It seems like as we get older, the world tells us we can’t do something and we accept it. We grow with boundaries. We grow with limitations. We grow with less curiosity.
When I was a kid, I followed my heart. I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of the world and its rules and expectations, so I had no limiting thoughts.
When I was a pre-teen, I didn’t know that 9 out of 10 businesses fail. Thus, I began creating my own businesses. I painted rocks to be used as doorstops and sold them door-to-door. I also sold homemade candles and cookies. I changed my businesses and my interests with each passing season.
I loved being my own boss.
When I was in college, I decided I wanted a broadcast journalism internship. So one day, I called the anchor of a local news show and asked to be his intern. Surprisingly, he said yes. My professors were unhappy with my directness. “You should’ve gone through the proper channels,” they said. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to just call the anchor himself.
But after college, I became more aware of the preconceived rules and expectations that are swirling all around us. I dimmed my light and began to conform.
I started to almost believe the generalities like: Most businesses fail. Everyone gains weight when they get older. No one can make a living as a writer. All teenagers are moody and disrespectful. You can’t wear short skirts if you're over 35.
But not anymore.
I coach my clients to challenge themselves with these questions and statements:
Where are you limiting yourself?
What did you want to do before the world told you shouldn’t do it or you couldn’t have it?
Don’t believe everything you’re told.
Question the generalities.
Become the exception.
I’ll tell you what happens when you stop thinking your negative limiting thoughts.
You would make the call. Write the book. Start the business. Ask the guy on the date. Have a meeting with the boss and tell him you want a raise.
So let me ask you again: What did you want before the world told you couldn’t have it?
Now is the time.
Go and get it.