How to Dispel Limiting Assumptions

One of the best ways to dispel limiting assumptions is to change the reality those assumptions create.

Let’s say, for example, that I once told myself I couldn’t start my own business because I didn’t have enough of a network. Or that I couldn’t build much of a network because I’m too introverted. The assumptions I made about my resource limitations ended up defining my reality and the scope of what was possible.

Following this example a bit further—and, you guessed it, it’s not actually hypothetical—what if I started my own business anyway? Maybe the imperatives of my own vision and my need for autonomy outweighed the assumptions. By creating that new reality, the assumption that I didn’t have a sufficient network lost its mental anchor. I started making more connections in the course of growing my business, which then set my assumptions about introversion adrift, freeing my introversion to connect to a wider new reality where I could see and deploy the superpowers inside it.

And here’s the point. If you find yourself thinking I can’t [outcome] because of [limitation], getting rid of [limitation] may not be the most effective path. Just change [outcome] anyway. Not only does [limitation] dissipate, but the unseen benefits and powers embedded in [limitation] begin to emerge. And in turn [outcome] becomes even better than your [limitation]-inflected thinking imagined. This shift in mindset works for both personal/professional development (inward goals) and for projects/business strategies (outward goals).

I think it’s actually a fairly common pattern, but we don’t always notice it or put it to work for ourselves If you think about it, you might see times where it has worked for you even without consciously intending to do it. What are you doing now that seemed impossible through the lens of some past—maybe even forgotten—assumption?

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