Nov 23, 2016

The Biggest Traps That Hurt Your Potential and How to Handle Them

You will have heard sayings such as,”Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right,” or “Your mind is the limit.”

While you may brush these comments aside as cliched pop psychology, there is definitely a trend in society to prove otherwise. Read any interview with a successful person, and they will always state that they believed they could do something before they did it.

Mindset is so much more than affirmations, and it seems to go a long way to predicting our outcomes. When we are thinking like winners we do not let things hurt our potential because we have a better attitude and can muster more energy to work around any obstacles in our path.

So with this awareness, let’s look at two common traps that damage our potential for achievement and success, and how to fight them.

1. Procrastination

Procrastinating on a deadline can feel like a tug of war in your head between your sensible, adult voice, and your inner child who wants to go outside and play. The desire us humans all have for instant gratification, the voice that tells us to have an ice cream before dinner, is a natural part of who we are. And I think it would be a shame to loose that fun-loving spontaneity entirely.

Thankfully, we have an adult voice in our head too. She is the one who manages the bills and plans for the future. When you are procrastinating on a boring task, ask yourself these two things. Firstly, is this just my desire for instant gratification, or is it self-sabotage? If it is the latter, we will get into that shortly.

Secondly, if it is the desire for instant gratification, then could you parent your inner child a bit? Use a reward as a goal to aim for. For example, when I have filed my tax return I can… and then choose something you really love doing.

Read also – 7 Effective Ways to Overcome Procrastination

2. Self-sabotage

Okay, here is where things get a little more serious. There is a deeper level to procrastination too, and it is wrapped up in a bizarre co-dependent relationship with your ego. It goes a little something like this.

When we have spent our formative years in the presence of negative people, we have allowed their beliefs to shape our own. Parents, teachers, or extended family have passed on their beliefs that the world is a dangerous place, good things happen to bad people, and work is not supposed to be fun.

When we believe something ourselves, our ego wants it to be true. You see, our ego needs to be right. So much so that on a subconscious level we actively sabotage our own chances of success, just so that we can be right about life being hard.

I know that can be hard to accept. But have a think about the last time you lost out on something? Was there a little part of you that felt validated?

Just understanding this human drive to be proven right can open your perspective right up. Once you know that you might be sabotaging yourself, and you understand that it is a normal, human reaction, you can keep your eyes open and not fall into the same trap.

Read also – 8 Obvious Yet Ignored Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Career

Have you ever caught yourself saying that something sounded too good to be true? Well, how about hoping to be proven wrong once in a while? Your ego will hate it, but your inner child will love it. And of course, as your mindset changes to focus on possibilities rather than limitations, your potential will grow and grow.

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