How We Limit Ourselves and Our Results
I’m not always one for quotes unless they really hit you with simplicity, or they really make you think. This one stood out for me as it highlighted how we limit ourselves and our results and simply begs the question “Am I really reaching my potential?”.
It was shared by a friend, Stefan Drew, who is often referred to as The Marketing Magician. He’s been running a series of ideas on improving thoughts in marketing and I’m really grateful he shared it as I hadn’t heard it before and he knows how passionate I am about mindset and our potential.
How Do We Limit Ourselves and Our Results?
The quote is by Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher who said “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world“.
If I had read that years ago it wouldn’t have probably just passed me by. But reading it now, it makes so much sense and is pretty deep but at the same time very simple.
As people, we’re always looking to improve something, whether that something is in our personal lives, our business or on the sports fields. But the reality is, too often we limit ourselves and our potential simply by the way we look at things i.e. through our own shortsightedness and narrow vision, which really are down to our mindset and what Schopenhauer called our own field of vision.
All too often we merely accept what is and we don’t question what really may be possible. If, we don’t believe something is possible, it’s not worth trying….. even for someone else, as they think if they can’t do it, nobody else can!
Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many people with this mindset in charge of a department, team or groups of people and trying desperately to make things happen but often failed due to their own limitations. The thing is they weren’t even aware of it.
Our beliefs drive our behaviour.
A Short Example
Years ago in my corporate career, I was intrigued as to how some guys seemed to be climbing up the ladder almost effortlessly whilst others struggled. The amazing thing was hearing the guys who struggled, talk so negatively about how the successful guys were doing so well was because ‘they went to the right school’ or ‘were born with a silver spoon in their mouth’ or ‘were always lucky’.
I’m sure you’ve heard something like that before.
The reality was, they weren’t aware of their own negativity, shortcomings and their short-sightedness, which translated those limitations onto the world view.
Would those guys have moved up the ladder quicker if they a greater belief in their own ability and potential? And would they have seen more of it in others?
Without a doubt. I am sure of it
You Hold the Key to Your Results
Reaching our potential is a phrase often used, but not often thought about with any real focus on the question of ‘Why we don’t fulfil it?’.
It’s all about limitations and limiting ourselves. This quote by Schopenhauer only really helps with if we take the time to think into it and what it means to each of us individually, as we all have different thoughts and limitations, through our limited thinking.
Only we can decide.
As a kid growing up, I was very much into sports and was always fascinated by what makes one person successful or manage to keep going when another would give up. Especially when we had to do cross country on sports afternoon.
I couldn’t stand it; pounding the streets and fields in trainers, running to the point of exhaustion and would get out of it any opportunity I could.
However, it was a different story when it came to football. I’d be happy to run myself into the ground on my own practicing or playing a game with whoever as around.
A Different Perspective
The interesting thing that came to mind since reading Schopenhauer’s quote was:
Did I not enjoy cross country because I didn’t think I was any good at it? or could I ever really become good at it, if I didn’t believe I could?
Did I really want to reach my potential in terms of cross country running? Definitely not.
I say that now as I run on a treadmill, something I do enjoy as part of a healthy lifestyle, but would never have dreamed of doing all those years ago. But I can reach my potential, if I want to. it’s down to me.
That all lead me to the question of where else may I have been limiting myself?
A Very Brief Conclusion
Belief does drive behaviour.
I’d encourage you to look at the quote again and spend some time thinking into the question and ask yourself …..Am I reaching my potential? and where might you be limiting yourself with your current viewpoint.
If you would like to know more about how I may be able to help you with this and other areas for you or your team, contact me by clicking here.