If you really want a successful life, stop telling yourself these 7 things

We all have dreams, but sometimes our own thoughts become barriers stronger than any external obstacle.

You might gaze upon your ambitions and find yourself besieged by doubts or feel unsure if you have what it takes to achieve them.

How do you know if what you’re telling yourself is just a healthy dose of realism, or the voice of self-sabotage that’s holding you back?

After poring over my journey and the success stories of people I admire, I compiled a list of 7 common statements that can thwart your potential. If these sound familiar, it might be time to reassess your self-talk.

1. “I’m not good enough.”

This statement is a silent killer of dreams. Underneath its seemingly harmless exterior lies a web of self-doubt and self-deprecation. It’s a phrase that subtly undermines your self-esteem, making you believe that you lack the skills or the worth to succeed.

You might think that saying this to yourself keeps you grounded in reality, keeps you humble. But in truth, it’s a mental trap that binds you to mediocrity.

Let’s be clear about one thing: No one is born with all the skills, knowledge, or experience they need to achieve their dreams. Every successful person starts from a place of not knowing or not being ‘enough’. But instead of letting that stop them, they viewed it as a starting point, as a reason to learn, grow and improve.

Remember this: You are enough just the way you are. And whatever you aren’t, you have the capacity to become. It’s time to stop telling yourself otherwise.

2. “Failure is not an option.”

Sounds like a motivational quote, right? It’s a statement that is often used to fuel our determination and resilience, to push us to strive no matter what. But this mindset, while inspiring on the surface, can sometimes do more harm than good.

Here’s the counterintuitive truth: Failure is not just an option, it’s a necessity. It’s an integral part of the journey towards success.

When you tell yourself that failure isn’t an option, you create a high-pressure environment where mistakes are unacceptable. This fear of failing can paralyze you, preventing you from taking the risks or making the bold moves necessary for growth.

Experiencing failure is not a testament to your inadequacy, but evidence of your effort. Each failure brings with it valuable lessons and opportunities for growth. So instead of fearing failure, embrace it as a stepping stone on your path to success. It’s time to redefine your relationship with failure.

3. “I don’t have time.”

This statement is perhaps one of the most common self-imposed barriers we erect. We tell ourselves that we’re too busy, that our schedules are overflowing, and we simply can’t spare the time to pursue our goals or invest in our personal growth.

But here’s a hard truth: We make time for what truly matters to us.

Take a moment and reflect on how you spend your day. How much time do you dedicate to mindlessly scrolling through social media? How many hours are spent on activities that don’t bring you closer to your goals?

The reality is, time is not something we ‘find’, it’s something we create. It’s about prioritizing, about consciously choosing to dedicate a portion of our day towards our dreams.

Every successful person has the same 24 hours in a day as you do. The difference lies in how they choose to use it. It’s time to stop telling yourself you don’t have time and start making time for what truly matters.

4. “I’m too old to start.”

This statement is a testament to the societal belief that there’s an ‘expiration date’ for chasing our dreams or starting something new. We convince ourselves that we’ve missed our window of opportunity and should just settle for what we have.

But consider this: Many successful people didn’t start their journeys until later in life. Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, was 62 when he franchised his company. Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until she was 40. Renowned author Mark Twain was 41 when he wrote “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

Age is not a barrier to success; it’s a collection of experiences and wisdom that can be leveraged. You’re never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream. It’s time to stop telling yourself it’s too late and start telling yourself it’s just the beginning.

5. “I don’t deserve success.”

This statement is a painful echo of a deeper wound, a testament to the struggles we have with self-worth. It’s a belief that success is reserved for others, not for us. That somehow, we are undeserving of the good things we desire.

But here’s the core truth: You, just like everyone else, are deserving of success.

You deserve to see your dreams become reality. You deserve to feel the joy and accomplishment that comes with achieving your goals. You deserve to reach the heights you aspire to.

It’s not about whether you’re worthy of success; it’s about whether you believe you are. And believe this: Every step you take, every effort you make, and every challenge you overcome is a testament to your worthiness.

You deserve to succeed as much as anyone else. It’s time to stop telling yourself otherwise and start embracing your worth.

6. “I must be perfect.”

This statement is a reflection of an unattainable ideal. It’s a self-imposed pressure to reach a state of perfection, where mistakes are unforgivable, and anything less than perfect is considered failure.

But here’s a fresh perspective: Chasing perfection doesn’t lead to success; it leads to stagnation.

