Seven Thoughts That Prevent You From Reaching Your Potential

We might not have too much choice about the thoughts that show up in our head, but we can certainly decide on who gets to stay. Here are seven thoughts you don’t want as long-term neighbors:

Brain image

1. It’s Just the Way I Am

“It’s just the way I am” is the most disempowering thing we can believe about ourselves. I once used this pathetic excuse to justify being a drunk. Thankfully, I saw through this bullshit and took responsibility for fixing my life.

If I accept my weaknesses as “just the way I am”, I create a prison for myself. I’m limiting my potential and settling for the bare minimum that life can give me. It also means that I’m expecting the rest of the world to give me a free-pass even if my weakness is negatively impacting them as well.

2. I Don’t Have Time

I’ve used this excuse a lot, yet I still found plenty of time to complain about my finances, worry, and feel depressed. If I’d spent that time doing something productive, I wouldn’t have had the need to feel so negative about things.

If something in our life is that important to us, we are going to be able to make the time for it – if we have time to worry, we’ve time to do something positive to fix the situation.

3. I’ll Do Better When My Circumstances Change

Waiting for our life to improve so can start to make more of an effort is a bit like waiting for the train to pick us up from our bedroom. Our circumstances improve when we take action – without this action we can remain stuck indefinitely.

Taking action may be the last thing we want to do – especially if we are feeling depressed. The reality is that if we only needed to take positive action on our good days, we would all be rich and happy. It is when things are most difficult for us that it is most vital for us to take action.

4. I’m Trying My Best

The words ‘doing’ and ‘trying’ are not the same thing. I don’t like to use the word ‘try’ because it is just so weak – it already contains the explanation for why I’m going to fail. If I’m serious about doing anything in life, I don’t want to be wasting my time with ‘trying’ – it is much better to just go and do it.

5. I’m Not as Good as…

If we waste too much time comparing ourselves to other people, we are always going to end up feeling like a loser. A bit of competition can keep us motivated, but the only person we have to beat is the person we were yesterday.

6. I’m Damaged Goods

We don’t have to allow the shitty things that happened to us in the past to prevent us from finding happiness now. There are plenty of examples of people who came from horrific childhoods but went on to achieve amazing things. The ‘I’m damaged goods’ claim is just self-abuse and an excuse not to try.

7. I Don’t Deserve to be Successful

I used to believe that wanting to be successful was a bit shameful. I assumed that anyone who wanted to do well in life must be some type of ego-manic – possible even a psychopath who would destroy anyone who got in their way.

I’m 44 years of age, and I’ve only just developed the guts to tell people I want to be successful. I deserve this because I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it happen. There is no shame in wanting to be successful – the real shame would be to accept a mediocre life because I’m too scared to try for more.

2 Comments

  1. Those were all excellent Paul. I think #7 is a problem for most of us that have enough to get by already, and we’re trying to talk ourselves into the fact that it isn’t enough – and we need to be successful on a more massive scale.

    I constantly struggle with that one.

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