“I can’t do that”
“I’m too old”
“I’m not smart enough”
“I’m not outgoing”
“I’m not creative”
We are filled with excuses and limiting beliefs that we toss around paying no heed to the long-term damage done in their wake. That might sound extreme to call it long-term damage but what else do you call something that slowly erodes a foundation, year after year, making it unstable at best or dangerous at worst? When we repeat these seemingly innocuous phrases we are attaching to them as if they are beliefs that are true. And then our actions (or inactions) based upon those beliefs follow suit. The more self-defeating your words are, the more you enforce a pattern of “stuck-ness;” a life that seems to never change. We must eliminate self-defeating mantras and get more purposeful about what we are saying to ourselves.
We are what we choose to be. Let me repeat that one to you...
You are what you choose to be. So if you say you’re lazy or tired all the time, then you’ll be lazy and tired all the time. If you say you are a person filled with curiosity, you will be a person filled with curiosity, and so on. If you’ve read this column before you have heard this message. But I will continue to repeat it because it simply bears repeating until we truly get it. Every single day I hear people toss around their limiting, self-defeating words. I do it too. But it’s when I’m lucky enough to catch myself that I see the true effect of how my words are shaping my life. One common example I catch others and myself doing frequently, is throwing around jokes about aging. We all make jokes about this subject but sometimes the jokes lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, every time we sit out of an activity joking or stating that “I’m too old for that” we actually make ourselves even older by staying sedentary and supporting the aging process rather than fighting it and staying healthy and strong for as long as possible.
The same goes for creativity, passion, innovation, or any other pursuit that we judge ourselves inept at before even trying. You’ll never create anything if you don’t try and you’ll never try if you tell yourself constantly that you’re no good at it.
If you’re reading this then I encourage you to make a commitment right now to changing things up and getting un-stuck. Identify one place in your life that you say, “can’t” or “no” and try replacing it with “can” and “will.” Could you be courageous enough to try a new conversation with yourself? What would happen if tomorrow you said, “I can do that” or “I’m not too old for that” or “I’ve got creativity hidden inside of me somewhere, let me find it!”
You are what you choose to be – so choose wisely and choose to live with more possibilities rather than limits. You only have one life to live in this body and time, so create your best life!