Only you are holding yourself back

What are you?

What are you made of?

What are you capable of doing, and not doing?

Think. Sit back and think about those questions again.

“You” are only the perception of what you have made out to be. At a meta physical level, there is no “you” if you think it does not exist. So, what should be the real you as you think it  to be.

So, why do we build walls around ourselves and perceive those walls to be the boundaries for our progress?

Take an example.

I am good at technology. I am keenly interested in what is happening around me in the world of tech – may it be the latest Android developments, a new programming language, or how human life is made a 1000x better by the presence of computers, robots and machines.

I am not so much interested in taking people along with me. I try to shift responsibilities since I am extremely sensitive to how other people think and act to my diktats. That kinda makes me weak in playing politics. And, playing politics is one of the things you do as a manager.  (Remember I did not say “dirty politics”. Politics is part and parcel of life when there is work to be done in a people set up).

The first part of the paragraph is all good. It is a good habit to create something – physically, or programmatically. A lot of new ideas get generated, innovation happens, and in general, people including me will be better off when that knowledge is dispersed.

The second part is the “limiting part”. I don’t like something does not mean I cannot do it. For any substantial work to be done we need “hands on deck”. This arrangement needs a specific structure where work is distributed, and gets done from multiple points to move the entire body of organization towards progress.

This is not difficult to understand. So, why does it appear difficult to a person like me?

That is my own doing. The reasons can be multiple, but ultimately I recognize those are *my* excuses for not getting things done.


– I cannot work with a problematic bunch of people because they are problematic

– I let things be even when I disagree because I don’t like to argue my side of things

– I want to let go of the so called managerial duties because I have to focus on tech side of things

Those reasons exist because I want them to.


Brain does the trick

Brain is a strange creature. There are more inter-connections between neurons that exist well within the brain, than the connections that exist between sensory perceptions and processing neurons.

So, there is this mechanism of the brain starting to predict things on what needs to happen. Brain predicts, and waits for the sensory perceptions to correct the prediction at any point in time.

This may mean that we are anxious for the predictions to turn right. This makes us choose our boundaries of existence, living and working. As we go along the daily life, brain will continue to predict on the happenings and we are all happy because the predictions turn out to be right.

We not only start loving the well we are in, but want the well to continue till time immemorial.

frog in a well

We like our biases about ourselves, and about the world. We want them to exist, we want them to be as they are, and we will continue to be in our own hole in the universe.

I am not saying this is wrong – but to suffer because of those limitations that we have set for ourselves certainly is.

It also so happens that change comes and destroys that predictability. Then, we become afraid. We are afraid of change since that pushes us out of the well, out of our comfort zones.

Destroy those boundaries

Destroy your perception of you – all the time. Follow a few “proven” methods –

1. Say this to yourself – “there are no boundaries but my own”

There are no limits on what you can do in life, with the available time. If you are passionate enough on a topic – you will find the time, you will identify the resources, and will work really hard to succeed. You may fail once, twice or multiple times – but you will succeed finally. There is no way on earth that failures will follow failures all the time (except when you don’t learn from them).

2. Play games on yourself

You do not think that you can complete a given task at hand by tonight? Take it as a challenge and prove it that you can.

You think travelling on a particular route is stressful because of all the hairpin bends? Force yourself to take that route, and force yourself to enjoy the scenery and the skilful drive to go with it.

3. Be self depreciative

Be self depreciative in the right way. Think of yourself as a super power by all means, but a super power who is not afraid to commit mistakes, of admitting those mistakes and learning from them.

Make jokes on yourself. Jokes are a good way to communicate to others and yourself that you have established boundaries, but are not afraid to destroy them.

4. Think life as a journey that matters

You can always think that “reaching somewhere” is where the happiness lies. But, if you have not found by yourself, that it is not true.

You will certainly be happy for a few hours, days or weeks, and then routine takes over. Routine makes you believe that you have to be somewhere else to be happy. In the case of life, the journey matters.

You have to learn to think “today is the day”, “this moment is the moment” that makes life worth living. Why not make that journey enjoyable by making it limitless?

5. Firmly believe that you can succeed in whatever you can set your sights on

You certainly have it in you. All it takes is some work, some focus, will power and some luck to make it happen. You take care of the first three, and try again at success if that doesn’t happen the first time.

Believe me when I say this – you have it in you to turn a goal into reality. It is only that you have constrained yourself in order to not achieve it.

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