Self-esteem is essential and we all deal with it. It starts with the internal dialogue that tells you “You Can’t Do This.” It grows exponentially into “Here’s Why” and you begin to list all the ways why you can’t do something. You allow yourself to fail without ever even having tried. These thoughts derive themselves from a withdrawn authentic self. Recognizing that you are worth it and that you can and will do it is the foundation for everything.
You have no reason to be ashamed for who you are. You have an innate way of viewing the world that nobody can or ever will repeat and the sooner you understand that, the better self-awareness you will have. Think of a time when you told yourself “I can’t do this,” and when you listened to that voice, chances are you failed or didn’t even try. Now think of a time when you thought “This is going to be tough, but I can get through it,” and when you listened to that voice, chances are you fought through it and you accomplished it. If you look at the self-power difference in the statements you made to yourself, there’s a stark contrast between the emotions you felt. One emotion drains while the other fuels the passion to ensure your success.
We’ve all heard people who have said “I removed can’t from my vocabulary!” That’s one approach to getting over the initial insecurity of any obstacle, but it doesn’t get you very far. Let’s start by acknowledging that there are things in this world that you and I cannot do. We could list off some of them right now; write them down. The key to what we can and cannot do it the why. Write down why. What people don’t recognize is that the why is the first step in determining how we can change can’t into can. One thing on my list is: I can’t fly a plane. My why’s are the qualifications and certifications necessary. There’s no reasons why I can’t do those things. The image of me flying a plane is not so impossible now.
There’s an exercise that I learned from Jack Canfield to help eliminate the negative self-image and to assess the can’ts we find within ourselves. It starts by not removing “can’t”, but replacing it with “choose not to.”
I can’t fly a plane to I choose not to fly a plane
It’s a subtle change, but it puts the whys into perspective by requiring you to take responsibility. The next step of the exercise is to talk to yourself and reinforce the positive thoughts we should remember about ourselves. By transcending our limiting beliefs, we give power to the emotions we desire to define our self value. It opens the doors for our withdrawn authentic selves to step into our purpose. The best way to begin is to physically stand in front of your mirror and talk to yourself. You’ll feel ridiculous at first (I did), but when you move past it, the boost you experience is remarkable. Use these thought to visualize yourself standing in your purpose, overcoming the can’ts, and moving toward your ultimate dream.
What are your limiting thoughts? How do you deal with them? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!