When it comes to both personal and professional growth, the only truly fundamental limits are the ones you place on yourself. Ask yourself: What limits in your life are self-imposed, and what can you do to eliminate them?
One common and fundamental limit is your attitude, both toward yourself and others. We’ve all had circumstances when someone else’s lack of faith in our ability to succeed made our path much harder – a teacher, coach, manager or family member, for instance – but it’s challenging for us to step back and recognize when our own skepticism toward ourselves was the truly limiting factor. Can you truly say that you are as positive and supportive about yourself as you would be about a loved one, friend, valued colleague or other important person in your life? If not, why not? Is your skepticism rational, about something you need to address, or is it baseless and only getting in the way?
We also limit ourselves when we fail to have a plan for personal growth. That’s not to say that we must have every step mapped out for the rest of our lives, but just as a business requires a plan that puts it in a position to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, so should we all have a personal plan for growth that both keeps us moving forward and prepares us for the inevitable ups and downs life brings.
One final way in which we limit ourselves is by failing to ensure we’ve got the right tools. This doesn’t mean power drills and hammers – although those are nice to have – but rather the personal and professional skills and capabilities necessary for us to continue growing and succeeding. You wouldn’t hire a carpenter who didn’t own tools, you wouldn’t go to a doctor who hadn’t finished medical school and you place a hard limit on yourself if you’re not constantly developing your personal toolkit so that you’re ready for the next step. This can mean everything from formal training in professional skills such as a programming language to work developing “soft” skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution or negotiation.
What limits are you placing on yourself? What could you accomplish if you removed those limits? And put yourself in a better place to grow and succeed.