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Stop Limiting Yourself With Words

Stop Making Resolutions Reading Stop Limiting Yourself With Words 4 minutes Next Inside the head of a distance runner

I want to set you a practical challenge. You see words (and thoughts) have power. Not just a little power a LOT of power. This year we are all about embracing your power, and smashing through limits. Those limits that you impose on yourself when you really shouldn’t.

Bruce Lee is famously quoted as saying:

“Don’t speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Words are energy and cast spells, that’s why it’s called spelling. Change the way you speak about yourself, and you can change your life. What you’re not changing, you’re also choosing.”

This month I want you to embrace the power that your words, language and thoughts have. I want you to remove the limits you are placing on yourself (possibly without even realising it). Even if it is just an acknowledgement of what is happening.

How many times have you heard a runner or an athlete say: “I Only” or “Just a”?

That right there is placing a limit. A limit on what you can achieve. It is also placing a comparison on your ability to those around you (not something I am going to go on about here but also something I believe everyone should stop as well!).

By making statements like “I only did 4km today” or “Just the 5k” you are placing a limit on yourself. A limit on your ability, a limit on your achievements and a limit on what you may achieve. The bad news is that for me I have found that it tends to be a race to the bottom. Each time a statement like the above is made it places a limit on what can be achieved, then the next time a similar limiting statement is made that limit sits lower again and so on and so on. It quickly turns into a downward spiral.

I am not saying you should set unrealistic expectations on your ability, nor should you be insanely optimistic. What I am saying is that you should not impose limits on yourself in your language, or your thoughts. Don’t self-impose limits with what you think is a throw-away comment because your words and your thoughts really do have power. By stating these throw-away limiting comments you impose limits without even realising it.

My challenge to you is to realise when you are imposing these limits on yourself. Take stock of the times you whisper (speak or shout) those self-limiting statements. Notice them, sit with them and acknowledge them. Then comes the hard part. Challenge them. Finally ensure you always own your statements by removing the limiting statement.

Just by stating exactly what you said or were going to say without the limiting phrase creates so much power. It lets you feel empowered, it allows you to take positive ownership of what you are achieving. It allows for possibility, for growth, for extra adventure. It doesn’t place limits on you. It doesn’t place limits on your ability on what you believe you can achieve and ultimately what you can achieve. Because words, thoughts and statements have power.

The challenge is set! Notice if or when you make these limiting statements. When you have that down pat, start to challenge them. Finally, to the really hard part - never make limiting statements again.

It’s ok if you slip remember that! We are all a work in progress. I want to know if you are up to the challenge! Imagine what you can and will achieve when you don’t impose limits on what you are doing. So here’s to all of us never casting limiting spells with our words.

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