“I hate exercise.”
“I am a terrible cook.”
“I am not a morning person.”
“I am a highly-gifted procrastinator.”
“My feet pronate. Therefore I suck at life.”
Any of those sound familiar? Maybe not, maybe your’s is something different. But guaranteed that most of us have some form of self-fulling prophecy that we keep telling to ourselves. And it’s a cop-out that keeps you from changing the status quo.
Whatever your belief is it’s holding you back. Even if you don’t realize it, it’s something that you have decided to live up to. You know you have certain traits so you keep fitting yourself into the mold that you’ve shaped for yourself.
And I can relate. Once I figured that some of my traits could be explained by introvertedness I started owning the shit out of it. If I didn’t feel like doing something I’d always go back to “hey, it’s cool, I am an introvert”. It’s my (or one of them) self-fulling prophecy.
Yet when I am at work I am closer to being an extrovert because it makes me a better coach. Not in a rah rah kind of way but I need to be able to communicate effectively. So I know how to turn it on and off when I have to. Yet, I rarely do it outside of work because “hey, it’s cool, I am an introvert.”
This is not to say that introvertedness is a negative trait but it can definitely hold you back in some situations. So I’ve got to snap out of it and work it, work it, work it. (There’s a song in my head that goes “work it, work it, work”, but I don’t know what it is. Which makes this whole point, well, pointless. Thanks for reading though).
WORK ON WEAKNESSES OR REINFORCE THE STRENGTHS?
I am a believer that we should work on our weaknesses to become a better person. Sure, when it comes to business work on your strengths and delegate the tasks that are not your stronghold. But when it comes to self-development, improve your weaknesses. Especially if you are suffering or unhappy because of them.
Whatever it is that you keep telling yourself, see if you can snap out of it. For the next week switch your thinking 180 degrees. If you think you suck at cooking, start learning more about it while telling yourself “I got this. I am becoming better with practice”.
If you are not a morning person, get up earlier for a week and see what happens. Promise yourself that you are going to bounce out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off.
Or maybe you are a procrastinator because you’ve been telling yourself so for so long. When you work and get side tracked you think it’s ok because “well, this is just the way I am.” Instead of snapping out of it. But if you keep telling yourself you are lazy, guess what? You will keep seeking those habit that lazy people have. Because, “hey, that’s the way I am.”
BREAK SOME OF THOSE MIND-CHAINS
This doesn’t mean that you will become a superstar by just believing in it. But you’d be surprised how much you can change by just changing your mindset and the habits that you follow.
As well as being able to balance my introvertedness outside of work, I also want to be able to call myself a writer. In order to do so I need to keep writing. That’s why I post a blog every single week, even if I don’t feel like writing. And to be honest, the best part of writing is to have written. The moment of starting the writing process often feels like an exercise in masochism. But I digress.
The format to start the change is simple. And as per usual, it involves a habit:
I want to be good at [insert a task], therefore I need to keep [insert a habit] repeatedly.
Would I ever get better at writing if I would keep repeatedly telling myself how much I suck at it or how much I hate it? Therefore talking myself out of it before I’d even given it a fair go.
So here’s a challenge: What is your self-fulfilling prophecy that’s holding you back? What steps can you do to change it?
The only thing holding you back could be your beliefs about the way you are.
A word of caution: some beliefs can be deeply ingrained because of what you have gone through in the past. And to overcome those you might need some help from the experts instead of just reading a blog online. But, hopefully this post got you thinking of the limitations that you might have set for yourself.