How To Remove Your Current Mental Limits and Do the Things Everyone Said You Couldn’t
You don’t have to end up like everyone else.
Growing up, you were told there were a lot of things you couldn’t do.
If you were a woman, you couldn’t become president. If you were a man, you couldn’t cry. If you were an artist, you couldn’t expect to make any money. That’s just how it is, you were told. There are rules you have to follow.
Maybe you did follow the rules. Maybe you tried your best to be what everyone wanted you to be.
That’s what I did. I tried my hardest to make people like me, to be what everyone wanted me to be. I never said no to anyone, ever. Doing so meant not being a “good guy.” And I really wanted to be a good guy, and I really wanted people to like me.
So why did it feel no one really liked me? Why did I not even like myself?
It was because I didn’t respect myself enough to even question the rules, let alone break them.
It took me years to unlearn these mental limits. It was messy — I was fired a bunch of times, I lost friendships, I went broke. Part of it was just me being stupid, but part of it was truly unavoidable: I had to learn how to unlearn all those rules.
Now, I’m a six-figure entrepreneur who works for myself. After 8+ years of therapy, counseling, and personal growth, I’ve removed many of the mental limits I learned growing up. I know I can do pretty much whatever I want with my life, even the things everyone told me I couldn’t do.
Here’s how to unlearn your mental limits and do the things everyone said you couldn’t.
Don’t Fear Being Different; Fear Fitting In With Mediocrity
“The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve problems.” -Robert Kiyosaki
Part of the reason most people hang onto their mental limits is that they’re scared; they’re scared if they remove them, they’ll be kicked out of the pack and left alone in the cold.
But you need to stop worrying about being different: worry about finding yourself right at home with mediocrity.
See, the world trains you to operate at substandard levels. Traditional structures like the broken education system, archaic 9–5 workday schedule, and endless amounts of addictive entertainment set you up for mediocrity. As Robert Kiyosaki once wrote, “Colleges are designed to make good employees, not good employers.” The world doesn’t set you up for informed, critical thinking; it sets you up to play by the rules.
Don’t fear being different — fear fitting in with mediocrity.
“You cannot allow the actions of others to define your reality,” prolific writer Steven Pressfield once penned. If you do, you lose control. Most people are consumed with competition and will manipulate you for their cause if you let them. Pressfield went on: “Those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.”
Most people just want to fit in and enjoy the safety of the herd — to fly under the radar, not rock the boat, and live as hassle-free as possible.
But eventually, hassle-free morphs into mediocrity. Best-selling author Grant Cardone once said, “If you are not creating enough new problems for yourself, then you aren’t taking enough action.” Struggle is growth. Experiments, even failed ones, lead to success.
Don’t worry about fitting in; you don’t want to be part of that club anyway.
“Take into account that you have been educated with restrictions. Be aware of this so that you don’t underestimate the possibilities.” -Grant Cardone
The Value of Listening to Doubters is at an Historic Low
Right now, the possibilities of success are more abundant than ever before. There’s enormous room for trial and error. In his book The Pocket Guide to Action, Kyle Eschenroeder stated simply: “With the lowered cost of trying things, it means the value of listening to doubters is at an historic low. They don’t know what’s possible.”
There are lots of reasons people tell you you can’t do things. Sometimes, it’s good-intentioned caution, like when my family and friends told me I couldn’t becoming an entrepreneur. Sometimes, it’s mean-spirited controlling by manipulative people, like my boss who said I couldn’t get a raise when everyone else did.
The value of listening to doubters is at an all-time low. Society and technology have become so advanced, humanity is still catching up with the new possibilities of our modern world. 20 years ago, you couldn’t make money doing what I do. My parents saw that, and it’s natural for them to think it’s still true.
But 20 years ago, the Internet was a little-known piece of technology many thought would go away. Working from home full-time was nearly impossible. Being an “entrepreneur” meant being the founder of yet another million-dollar company.
Everything is different now. Society is realizing that remote work, entrepreneurship, and modern lifestyles are becoming the new norm. Most of the people in power in the world are typically older, born and raised in a time where things went a certain way: You went to school, got a job, and worked in the same place for decades, finally retiring with a pension. But this isn’t how the world works anymore.
The value of listening to doubters is at an all-time low. People still don’t know what’s possible.
Don’t worry about impressing the old guard, focus on creating your ideal life.
You Don’t Have to Live the Life Everyone Else is Living
“Once in a while, it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” -Alan Keightly
In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, he reflected that one of the key moments of his youth was seeing a bodybuilder who wore glasses.
Until then, Schwarzenegger thought you could be either strong or smart — not both. But here was a man who was strong and smart (at least, the glasses made him look smart).
It was then he realized you didn’t have to choose just one identity — you could be everything you wanted.
I can relate. Growing up, it always seemed like you could be “A” or “B” — a jock or a thespian. A smart kid or a tough kid. Someone who parties or someone who goes to church.
But in high school, I did everything. I played Prince Charming in our school’s rendition of Into the Woods (something my wife mistakenly claims I tell people far too often). I was in drama and I played basketball. I was a quiet, soft-spoken guy with a small group of eclectic friends, but I was voted into the Big Man on Campus contest (another thing my wife claims I say too much).
You can be both. You don’t have to pick just one.
You don’t have to live the incomplete, insecure life everyone else is living.
If you’re a writer, you can also be a bodybuilder. If you’re a fashionista, you can be an excellent chemist. Lover and a fighter. Dreamer and a doer.
Most people think they have to choose, and begin living a narrow, limited life. For the most part, people with this mindset encourage others to live this narrow life as well.
You don’t have to live the life everyone else is living.
You can write down everything you want to be, and have all of it.
“The mediocre have a very narrow perception of reality, and in turn, their lives. They see things as they are, not how they can be.” -Ryan Holiday
In his now-famous commencement speech, Steve Jobs explained his best advice for a life well-lived:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart, and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
You don’t have to end up like everyone else if you don’t want to.
The majority of people don’t end up where they had hoped.
Here are some statistics to keep in mind:
- 46% of Americans are on track to retire with less than $10,000.
- When asked how many close friends they had, over 70% of participants in a survey by Cornell University answered less than 2.
- About 1 in 7 Americans has an addiction to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs.
- About 50% of Americans don’t use their vacation time (time they can’t rollover and save).
- Americans are working longer and retiring later.
- 40% — 50% of marriages end in divorce, but many more marriages end in the “Un-divorced” category — living together, but not happy.
These are the dangers many people will fall into. But you don’t have to. You can choose to be whatever you want to be. You can choose to have whatever you want.
You just have to be willing to do whatever it takes.
You could have an incredible, intimate marriage for the rest of your life.
You could be deeply spiritually engaged.
You could master new languages, instruments, and skills.
You could have best friends to joke around with for the rest of your life.
You could be muscular, healthy, fit, and strong.
You could become a multi-millionaire.
You don’t have to end up like most people.
You just have to do whatever it takes.
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