopped our growth and our path to success.
This negative self-talk is a clear sign that you need to rewrite your story. Our story affects what we do, where we go and how we approach life. A powerful story leads to a life of opportunity – change your story, change your life. The first step in changing your story is to stop telling yourself disempowering ones.
How many times have you said something like this to yourself?
I have to be perfect… I’m too old… I’m just not that kind of person.
These are exactly the type of damaging thoughts that keep us from achieving our goals and, ultimately, our dreams. By addressing the following damaging thoughts head-on and treating ourselves with kindness instead of doubt, you can change your mindset and learn how to change yourself.
The stories we tell ourselves make up our identity and dictate what we believe we can and cannot do. Here are some common stories that you tell yourself that limit your opportunities for growth and indicate it’s time for you to rewrite your story:
“I have to be perfect.”
Perfection is the lowest standard anyone can have – it leaves no room for growth. While completing a task perfectly may feel good for a little while, it’s through our mistakes that we develop our greatest strengths and find life’s impactful lessons. If you have done something perfectly, you haven’t really learned anything – how to do this task better, for example, or what to avoid. By telling yourself you have to be perfect, you’re putting limits around your own capabilities. When you want to learn how to change your life around, you have to give up perfection.
Rather than striving for perfection, strive for a balanced life. Accept that you will make mistakes and when you do, use them as a starting point to realize your next level. Trying to be perfect stems from one’s fear of failure. Instead of being afraid to fail, pursue your passion no matter the outcome.
Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of a human.
“My life is harder than anyone else’s.”
Everyone is fighting their own battle. It’s how you choose to handle difficulty that determines how to change your life around.
Look at the success stories of Oprah and Tony Robbins, and the hardships they overcame to achieve a life of greatness. As Tony says, “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.”
A hard life doesn’t prevent you from success unless you tell yourself it will. There are plenty of examples of those who overcame seemingly overwhelming obstacles to achieve greatness, and just as many examples of those born with all the advantages in the world who failed to have fulfilling lives. When it comes to rewriting your story, you must let go of the past.
“If I ignore it, it will go away.”
If you want to learn how to change yourself, you must see things as they really are. Reality always catches up with us. While we can sometimes pretend they aren’t there, our problems will always be waiting for us when we return. It’s only when we choose to face them head on that they truly go away.
Our goal is not to ignore the problems of life, but to put ourselves in better mental and emotional states to not only come up with solutions but really meet the challenges and take action. Take a good look at yourself and where you are in life and the choices you have made that have brought you to this point. This is not an opportunity to beat yourself up. Rather, it’s a chance to take inventory and understand what you need to change in order to rewrite your story.
“I’m too young, or I’m too old.”
Do you think you’re too old to learn how to change your life around?
Here’s the truth: Your age only limits you if you allow it. Create a vision and never let your environment, other people’s beliefs or the limits of what has been done in the past shape your decisions. Ignore conventional wisdom.
When you look at a possible lifespan of up to 120 years if you live right, trying to rewrite your story at age 60 suddenly seems very plausible. You can do whatever you desire at any age – as long as you believe it to be true and put in the work to make it a reality.
“I’m just not the happy type.”
By telling yourself that you aren’t “the happy type,” you’re making yourself unhappy. Happiness is a choice we make – it is a state we can become through our actions. The path to happiness is more than material items and superficial things. Rather, happiness is an all-encompassing way of being. When you change your thoughts, you learn how to change your life – that is, when you choose to be happy, your negatives shift to positives.
As achievers we all seek greatness, but is there something holding you back from your next level of success and fulfillment?