I think we can all agree that we are all our own biggest critic in life. Even if you have overbearing parents, a seemingly never satisfied spouse, or a demanding boss, it is our interpretation of their criticism and how we cast it on ourselves that makes life difficult.
But rather than focusing on the obvious unrealistic pressures and expectations we place on ourselves, I’d instead like to focus on six common things that far too many of us tell ourselves far too often.
What makes these six statements worth highlighting is the way that the belief systems their repetition create, while harmless on the surface, cause real harm to our well-being.
Here they are in both video and written format:
1. “I was born that way.”
We are all undoubtedly born with certain skills and talents that we can more naturally tap into than others, should we choose to engage them, but most of us tend to say this statement in defence of our weaknesses or a stubborn belief.
Someone else may have more inherent talent for one particular skill or another, but if you would genuinely like to excel at that thing as well, the biggest obstacle preventing it from happening is your attitude. Like Will Smith once said in an interview when speaking about his skills in relation to his success, “I will not be outworked, period.” Choose to approach your goals the same way rather than accepting your “shortcomings.”
2. “Life is a struggle.”
It was through the work of Tony Robbins (specifically in The Power to Shape Your Destiny: Seven Strategies for Massive Results) that I first came across the significance of our most-repeated life metaphor. Casually saying something like “life is a struggle” may seem both harmless and accurate at times, but did you ever stop to consider that this belief could also be helping to shape that reality?
Even if it was initially derived from a challenging experience, there is no particular reason for life to always be a struggle, so why claim that to be the case? Think of those who instead see life as a blessing or a gift — I’m sure they are equally as prone to hardship, but have just chosen to not let it change their grand overview.
3. “I’m destined to be alone.”
If you’re currently in a relationship this particular one may not seem like it applies to you, but I promise you that the next one will. When you’re single the world may seem like it’s flooded with happy couples, but the reality is that there are just as many “still on the market.”
So no matter how many “shitty” relationships you’ve had, or how many people have “broken your heart,” stop wasting any more of your time believing it will never work out with anyone. Each of those experiences helped to make you into who you are today and will help to make the right long-term relationship even better.
4. “My ball and chain.”
The reference may seem a bit dated, but what I’m referring to is any type of negative metaphor used to describe your partner in life. Even if said in a comical way, the more you refer to your significant other as your ball and chain, your old man/lady, or even your boss, the more likely you are to genuinely begin seeing them in that way.
They are still the same person you once fell in love with and that you often went out of your way to impress, so see the commitment as a gift rather than a curse.
5. “Someone else can do it better than me.”
Yes, they probably can, but is that really a good enough reason to not bother trying and instead accept complacency? Would you ever tell a child who dreamed of being something seemingly farfetched not to bother because others are bound to be better than them at it? Not likely!
So stop shutting yourself down, and give yourself a chance to go after what you want in life. You may just surprise yourself and one day become the new standard that holds others back from thinking they could ever get there. And I’d be willing to bet you’d still encourage them to go for the gold, too.
6. “It’s too late.”
It would be awesome if we were all born knowing exactly what we wanted to do in this world and managed to succeed at it by the ripe old age of 21, but if that doesn’t describe your experience, you are certainly not alone!
But the truth is, you are NEVER going to be as young in this life as you are right now, so if not now, when? Plus, there are plenty of people who didn’t achieve success until much later in life — check out this list for some inspiration.
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