When you listen to people, you can hear the funniest things. We were connecting with a friend the other night and were talking about being positive.
“I stink at positivity!” They blurted out.
We all laughed.
For the remainder of our time together I kept coming back to that statement. I haven’t been able to shake it.
Our words reveal so much about us.
We can be so hard on ourselves.
Our words can create self-imposed limits.
We stop pushing against and become defined by those limits.
Spend the next few days listening to your own words, and those around you. Listen especially for the “I am” statements. Once you understand the landscape, maybe a similar approach can be used to reverse the trend.
Instead of limits, we could speak of possibilities.
“My positivity can be better, and I am making progress.”
This conversation reminded me of another recent interaction I had with someone who runs. I kept hearing the same statement over and over.
“I am not a runner.”
When I pressed further, I realized that this person ran about five races last summer. They trained hard, but past self-limits had convinced them that they were not a runner. They had convinced themselves that “a runner” was a specific kind of person who was better, faster, and thinner than they were.
We talked about how contrary this self limit was in the face of the evidence.
Running Shoes: Check.
Running regularly: Check. (But the internal voice kept telling them it wasn’t enough.)
Running outfits: Check.
Running five races: Check.
The evidence was clear: and it added up to a runner. However, the self-limiting narrative remained. It took few tries, but eventually they were able to articulate the change.
“I am a runner.”
Without these self-imposed limits…we may just Change the World.