10 things you don’t realize you’re doing that limit your potential

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A couple of years ago, I was feeling stuck in my life. I was working hard, but I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I couldn’t understand why. 

Until I realized something – I was unknowingly doing things that were limiting my potential. 

I’ve since learned to overcome these obstacles, and I’m here to help you do the same if you’re struggling with this issue.

So, let’s dive into 10 sneaky things you may be doing that are holding you back and keeping you from being your best version! 

1) Not setting clear goals

One of the biggest things I realized in my own journey is this – I was stuck in a dead-end job, but the problem was, I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I was at a loss about what I wanted to do. 

So basically, I was letting the days play out, blurring into one another, all looking the same because there was nothing to look forward to. 

I mean, what was I aiming for, exactly? 

That was my turning point. I had to quickly figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. What was my purpose? What would I love to do every single day so that life feels meaningful? 

Once I figured that out, the road became clear. It certainly didn’t look easy, but at least now I had a compass guiding me. Everything I did, every task I lined up for myself all served to nudge me closer to my goals. 

How to overcome this: 

Write down your short-term and long-term goals. Be specific, and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. This will give you a clear roadmap to follow and help you stay motivated.

2) Overthinking every decision

Now, just because you have goals in mind doesn’t mean it’s going to be all easy-peasy. If you’re like me (the old me), you likely struggle with decision-making, too. 

You get caught in a loop of endless what-ifs, thinking about all the possible outcomes. 

Does that sound familiar? Believe me, I get it! 

But here’s the thing: overthinking only wastes time and energy. It’s a surefire way to stop you from taking action. 

And staying in that loop? It means you aren’t growing and thriving. 

How to overcome this: 

Try time-blocking your decision-making process. Give yourself a specific amount of time to weigh your options, and then make a choice. 

Keep in mind: progress is better than perfection. You might not be 100% sure about your decision, but at least you’re moving things along!

And if it turns out to be the wrong move, don’t dwell on it, as the next section shows…

3) Dwelling on past mistakes

We all make mistakes. Yup, even when you’ve thought through a decision 10,000 times, it’s not a guarantee that it’s foolproof. 

I’ve made my fair share, and I’m sure you have too. And it’s good to make mistakes – they’re perfect for teaching us what not to do next time! 

But dwelling on them? That’s a sneaky little thing that will lead you down a rabbit hole of pain and regret. 

How to overcome this: 

The next time you catch yourself ruminating on past mistakes, shift your focus to the lessons you’ve learned and how you can apply them moving forward.

4) Not stepping out of your comfort zone

The problem with dwelling on the past and not seeing mistakes as a recipe for growth is that it makes you fearful of taking risks

Like most people, I used to play it safe. I was so scared to mess up, so I never really went out of my comfort zone. 

But, of course, that turned out to be one of the things that got me stuck. Because after a while, I started feeling like I wasn’t learning anything new. 

I wasn’t pushing my boundaries and unlocking my full potential

So with that realization, I had to (wo)man up. I had to face that fear of failure. In fact, I went full-blast and dared myself to do something that scares me every day. 

How to overcome this: 

You could try what I did – list down your fears and set an intentional date for overcoming them. For example, I used to be scared of talking to strangers, so I wrote it down as a task to do on a specific day. 

I’ll warn you, it’s not going to be easy. But the good thing is, the more you push your limits, the more confident and resilient you’ll become. As you overcome your fears one by one, you’ll find yourself saying, “Hey, if I could do that, I can do this next one, too!”

5) Surrounding yourself with negativity

One thing I must stress as you begin facing your fears and lifting yourself up from the doldrums is the importance of being around positive forces

Look, energy is contagious. And when you’re trying to do something you’ve never done before, you need only positive energy to keep you going. 

Negativity has no place in the life of someone who’s trying to reach their fullest potential. The people you’re constantly with have a significant impact on your mindset. 

So if you’re constantly around negative people (or at least people who have no ambitions in life), it’s tough to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

How to overcome this: 

Seek out positive, like-minded individuals who will support and encourage you. 

Remember, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose your circle wisely.

6) Constantly seeking validation

I know I’ve said that support and encouragement from others are important, but I’d like to caution you against going overboard and constantly seeking approval. 

It’s a delicate balance, really. You want to feel supported, but you also don’t want to rely so much on other people’s opinions. Because that can make you lose sight of what truly matters to you. 

I get it; we all want to feel validated and appreciated. But if you want to reach your full potential, you need to get in tune with your gut and trust your own judgment. 

Instead, focus on building self-confidence and trust your own judgment. When you believe in yourself, you’ll naturally attract the right kind of validation from others.

How to overcome this: 

Focus on building self-confidence. List your strengths, achievements, and things you like about yourself. Celebrate your achievements and do affirmations regularly.

7) Comparing yourself to others

Knowing your own worth also helps prevent this nasty habit that can get in the way of your success – comparison. 

Comparing yourself to others is a really harmful habit that can damage your self-esteem. And there’s no point in it – we all have different strengths, weaknesses, and paths in life. 

It’s like comparing apples to oranges!

How to overcome this: 

Focus on your own progress. Use your own performance, not other people’s, as a benchmark for growth and improvement. 

8) Procrastinating

Oh, I’ve been guilty of this one so many times. I used to put things off, only to feel overwhelmed when deadlines loom. 

Do you do the same thing? 

Well, time to quit that! Procrastination might give you relief in the moment, but in the long run, it only adds stress to your life and keeps you from reaching your goals

How to overcome this: 

Try breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. I also recommend the Pomodoro Technique. Work on a task for 25 minutes, then take a short break. This method helps you stay focused and productive without feeling overwhelmed.

9) Over-committing 

Have you ever found yourself saying “yes” constantly, then feeling overwhelmed by how much you have on your plate?

It’s great to be ambitious and take on new challenges, but over-committing can lead to burnout and limit your potential

When you try to do too much at once, you spread yourself too thin. And you might think you’re getting more done, but you actually aren’t. 

What’s even worse is that whatever your output is, it’s not as good as it should be.  

The key here is to remember that it’s better to excel at a few things than to be mediocre at many.

How to overcome this: 

Prioritize your tasks and say “no” when necessary. Focus on the most important goals and delegate or eliminate tasks that don’t align with your priorities. 

10) Neglecting self-care

Learning how to say “no” is part of a bigger picture – self-care. 

I used to think that self-care was only for those who had lots of time and not much to do. 

Boy, I learned this one the hard way. 

I finally had my goals, and I was all gung-ho about pursuing success. But the problem was, I was now pushing myself too hard. I ended up with a bad case of burnout, and I was a huge ball of stress

So now I know…self-care should be at the core of all your goals in life. 

Because the reality is, everything else might fall away – opportunities, your money, your relationship – and you can still manage to be okay.

But once your health goes…that’s the end of it.

How to overcome this: 

Make sure you’re hitting the basics: enough sleep, nutritious food, regular exercise, and time for relaxation. It’s all about maintaining balance. 

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