Sunday, August 3, 2008

Remove a Self-Limiting Mindset

"Baltimore: BELIEVE and CHANGE"

As research said, most people are unable to achieve their full potential, due to external reasons, such as underprivileged origin, limited resources, little education or internal reasons, such as no ambition, no discipline or indolence.

The saddest thing is that we have a self-limiting mindset — we think we cannot or should not achieve something before we even try. A self-limiting mindset is a product of your subconscious beliefs and your low self-image. It cripples you and holds you back in your progress to reach your full potential. It paralyzes your efforts. It is self-defeating.

The biggest obstacle to success is not typically the individual's ability or potential but rather their self-imposed limitations. It is sad to spend our lives under-achieving, not because of conditions, events, environments and luck, but primarily because of our self-limiting beliefs. We can change it. I ever lived through this transformation and I still work on it.

I ever was a motivated little girl, who always got straight A in class and got full mark at Math. I enjoyed admiration from classmates and praise from teachers. However, after I was at college level, I lost all my ambitions. I accepted the skewed preconception that girls are unable to excel at science or girls who excel at science are not loveable. I became mediocre and drifted along time. I may fritter my life away like this, until I realized if I didn’t outshine, I couldn’t survive, not to say to reach my high expectation of life. I became conscious that I was my worst enemy to my progress in life. I needed fundamental change.

My husband played a role as catalyst during my metamorphosis. He is an assertive person, but he always asks for my opinion to show his respect and collect different viewpoints. He asked me to be the home wireless network manager, through which, I found I have computer savvy and am technical shrewd. He always tells me “You can.” My opinion was never taken so seriously before. My husband builds up my confidence and is reducing my self-limiting mindset. Trust and encouragement from caring person make more subtle changes than strict instructions from a knowledgeable person.

I never thought I could do creative writing in English, which is my second language; also, I never took any writing courses. After I heard my alumnus Ms. Yiyun Li published a collection of short stories “A thousand Years of Good Prayers” and she earned Hemingway Literature Award in United States, I got an urge to write in English, too. Although I cannot reach the level that Ms. Yiyun Li ever achieved, I really could express my feelings and told my stories clearly.

If you believe you can, you can. It applies to any field, science, technology, medicine, engineering or sports. Forty years ago, there was a deep-rooted belief that 10 seconds were ultimate human physical limit for 100 meters sprint. The doctors said it was impossible for man to push beyond this limit. Until Jim Hines of the United States ran 100-meter-dash at 9.95 seconds at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, a lot of athletes broke through 10 seconds one after the other. Their physical strength didn’t change much, but their mindset was totally different. Since Jim Hines did it, they could do it, too. They believed they could, they put their mind, heart and strength into their race, and they did it. The Olympic motto “faster, higher, stronger” confers a strong belief in unending improvement. You can always raise the barriers and push the limits.

Yes, we can do a lot of things if we think we can. Eliminating a self-limiting mindset, we can tap our true potential and release our interior energy. We ladies can excel at math and science. We can be emotional, artistic and analytic. We can be beauties, and have smarts and intelligence at the same time. We can have great careers and have beautiful families as well. We can not only enjoy our own life but also make positive impact on society.

You own mind is your hindrance to big achievement. Remove your self-limiting mindset, think positively, and relieve your amazing potential to reach boundless opportunities. Your life is in your own hand.

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