Do you ever wonder about your life’s purpose? In other words, has this thought ever crossed your mind: “Why am I here? What am I meant to do with my time on earth?” Many people ask themselves this at some point in their lives. For some, it is at the forefront of their minds. For others, it might be a fleeting moment from time to time. But one thing is true: we all wonder if we could be better or do more with our lives.
One of the things I write and speak about is self-improvement. I am passionate about teaching others to become the best version of themselves. But let’s face it – it’s not easy to change. Most people are creatures of habit – myself included. And according to brain science, once you develop habits, the connections in your brain for that habit can get very strong – and thus, difficult to change. But it can be done!
Here are 7 common negative thoughts that are stopping you from achieving your full potential:
1. “I’m not good enough.”
Many people suffer from low self-esteem. Let’s face it — we live in a world that helps us breed bad feelings about ourselves. Since our culture values money, power, beauty, and youth (just to name a few), it’s difficult for most people to think that they will ever live up to society’s standards. But everyone has their unique gift to offer the world. I’ve even known ex-drug addicts who have turned their lives around and are now helping others get off of drugs to achieve their dreams. Sometimes a seemingly bad thing can turn into an opportunity.
2. “There is too much competition.”
This is one I hear from everyone who wants to start a business or do something different with their career. For example, many people think about blogging for money these days. And yes, there are a lot of bloggers out there! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be one of the successful ones, because there are many online resources to help you figure out how to do it right. So whether it’s blogging, social media, writing a book, or opening an ice cream stand, there will always be “competition.” The key is to not let it deter you from starting your journey.
3. “It will take too much time/effort.”
Time will pass anyway. Ten years from now, you will still be ten years older than you are today. But that doesn’t mean you should be the same person. Do you want to look back and say, “Darn! If only I had started back then, I wonder where I would be now.” Yes, success takes effort. And yes, it is worth it! So whether you want to go back to school, start a business, lose weight, find/fix your relationships, just do it! People who are self-actualized don’t worry about the time and effort that is needed to succeed. They simply want to be a better person and that’s what they focus on.
4. “I don’t even know what my dreams are anymore.”
I don’t care if you’re 100 years old, I’m sure you had dreams at one point in your life. And if your memory is still intact, then you can remember them! What did you want to be when you were a kid? A firefighter? A singer? A lawyer? A doctor? Whatever it is, you can probably achieve it. New beginnings happen all the time, but they all start with a dream. So even if you really, truly can’t remember your dreams, then think about what you love doing. What makes you happy? Find it – and then do more of it. Following your dreams do not always mean you have to get a new job in the meantime!
5. “I’m too old now.”
You’re never too old for anything! When I was in my Ph.D. program, I had students in my classes who were in their 50s, 60s, and some in their 70s! These people went back to school at that stage in their lives because they decided they wanted to become professors or simply extend their education. I’ve also known people who started new businesses in their later years as well. There’s nothing you can’t do because of your age.
6. “It’s impossible.”
Nothing is impossible! Okay, except maybe teleporting yourself to a different galaxy, but even that could be possible someday. I have a friend who used to be over 500 pounds and he lost all his weight naturally and got down to 160! I have another friend who was awaiting a heart transplant, and it looked unlikely that he would get one since he has such a rare blood type. But he did – and now he’s thriving! I’ve known a lot of people who have overcome the odds to become their best self. Nothing is impossible unless you believe it is.
7. “I’ll never be successful.”
If not you, then who? People succeed all the time! Have you ever said to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” when you see a new product on the market? Successful people don’t let setbacks stop them. The movies Star Wars and Rocky were turned down by numerous production companies, but George Lucas and Sylvester Stallone never gave up! If they did, then we wouldn’t have those movies – which happen to be among the most famous of all time.
Anyone is capable of reaching their full potential. You just have to believe it! So erase these negative thoughts right out of your mind, and then set down on the road to being your best self!