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7 Ways We Limit Ourselves Without Even Realizing It

7 Ways We Limit Ourselves Without Even Realizing It

We make excuses.  We stay in the safe end of the pool and find ways to ignore anything that might challenge us in anyway.  We allow circumstances and our belief that we have no choices be our guide instead.  Forgetting that we can create happiness as much as we can create misery seems to become a way of life.  Stepping away from what we have been taught and allowing ourselves to make our own path doesn’t even seem to cross the minds of too many of us anymore.  And if you don’t believe me that we all forgo actions that we really wish we had the courage to take, read more here…

We go looking for failure.

Not really on purpose, but sometimes, it is all we can focus on.  We have all stumbled a time or two as we have traveled through our life and the fear of another setback is just something that we can do without.  So we expect the worst.  Every time.  We never believe we have a shot at that promotion we really want so we never fill out the paperwork, only to go back to doing the same thing we despise.  We never ask that girl out for fear of being rejected after allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  We never take that risk.  The same risk life begs of us.

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We follow the crowd.

It is easier to never have to make a decision or take any responsibility either.  We just follow the “school of fish” never stopping to ask, “Is this what I really want to be doing?”  Falling in line is easy.  But what happens if you change your mind?  If your experiences have somehow changed your perspective on life?  No one promotes “going against the grain” because that is not what most of us do.  We take the easiest route instead of the road less traveled.  We have been conditioned that way.

We play it safe.

Growing up, we told we could be anything we want, but only if we were careful and cautious.  We could never “push the envelope” too much.  Most kids get hurt because they were not thinking about being safe — they were caught up in the moment.  Now as adults, we are missing out on those glorious moments of absolute freedom because our biggest concern seems to be one of security instead.  Our fear leaves us paralyzed as we hold out in the safety of what we know.  Our excitement of doing something new and maybe a little dangerous is just what our psyche needs.

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We have no hope.   

The world nowadays is full of turmoil, hatred, and animosity that will not diminish overnight.  And our future generations are never going to believe that any action they take will make an impact if they don’t have hope.  In order for us to take a step away from the common thread, we must understand that our purpose will stand for something, even long after we are gone.  Instead of compromising what we can’t do with laziness and justifications as why something won’t work, let’s give it a shot anyway.  What have we got to lose?

We stopped listening to our hearts.

At some, point, filling our pockets with cash, loading up on material possessions, and taking from others because we could became our way of life.  In the end, we don’t feel any more full because we have “stuff” and our regrets become almost too much to bear as we suffer through guilt and mistakes made along the way.  Our hearts beg for us to listen to them — to find what feeds our souls and to enhance the lives of others in whatever we can.  So we play in that local golf fundraiser never really taking the time to see how we can make a difference in someone else’s life.  But in order to really understand what our hearts feel, we must get “in the trenches” and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and exposed.

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We quit.

We give up on the good fight because it’s hard and long with no guarantee of success.  Looking around the crowd, we see no other participants taking up where we leave off and our efforts, although honorable, become too much to bear alone.  Walking away is simple and we can wash our hands of any more responsibility and there is always the token, “I did what I could…it just didn’t work out” answer.  Out of strength and tired, we believe we cannot find a single ounce to take another step.

We forgot our “why.”

Most of us will not commit to something unless we believe we will be successful.  There has to be a chance of accomplishing what we want to achieve.  Our reasons for being pulled in a particular direction can lose its power if we wind up on a road we never intended to take, dealing more than we imagined, or never seem to be making any head way.  Our draw towards a specific goal has lost its meaning and we forget our reasons for beginning in the first place.  Lost momentum and faded eagerness begin to take hold — whether intended or not — and our focus seems unclear.

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No matter our background, our education level, or our when we get started, holding ourselves back is a disservice to the rest of the world.  Our natural-born talents go untapped, un-shared, and hidden.  No one assigns our limits to us, we assign them to ourselves.  And in doing so, we can also unassign them.  Doing something out of the norm and unorthodox might upset the apple cart and many people will not understand your motives, believing that they are built on false pretenses.  True limits continue to grow after they have been met…as long as we don’t hold ourselves back from reaching our full potential.

Featured photo credit: Kaley Dykstra via images.unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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