I don’t! Therefore, I can’t.

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” –Richard Bach

The words we speak and think have a profound impact on our bodies and what we achieve and create in our lives, just ask Seth Godin. So, what is the story you tell others about yourself? Is telling people you don’t have a good memory helping you overcome that problem or is it a means of giving yourself permission to be forgetful? By telling our mind and body what our limitations are we are turning those limitations into reality.

HELP! The Storytellers Recovery Plan:

  1. Think about who you say you are. Write down a list of all the stories you have told others about who you are and those that you tell yourself in private about your own limitations and characteristics.
  1. Stop it. Seriously, stop it. Catch yourself in the process of creating a limiting mentality.
  1. Turn Can’ts into Don’ts. Example: “I don’t eat carbs after 8pm” is a strong statement that ties your goals to who you are by creating a new story about what this new version of (insert name here) does and doesn’t do.
  1. Turn “I’m bad at…” into “Everyday I’m getting better at…” Example: “I’m working hard at improving my memory and I’m getting a little better each day.” This statement tells your subconscious mind that you’ve got this! This isn’t a flaw! This is just one area of your life you are working to improve.
  1. Now write a list of statements about WHO YOU WANT TO BE that includes all the don’ts and dos and I’m working on’s. This list should that take into consideration the person you most desire to be.
  1. Believe it! Affirm it in the mornings while looking at yourself in the mirror. It sounds silly doesn’t it? But seeing yourself say “I am a great public speaker” or “Everyday my memory is improving”

Practical tip: Use a dry-erase marker to write your affirmations on your bathroom mirror so you can repeat them every morning and every night!

This article has a list of affirmations you can use to get you started: 35 Affirmations That Will Change Your Life via The Huffington Post

Look out for my next post on how to write affirmations in 6 easy steps! 

Failure Defined

When did we forget how to fail? Was it around the time we start getting grades and fearing that giant red F? How easily we forget the struggle to walk, to write, to read, to pronounce words, to ride a bike, to draw inside the lines, to feed ourselves, to drink out of a cup, to tie our shoes… Why is failure so traumatic if it is such a fundamental part of the human experience? Anyone who finds success on his or her own terms learns that failure is not real unless you let it define you. The only way we truly fail is by calling it a failure, by attributing negative emotions to the learning process and making excuses for why we can’t overcome the obstacles in our way. I suppose it has to do with never seeing the struggles people endure to arrive at success. Even if we read or hear about someone’s struggle, it is still a foreign emotion to our own experience, so it doesn’t touch us in quite the same way. Our struggles will always feel more real, but if we remember that failure is only a word that we alone can give a definition to, we can set ourselves free.

A Leopard and its Spots

More often than not, we are taught that “our personalities make us who we are,” and that “people never change.” This is simply not true. The brain is an ever-evolving organ, wiring and re-wiring connections all the time. Remembering that people can and do change is the very first step. Knowing that our personalities can be changed simply by allowing ourselves to explore other options, other emotions and reactions, is the most powerful mindset to begin this journey.

What is the story you tell about yourself?: “I’m not a morning person,” “I’m not a runner,” “I don’t like to read,” “I hate these sort of people;” All these statements shape who you BELIEVE you are, not who you CAN be. Aspire to tell a different story about yourself by saying “I’m learning to run,” or “I will love to run.” Remember your brain is the most powerful tool you have to build your future. Never give up on something because it isn’t something you would “normally” do. Put those limiting beliefs in the past and open yourself up to a new future!