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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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