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Five Steps You Can Take to Stop Limiting Yourself

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures for more info. 

So there I was, getting ready for my day, when I looked up on my wall and realized I'd forgotten to switch my calendar from May over to June. I really am terrible at doing that until about a week into a new month. =) 

Anyway, when I did, I really loved this month's message, so I wanted to share it with you all. Let it inspire you: 

I can really relate to this. I had, in the past, a tendency to tell myself "no" when I desperately wanted to say "yes" to what life was offering me. 

Sometimes we blame others for why we don't do things we want to do. For instance, if you really wanted to backpack across Europe, but your family balked at that idea because they feared you'd be hurt while traveling, would that stop you? If it did stop you, would you forever resent them for it?

That's not really fair to them OR to you, though. Perhaps you could have addressed their fears, planned the trip a little differently, and still gone backpacking. But someone else's fears have nothing to do with you, really. That's THEIR fear—NOT yours. If you choose not to go backpacking in Europe because of what someone else said, and you didn't find some way to do it in a way that helped everyone feel better about it, well, that was your choice. That's all-or-nothing thinking, and it's flawed. At the end of the day, by engaging in all-or-nothing thinking, you are the only person stopping you from doing the thing you really want to do. 

It's time to switch things up and stop stopping ourselves from achieving our hopes and dreams and then blaming others for it. We all have agency and independence to live the lives we want. Yes, we may have obligations and responsibilities and all that...but we still have agency and choice in everything we do.

Limiting ourselves is a form of negativity because it does not allow us to live a happy and fulfilled life! Now, I'm not saying throw caution to the wind and just do whatever you want without consideration for others, but I think we can always strive to live the lives we want within the framework of our families, jobs, and responsibilities. We can find balance and still go for our dreams.

So where do we begin?

Imagine having infinite possibilities at your disposal if you were just open to them. Imagine something you really want to do, and then consider how you can make it happen. If you find yourself saying "I should" (or "shouldn't"), "I can't" or "I don't know how," note it, then discard it and reframe how you're talking to yourself. Replace that self-limiting talk to more open language: 

I can...
I will...
I know how to...
I am capable of...

It can take a little practice to get used to  your new language skills as you go. But words are really powerful tools, so let's make them work for us by breaking the concept down into an easy-to-follow five-step process: 

1. RECOGNIZE when you're limiting yourself. 
Listen to how you talk, either internally to yourself or to others, and note how many times you do that in a day. Take a few days to just observe yourself and your speech patterns. You may be surprised to find out JUST how much you do limit yourself through your speech! 

2. STOP using limiting language. 
After a few days of listening to yourself and understanding your limiting patterns, promise yourself to stop using it. If that means you have to stop and start your sentence over, do it.

3. CHANGE the language. 
Instead of "I can't," change it to "I can." Instead of "I have to," change it to "I get to." Instead of "I don't know how to..." change it to "I will figure out how to..."

4. BELIEVE you can make it happen. 
Belief is so important to change. It doesn't take much effort, though. Use your imagination and see yourself doing the thing! Remember pretending when we were kids? Recall what it was like to see yourself doing something, and engage that part of your brain to see it happening.

5. ACT on your belief and make it happen. 
Let's use the backpacking trip as an example: you could register for a class in personal safety/first aid, go shopping for backpack supplies, do research on the internet about best ways to backpack across Europe, apply for your passport, find out what travel cell phone plans will keep you in touch with the world if you need to be—any number of small actions will eventually add up to achieving your goal or dream.

Next time you're feeling negative, defeated, trapped, or limited, find a quiet place and take several deep, cleansing breaths. Then repeat after me: 

I am relaxed and open. 
I am ready to welcome new opportunities, experiences, and ways of thinking about things. 
I am willing to change my thinking to emancipate myself—instead of being limited, I feel limitless.
My life has room to accommodate my hopes and dreams.
I am empowered by my own language to do anything I can dream of.

Keep your eye on the prize (and this list of steps handy), and the possibilities are limitless! 

I hope this has given you some inspiration! Have a great week, everyone! 

Want some more inspiration? I've picked a few great books for you, below:

 ~positively b.e.e. is on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!~


  1. Thank you for another thought-provoking and inspiring topic!! I know that I've done this to myself, and I think I'm getting better... this should help me be more mindful!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Paula! I'm so glad it helps! Even I slip back into it from time to time, but these are the steps I take to get back out of that mindset. :)


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