What is the most limiting challenge you will ever face in your life and in your leadership?
Contrary to what you might think, it isn’t money. It isn’t a lack of opportunity. And it isn’t even a lack of talent.
Too many people have risen to greatness from nothing for us to go on believing that we’re simply limited by those factors.
No, the most limiting challenge you will ever face in your life and leadership is… your own beliefs.
What you believe about God, about yourself, about the world, about other people… those beliefs will determine how high you can rise and how much progress you can make in growing from where you are to where you need to be.
Some all too common, severely limiting beliefs we hang onto would include…
- Whatever others think or say about me must be true.
- I am chained to my past mistakes, unable to grow past them.
- I just don’t have the right personality for what I really want to do.
- I don’t have the talent or charisma that successful people have.
- I am what I am and I can’t change much about myself.
I’ve thought all of those thoughts at one time or another in my life. But in the last few years, I’ve gotten sick and tired of being bound by them. I’ve decided to start rejecting them.
Instead, I’m choosing to believe differently.
And by the way, before you can get very far, you’ll have to admit that beliefs are chosen.
Some men choose to believe they have fallen out of love, rather than choosing to keep on loving and pursuing.
Some men choose to believe they are all that they disliked about their fathers, rather than choosing to chart a different course.
Some men choose to believe mediocrity, or even misery, is just the way life has to be lived, rather than making changes.
I’ve coached a counseled a lot of guys in the last couple of decades, and in almost every case, I’ve come to see that we are our own worst enemies.
Right now, there are men who could lead their families on a big adventure, but they don’t believe they can do it.
There are men who can have thriving marriages, but they believe it’s impossible to recover the spark.
And too many men, when staring at the possibility of success, wreck and sabotage their potential by believing that nobody would want to be led or influenced by them.
When you believe you’re powerless, there isn’t much hope that things will improve. And granted, you can’t invent money, or opportunities, or resources out of thin air, like magic. So in that sense, you might be powerless.
But there is one power you do have that nobody can truly take away from you.
You have the power to choose your beliefs.
You don’t always get to choose your circumstances, but men have lived in suffering and slavery and captivity and debilitating physical illnesses who have chosen to believe certain things about themselves and their world that have enabled them to endure and to develop a kind of resilience the rest of the world only envies.
You rarely get to choose the course that others around you take. You can’t keep people from abandoning you or making hurtful choices. But you do get to choose whether the actions of others will define you or not.
It’s definitely time to evaluate your beliefs in life. Are you hopeful, or helpless? Will you lie down in fear, or lead out in faith?
Success might be a moving target, but personal growth is a journey that can be enjoyed every day. And personal growth always lies just beyond the next hill.
Can you take it?
Of course you can. You were born for it.