Only if you'd been asleep for the past 25 years would you have missed the fact that the way you think creates or limits your results. In fact, it's been over 90 years since Napoleon Hill inspired our ancestors with the news that "the most powerful instrument we have in our hand is the power of our mind."
The issue is the gap between having this knowledge and putting it into practice. The negativity in our minds is so powerful and so insidious, that it's easy to fall under its spell and live your life as if what it's telling you is the way it is -- and there's nothing you can do about it. Worse yet, it's so much easier to believe the bad stuff than the good. For example, which of these statements is easier for you to believe?
A. 2012 is my best year yet!
B. There's no way that 2012 is my best year yet!
So, no surprise -- the biggest obstacle to your success is found between your two ears.
To make 2012 your personal best year yet, please stop trying to get rid of all your negative thinking at once because it just can't be done. By following the four steps below, you'll find your strongest limiting paradigm and create the way around it, once and for all.
In my last article about making resolutions that last, you answered the first three of the 10 "Best Year Yet" questions. Here you'll answer just the fourth question because it makes the biggest difference to you. The question is: "How Do I Limit Myself and How Can I Stop?"
Step 1 How Do I Limit Myself?
Do you know anyone like this? A guy you think is really, truly great. Lots of talent, intelligent, good-looking. But he doesn't produce results, doesn't make things happen. He has dreams and desires but never gets past talking about them.
And when you ask him about it, he says something like this, "I don't have the experience I need" "I can't afford it." "I don't know how" -- or another flavor: "I never seem to get the breaks." "I haven't got the time." "Face it, I'm not the kind of person to pull this off, right?" And then he'd like you, his friend, to agree with him -- to commiserate with him about his failure to make things happen. So easy to see the mental obstacles in others, right?
As a first step to discovering your limiting paradigms, explore the ways in which you are preventing yourself from getting what you want. Write your responses to the question, "How do I limit myself?" What is it you do, or don't do, that holds you back? Here are some examples:
- When I'm really attracted to someone, I don't do anything about it.
- I don't follow through on what I say I'm going to do.
- I waste time on my computer.
- I spend more money than I make.
This is the first step that leads to your discovery of the limiting beliefs that are leading to these limiting actions -- and therefore the results you are getting.
Step 2 How Do I Explain my Limitations?
Now it's time to discover how you explain and justify these behaviors by your limiting beliefs or paradigms. Start by completing this sentence:
I would really love to _________, but I can't because _________."
What you wrote in the second space is a limiting belief of yours -- maybe a really strong one. You assume this statement to be true and allow it to stop you, just as if there were a brick wall in front of you. Things are only true if you believe they are.
To take this step, ask yourself how you explain and justify your limiting actions. Here are some examples:
- I'm too old to look for a better job.
- I'm so unattractive, no one would be interested in me.
- I'll never be rich - I'm lucky to be earning what I do.
- I haven't got enough time to do what really matters to me.
Now look over your list and choose the one limiting paradigm that has the strongest negative influence on you. That belief is the biggest obstacle to your success in 2012.
Step 3 How to Stop Limiting Myself
To obliterate your obstacle, shift your attention to what you want.
Transformation is a fundamental change in the way you relate to who you are, what you do, and what you have in your life. When you create a shift in a limiting paradigm, you take charge of your life. You have transformed.
Whether limiting or empowering, the dynamic of paradigms is the same. You already know how to bring a paradigm to life -- just look at your list. Once you accept the dynamic of the self-fulfilling paradigm, you can use it to your advantage.
To write a new paradigm, look at your limiting paradigm. What statement would describe a new reality that would destroy your negative belief?
Don't put limits on what you want to create for yourself. Decide what you want and write a statement that expresses it clearly. How do you do that? You make it up!
Notice the way in which the new paradigms above are worded. Each meets the following criteria for an empowering paradigm:
- Present tense
- Powerfully stated
- Pointing to an exciting new possibility
Go beyond reasonableness and ordinary rationale. Make a quantum leap in your thinking. Allow yourself to think seriously about new possibilities and become enthusiastic about what could happen in your life.
My new paradigm for 2012? Everything I do makes a difference -- as if by magic!
I'll be writing in the next few days about your next step: "Giving Yourself a Performance Appraisal" -- questions 5, 6 and 7. The titles for all of the articles in this series will begin with the words "2012: Your Best Year Yet."
Please leave a comment or question below. Let us know how you're doing. By doing so, you'll inspire the rest of us. Or you can email me at email@example.com.
For more by Jinny Ditzler, click here.
For more on making it a healthy new year, click here.
If you want to complete your plan right away, there are a number of ways you can do so:
P.P.S. Over the next few days the purpose of my articles is to give you everything you need to make 2012 your personal best year yet. Here is a list of the previous articles in this series, as well as those on the way: