How To Remove Your Self-Imposed Limitations

Culture Change

Our mindset, not our failures, holds us back.

Failure may not be an option, but it is inevitable. And it is not meant to stop us from moving forward. Too often, a failure does just that, and we quit trying. Depending on how we respond to failure, we may never come close to achieving our potential.

John Maxwell, world-renowned author, calls this the ‘Law of the Lid’. He says we all put a self-imposed lid on our potential. The example he uses demonstrates this concept: Imagine a mason jar. In the mason jar you put in some fleas. Then you add the lid.

The fleas jump and hit the lid. Over time, they train themselves to jump just short of the lid. When the lid is taken off the fleas start to die in the jar from lack of food and water. They trained themselves to avoid a lid that no longer existed. We humans do the same thing.

Imagine a time when you tried to do something more than once and each time you failed. Did you tell yourself “this will never work”, or “I’m just not good at this”? This self-defeating approach makes us give up or stops us from trying new approaches.

How can you take the lid off of your jar and try again? You are in good company: It took J.K. Rowling 7 years to publish her first Harry Potter book; Walt Disney was told he lacked creativity, Steve Jobs was fired from the company he started, and Arianna Huffington got rejected by 36 publishers.

Think about where in your life you haven’t achieved your potential due to your self-imposed “lid’? Ask a friend, coach or mentor to help you see what you cannot see. Reclaim your potential and take the lid off your jar.

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“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

― Henry Ford