This is a part of an article I got from my friend Marshall Goldsmith, a famous executive coach:
One of our greatest challenges in changing behavior can be our self-limiting definitions of who we are. We send messages to ourselves like: “I just can’t speak in front of a group.” “I could never lead others.” “That just isn’t me!”[pullquote]Figure out the role you would like to play in life. Outside of real physical or resource limitations (e.g., I cannot be a pro basketball player at age 58, no matter how much I try), what is holding you back?[/pullquote]
We often think of our identity as fixed. It doesn’t have to be. For example, if we define ourselves by saying “I am a terrible listener,” we will create the reality that we become a terrible listener. And even worse – if someone says that we are a good listener, we won’t believe them. We will say to ourselves:
“That’s not the real me.”
When my clients describe self-limiting identities, such as being a poor listener, I ask them if they want to change. When they say they do, I assure them that they do not have incurable genetic defects that are stopping them from listening. Not only can they change their behavior-and become good listeners – they can change their definition of who they are.
Overcome the Obstacles in Your Mind
Who is the you that you want to become? Have you defined yourself in a way that limits your own potential?
In the same way that others changed not just their behavior but their definition of who they are, you can also change your definition of who you are and change your role in the world.
Figure out the role you would like to play in life. Outside of real physical or resource limitations (e.g., I cannot be a pro basketball player at age 58, no matter how much I try), what is holding you back?
You may not be able to overcome all of the obstacles in the world, but you can overcome the obstacles in your own mind!