Get Out of Your Own Way

One of my friends recently recommended a book called: Get Out of Your Own Way (Mind Traps), by Tom Rusk, Hay House, 1988. So I picked it up and it's all about limiting beliefs that trap us into mindsets that imprison us. Rusk says: "The only lens you've ever looked through may be distorting your perspective." What are the mind traps that you, your employees, your co-workers or your work group have fallen into that may be impeding your progress?

Here are the cliff notes of his book listed under the five limiting beliefs I describe in How to Motivate Everyone-hopeless, helpless, useless, worthless, and blameless:

It's Hopeless (not possible)

  • People don't change, so there's no use trying.
  • I can't change because if I do I'll lose my identity

I'm Helpless (not capable)

  • Self-Doubt because I don't know if I can do it.
  • Fear of failure (Don't try because you might fail)
  • Shy and lonely (I don't know how to meet people)

It's Useless (not valuable)

  • Fear of Success, because it might not be worth it.
  • There's no use trying, because it won't work.

I'm Worthless (I'm not valuable)

  • Biased against myself
  • I blame myself
  • Jealousy
  • Rejection
  • Success means I'm worthy (I'm not worthy yet.)
  • Perfection means I'm worthy (I'm not worthy yet.)

I'm Blameless (I'm not responsible)

  • I blame others
  • My happiness is your responsibility

Rusk says that most mind traps are to reduce our fears:

  1. Compensate for fear of not being worthy (e.g., arrogance)
  2. I might lose my identity and sense of self
  3. Fear of life's uncertainties

These mind traps and limiting beliefs don't feel foreign because they are an embedded part of our personality, our mental software-our operating system. We fear that if we change them, we won't know who to be or how to be. So we settle for less in our personal and professional lives. We fall short of our dream.

But if you've read Motivate Everyone, you know that mindsets and limiting beliefs can be changed easily. And when you change a limiting belief, it's like installing a new version of software; you can't tell you've changed except you notice that your life starts working better.

Which of the mind traps triggered a feeling of uneasiness, discomfort or dread? Isn't it time you revised that belief and upgraded your mental software to eliminate the trap? Or are you going to wait until all you have is regret?

Which of the mind traps were you immune to? Have you applauded yourself for being good at making the impossible possible, learning how to do things successfully, valuing who you are, and taking responsibility for everything you do? How can you most easily leverage these strengths while upgrading the weaknesses?

Isn't it time you learned how to get out of your own way?


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