“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today” – Les Brown
The biggest thing that limits our possibilities is the tunnel vision we create about what is possible for our future. When you’re doing pretty much the same thing for many years, it’s easy to develop a narrow view of who you are and what you’re capable of.
We begin to believe that our job defines us. That this is all we know how to do. That this is all we can do. We dare not imagine that there are more possibilities for us. When in fact, it’s our own mindset that limits us.
As an Executive Coach, I have the great pleasure of speaking every day to people who want to make a bigger impact. Leaders who know they have more to offer and want to make a bigger difference, whether it’s in the professional arena, in the community they live in or in society at large. But often this is also when tunnel vision sets in.
We buy into the stories we tell ourselves. The ‘buts’ that keep us from seeing greater possibilities, much less taking action to explore them further.
Among them, they include –
… but I don’t have the right experience
… but I only know how to do sales or marketing or (insert yours)
… but I can only earn good money by staying in this role or industry
… but I’m too old to try something new
… but that’s only something I dream about. It’s not realistic
While the ‘buts’ are different for each of us, they all have one thing in common. With each ‘but’ we tell ourselves, we close our minds to the potential of more.
It’s as if you’re driving down this long tunnel with blinkers on and you’re missing all the exit signs that lead off to great new exciting places. It’s not the lack of choices that’s keeping you stuck on the road you’re on. It’s your tunnel vision.
When it comes to creating more possibilities, adopt a growth mindset as described by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Embracing a growth mindset will help you see the unknown as an opportunity to learn and grow, and that new abilities can be developed through practice.
There are a world of possibilities out there. Get rid of those preconceived ideas of what’s possible and take those blinkers off.
Creating more possibilities requires a little bit of faith and sometimes a whole lot of courage. But the first and most important step is to open your heart and mind.
Life then becomes a journey filled with possibilities. It’s then up to you to choose which ones to pursue.