“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?” ~Soledad O’Brien

You’ve been trying and failing for too long. So, what gives? Are you as limited as you think you are, or is something else going on?

It could be that you’ve limited yourself. Most limitations are, in fact, self-imposed, for one reason or another.

7 Ways to Recognize Self-Imposed Limitations

So how can you tell when a limitation is real or something else entirely?

Look for the word ‘they.’

Anytime you make a “they” statement what you’re talking about is your self-doubt. You may feel like they are keeping you in the same boring job or from becoming financially independent, but in truth, it’s your fear holding you back.

Have you checked your motivation?

Could be that you’ve lost sight of why you want what you want. When your goal becomes muddled and unclear, it can look and feel like a limitation.

Are you feeling vulnerable?

When you’re worried about how you’re going to look to other people, it’s easy to put limitations on your actions. Let’s face it; no one likes to be the subject of other people’s laughter. The question is, is anyone paying any attention? Most of the time when we’re worried about how we’re going to be perceived, there’s no one even paying close attention.

Do you lack confidence?

If you’ve started doubting your ability to reach your goal, it’s easy to formulate limitations to keep you from having to go further. If this is the case, then it’s time to look back at your history. Where have you succeeded before? What does that tell you about your ability to handle this situation?

Have you tried asking for help?

Are you stalled out due to lack of knowledge or because you’ve gone as far as you can on your own? It might be time to enlist the help and support of a mentor or partner to help you push past this particular limitation.

Where are you emotionally?

Is depression or worry keeping you down and inventing excuses to stall out? Address the emotional issues that are making you feel like you can’t get past this point.

Do you need a mental health day?

If you’ve been plugging along for a while without seeing much success, it’s easy to get burned out and then perceive that as a limitation. Try taking a day off so you can get your head back in the game tomorrow.

Recognizing when you’re at the root of these self-imposed limitations is a good thing because that means you also have the tools to get past this point. Close self-examination will help you determine what you need to do to move past this point, and so find the success that is waiting for you.