Believe That You Can

Posted by Todd Smith

It really bothers me to hear people say they can’t do something they are more than capable of doing. I think to myself, why would you think that way? There’s nothing wrong with you. You can do it. Sometimes I want to ask, “If I gave you a million dollars, could you figure out a way to do it?”

In my view, one of life’s greatest tragedies is people falling short of their potential because of self-limiting statements.

I’ve studied the subject long and hard enough to know that limiting beliefs are caused by a variety of factors. Previous mistakes or failures, a continual focus on faults and weaknesses, and surrounding yourself with negative people can create a breeding ground for self-limiting statements.

Once the seed of a limiting belief is planted in the mind, it’s generally fertilized with negative self-talk. Your self-talk is the internal dialogue you have with yourself. When it gets really negative, you say things like “I can’t do anything right,” “I could never do that,” “I can’t make good decisions,” or something else along those lines. These statements are all false, yet you allow yourself to think they are true.

Psychologists advise you to figure out the “cause” of the problem if you want to eliminate your self-limiting beliefs. I have a different perspective: while analyzing your life history may be beneficial for some people, most can change their course of negative thinking if they first recognize the problem and then focus on the solution.

Are Self-Limiting Statements Excuses or Lies?

Many of these self-limiting statements are simply excuses. For example, if someone says “I could never get in front of a group of people and give a presentation.” Unless they literally can’t speak, they are lying to themselves by saying they can’t do it. Nothing good comes from making such a statement.

Don’t allow yourself to say you can’t do things that are actually feasible. You’re better off admitting you DON’T WANT to do something rather than saying you can’t do it. The more you make those types of false statements, the more you will believe them. This is very important. Don’t allow yourself to think or say you can’t do something you are perfectly capable of doing.

They Really Are Limiting Beliefs

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who really feel they can’t do something that certainly is within their capabilities.

If you ever believe you can’t do something, then ask yourself, “If I were paid a million dollars to figure out a way to do it, could I do it?” If your answer is no, then ask yourself the following question: “If my family was taken hostage and going to be killed if I didn’t do it, could I figure out a way to do it?”

If you are honest with yourself and the answer is no to both of those questions, then you probably can’t do it. I don’t believe I can swim from Florida to Mexico. But if my family’s life were at risk, I would die trying.

From this day forward, don’t allow yourself to say “I can’t do something” unless it is something you really cannot do. Keep in mind that these types of statements limit your opportunities and prevent you from searching for solutions. Just remember the simple test question: “If I were paid a million dollars to do it, could I figure out a way to do it?”

Don’t Limit Your Success

Perhaps the most common of all limiting beliefs is the idea that you can’t reach a certain level of success. On a success scale of 1-10, you may think you can get to a 7 but not a 10. If someone has reached a 10, why can’t you? Really. Why can’t you?

Why put up barriers? God gave you a gift — the ability to be all that you can be and take advantage of all that life has to offer. Accept the gift. The sky’s the limit.

If you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, you can’t. Both statements are accurate. Which one identifies you?

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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