Are Your Limitations Self-Imposed?

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    124 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    Whenever someone says you can’t do something—what they really mean is that they can’t do it.

    People put limitations on themselves to protect themselves from the disappointment of failure. They then believe they’re helping you by sharing those same limitations with you. Therefore, they will feel threatened when you challenge those limitations or prove them wrong.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    One thing for you to ask yourself

    How many limitations do you feel the people in your life put on you and your potential?

    If the answer is anything other than “zero,” then you should think deeply about some of your relationships.

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Think of one of the limitations you’ve bought into about yourself. Now ask yourself, “What if it’s incorrect? What would that mean for my life?” If possible, act this week as though that limitation is wrong. See how it feels.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to start doing one thing you value and stop wasting time on things that don’t matter.

    Carolyn deleted a gaming app that had hijacked her time:

    Your email couldn’t have come at a better time (pun intended).

    I’ve been struggling financially and recently I’ve fallen for one of those apps where you play games in exchange for gift cards. I spent a full week playing in my free time, instead of spending time with my loved ones. And at the end, all I had to show for it was a $10 gift card. I could’ve just shown up for work ten minutes early instead of ten minutes late the whole week and probably made more money.

    My therapist says I need to listen to my ‘wise mind’ more often. That little voice in my head that tells me the things I need to hear, but don’t want to. Like a mini Disappointment Panda, except she’s dressed like a 70s mom in a ruffled apron. She says, ‘You should probably delete that app, and all those silly games on your phone.’ Alright, you weird Wise Mind Panda Mom hybrid. I’ll do that right now.

    Another reader took an action that’s seemingly becoming more common, they deleted all of their social media accounts:

    Last week I decided to delete all my social media accounts.

    I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and time has appeared everywhere. I’ve almost finished a book I just started, I’m falling asleep faster, I’ve had several phone conversations, met someone for coffee, and I’m finding time to just sit with my daughter and goof off. Social media really is an ‘attention-sucking slot machine.’

    In another classic scenario, Natalie realized she’s been lying to herself and prioritizing work over the people who matter most, her family:

    I love my work, but I love my family more. So why am I spending so many more hours at work rather than with them? It’s not for the money… I already earn abundantly. Why am I still at the office until 7pm instead of having dinner with my family? Your prompt made me see the flaw in my priorities. My family resents me because I don’t make them my #1 priority. Yet because I am the main breadwinner, I kept thinking that I was making them a priority by providing for them financially. My allocation of time is all wonky.

    My relationship with my husband and children brings me far more joy than my relationship with my clients. Thank you for letting me see the fallacy of my thinking so clearly. From today onward, I will focus on spending more time with the most important aspect of my life: my family.

    In his new book, tech pioneer Kevin Kelly had a great line about the work/family trade-off, and how so many people get it wrong. He wrote,

    For the best results with children, spend half the money you think you should, and double the time.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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