Perfection is an illusion that prevents us from taking the first step because we fear it won’t be perfect. It stops us from releasing our work into the world because we think it could be better. It hinders our growth because it doesn’t allow room for mistakes and learning.

Life isn’t about being perfect; it’s about becoming better. It’s about progress, not perfection.

It’s time to stop striving for perfection and start striving for growth. Embrace your flaws, learn from your mistakes and remember that the road to success is paved with imperfections.

7. “I need to do it all on my own.”

This statement is a badge of self-reliance. It’s an assertion that we have to shoulder our burdens alone, that seeking help or collaboration is a sign of weakness.

But here’s the reality: Success is rarely a solo journey.

Even the most accomplished individuals didn’t reach the peak of their success alone. They had mentors guiding them, teams supporting them, and communities cheering for them. They understood that collaboration, mentorship, and shared wisdom are invaluable tools on the path to success.

Believing you have to do it all alone doesn’t make you stronger; it makes the journey harder than it needs to be. It’s time to stop viewing asking for help as a weakness and start recognizing it as a strength. Remember, we rise by lifting and learning from each other.

Reframing Your Mindset

The thoughts we feed ourselves can either be the nourishment that fuels our journey towards success or the poison that derails us. The statements we’ve discussed aren’t just self-talk; they are the manifestation of deep-seated beliefs that shape our perception of ourselves and the world around us.

We’ve all been guilty of feeding ourselves these thoughts at one point or another. We’ve all been held back by our doubts, fears, and misconceptions. But it’s important to realize that these beliefs are not fixed. They can be changed, and with them, our lives too.

Many of us fall into the trap of believing that our thoughts are a direct reflection of reality. But in truth, our thoughts are more like a lens through which we see reality. And just like a lens, they can distort, magnify or even completely alter what we see. This is why it’s crucial to become aware of our self-talk and actively work on reframing negative or limiting beliefs.

Reframing doesn’t mean ignoring reality or pretending everything is perfect. It means choosing to focus on possibilities rather than limitations, on growth rather than perfection, on self-compassion rather than self-criticism.

It means understanding that failure is not a dead-end but a detour to a better route. It means knowing that age is not an expiration date but an accumulation of experiences. It means recognizing that you don’t have to do it all alone, and reaching out for help is a testament to your strength, not a declaration of your weakness.

It’s about embracing the belief that you are deserving of success and that you are enough just as you are. And most importantly, it’s about understanding that your worth is not tied to your achievements but inherent in your being.

Reframing your mindset is not an overnight process. It requires patience, persistence, and a whole lot of self-love. But remember, every journey begins with a single step. And that first step is the decision to change.

Embracing the Journey of Self-Knowledge

Having unearthed these self-limiting beliefs, it’s likely that you’re standing at the edge of a profound realization – the understanding that to truly step into a successful life, you must embark on a journey inward.

As I navigated my own path towards success, I realized that my biggest hindrance wasn’t external obstacles but internal barriers. And at the heart of these barriers was a lack of self-knowledge. I was disconnected from my true nature, my values, and my potential. And this disconnection was fostering thoughts and beliefs that were holding me back.

Your true nature is not defined by societal standards, external expectations, or past failures. Your true nature is a unique blend of your talents, passions, and values. It’s the innate potential within you waiting to be unleashed.

Getting to know yourself is not just about identifying your strengths and weaknesses. It’s about understanding what lights your fire and what douses it. It’s about recognizing your values and aligning your life around them. It’s about understanding what success truly means to you.

When you understand your true nature, you can silence the self-doubt, combat the fear of failure, overcome the illusion of perfection, and eliminate the need to go at it alone. You realize that success isn’t a distant destination but a journey of becoming more aligned with who you truly are.

Feeling Adrift? Pinpointing Your Values Guides You Home

Do you sometimes question what really matters most in life? Feel unclear on the principles that should steer your decisions and path ahead?

It’s so easy to lose sight of our core values. Those essential truths that align our outer world with profound inner purpose.

That’s why life coach Jeanette Brown designed this simple yet illuminating values exercise. To help you define the 5 values most central to who you are.

In just a few minutes, this free download leads you to:

  • Discover what matters to you more than money or status
  • Clarify the ideals your choices should reflect
  • Create a guiding light to inform major life decisions

With your values crystallized, you’ll move through the world with intention, confidence, and meaning.

Stop drifting and download the Free PDF to anchor yourself to purpose. Let your values direct you home.


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