Don't Argue for Your Limitations: The Power of Limiting Beliefs
A quote from Richard Bach, one of my favourite authors, frequently bounces through my head when I hear a person describe a situation in which they view themselves as being helpless.
He said: argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they’re yours.
Experience has taught me not to interject, nor to inquire why this person feels “they can’t, or it won’t, or they never will”, but instead to think of the wise words of the teacher who told me “Never miss an opportunity to shut up.”
Unless of course the person describing limitations is a client. And then we have a very different discussion.
It is said by those supposedly in the know that by around the age of three our personality is formed and we have already developed a set of default behaviours that experience has led us to believe we need to embrace in given situations.
It Starts Young
In other words, by that tender age, we have already acquired beliefs as to what we are, and are not, capable of doing well.
In the ensuing years those behaviours, guided by those beliefs repeat themselves at every opportunity even if, by so doing, they are producing results very different from what we really want.
Each time we explain to others (or convince ourselves) why we can, or cannot do certain things, or why lack of time, resources, money, education, opportunity, energy, desire and anything else that fits our story, we are delivering a brilliant sales pitch to ourselves and will close the deal each time by convincing ourselves that all of the above reasons are indeed legitimate.
In other words, by arguing for our limitations, we own them.
To further quantify our excuses, we refer to previous unsuccessful attempts as if they offer validation to our justifications.
All too often we convince ourselves that the past will equal the future, therefore there is no point in trying.
Yet history is filled with valiant stories of people who heroically pulled themselves from the gutter penniless, resourceless, often friendless and rose to great heights, fuelled by an absolute unwavering refusal to link past failures with future successes.
These folks argued for their greatness and, sure enough, greatness became theirs.
Certainty Not Doubt
When we substitute certainty for doubt, clarity for confusion and determination for fear, there is very little that would dare stand between us and our dreams.
When we argue for our strengths, our convictions, our desires and our reasons why failure is not an option and marry that argument with 110% daily effort, then the results simply become a matter of when and not if.
If we truly do argue for our limitations, then as Richard Bach so succinctly stated, they truly become ours, along with all the corresponding feelings of defeat, deflation and despair.
Simply stated, it all starts with what we believe to be true, and the wonderful gift we all have is that our beliefs are ours to choose at will.
So, choose wisely and promise yourself that when you know you have the right beliefs, you will never allow any well-meaning but uninformed person to ever convince you otherwise.
Because those that attempt to do so, want to be right more than they want you to succeed.
Don’t let ‘em.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.