If you’re where you want to be in life and are fully content, then please either continue to read this book out of curiosity so you can pass on the wisdom, or pass on the book to someone who needs it.

If however you answered yes to any of the above questions then one somewhat simple but somewhat painful question, what holds you back?

Spend a minute to sit and ponder this question, and when you’ve got the answer, if it were not that, what else could it be?

Once you have got the answer to that, yes you’ve got it, what else could it be? In fact keep going until you cannot find any more possible reasons.

It always amazes me how we manage to continue to find answers to a question that we “knew” the answer for.

Typical answers people will include variations of:

• I’ve tried it before (and it didn’t work)
• Bob tried it before (and it didn’t work)
• I don’t have the time
• I don’t have the money
• I don’t know how to X
• I don’t know what I want (but this is not it)
• There is too much to do to get to X (it’s unachievable for me)
• I can’t do X because Y
• If I do X then Y will happen
• It may work for Bob but not for me
• My partner/family/friends will not approve/mock me

Yet day after day, year after year, people continue to achieve more than they and others ever thought possible.

We are not so much constrained and held back by our circumstances, but rather our thinking about our circumstances. Which is why two people with the same circumstances and ability achieve different results.

When one of my mentors said to me ‘the greatest thing that holds you back is actually you’, I naturally was affronted though continued listening, as I trusted him greatly.

Did he not understand that I am doing all these things, I’m putting my heart and soul into things, and I’m trying so much harder than everyone else at all these things?

I now know that I had been constantly looking back to past pains for motivation to keep driving forward. Whilst the intended destination may of have been right, the basis upon which I made my decisions about how to get there, the vehicles if you will, were often flawed or wrong.

You cannot effectively drive forward down the highway looking out whilst of your rear window, so why would you live life that way?

Your past is not your future, though you may find circumstances such as your bad debt or relationships are carried forward as artifacts of the past, they are just that and they can be changed.

The things that have got you this far may not be the things that get you to where you want to be to live your dreams.

I want to expand on something I touched upon earlier, that is to say that moment-to-moment without exception you are creating your reality. I’m not saying there aren’t things out there; rather our filters and beliefs distort our perceptions of them and what we consider real.

This has profound impact on how we view the world, and what we feel is possible for us as we move through the world. When we believe things are not possible for us, we will dismiss them as opportunities and may be even resentful others’ success.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”
– Henry Ford

You see when you go through the world believing things aren’t possible; more often than not you’ll find yourself being right. We act in a way that reinforces this. Robert Anton Wilson theorized that we had a thinker and a prover in our brains. What ever the thinker thinks, the prover seeks to prove.

Now there will always be exceptions, you can’t think and fly by flapping your arms harder and believing. Yet if it were not for the belief of the Wright Brothers and others of their age we would not have jumbo jets today.

Neither is this about the application of positive thinking for absurd purposes, all the positive affirmations about your bank statement will cause it to miraculously multiply without taking sensible steps to make it do so.

More what you believe is possible for you will dictate what is indeed possible for you. That’s why endless sports stars harness the power of visualization, actually playing shots in their mind with every minute detail even before they step on to the field of play.

When they do so they are not focusing on the golf ball going in the rough, or the basketball bouncing off the ring. In fact there has been a raft has research that has shown that people mentally rehearsing achieved comparable results to those that spent the same time practicing the sport.

In another study a number of classes of underachievers were taught by teachers that told that they were high achievers and talented. The grades of the kids actually increased beyond the expectations of peer measurements and expectations.

When I first heard of this study I came up with all manner of reason why the study must be flawed. Then the twist, the sting in the tail, they took another set of classes but this time of high achievers and gave them to teachers who were told they were underachievers.

You guessed it… their grades went down, the teachers taught according to what they believed filtering out all information to the contrary. The impact they had as teachers was consistent with their beliefs.

In this study the belief of the teachers was formed on the basis of discussions with others. Though your beliefs are formed in many ways, some are learnt from others as per this example.

Other beliefs are formed directly through our own experiences, we have an experience and we encode it through our current set of filters, which in turn have been molded by our previous experiences.

Like layers of wallpaper or paint, the deeper beliefs and filters may not even be visible on the surface and yet play a part in the decisions and choices we make.

Some of our beliefs are formed quickly, such as our fear of snakes or spiders as strong see-feel encoding. On the other hand we form some beliefs over a period of time, reinforced by a number of occurrences.

Our beliefs are also self-protecting, that is to say they resist being tampered with, the more they are challenged the more they push back.

This is as a result of the filters we have created, through which we distort, delete and generalize the information we get through our senses.

Our beliefs and indeed our filters are both contextual and state dependent. That is to say in some situations one belief may play a big part in our behavior and yet in another it lies dormant, depending on our mood, with whom we are with, where we are, etc.

The challenge is that if we operate using our beliefs every waking moment of our lives, and possibly even while we are asleep. And yet we are probably not even aware of the ones we are operating from, some of which may have been formed from early childhood.

For example it’s not uncommon that we are told not to talk to strangers, that they may be dangerous and should be avoided. Fast-forward 20 years, and imagine you are in sales, and now you struggle to make sales calls.

This is the potential impact of just one belief; imagine what happens when you have a lifetime of them layers deep, not acting by alone but rather as a complex soup.

We can and do change our beliefs regularly, though the deeply routed ones that play out, such as money is bad or work has to be hard are generally harder to change, like a grain of wood they run through us.

The good thing is your beliefs about yourself and what is possible for you can and will change by following the right processes and focusing on the right things.

Have you ever thought something was not possible or doable, and then been surprised when you did it? Like learning to walk or to drive a car it may not have worked first time, but after repeated effort you can succeed.

We are all born natural modelers, and goal orientated, though unfortunately conditioning to meet societies needs has somewhat suppressed this ability in each of us, the need to conform.

Fortunately this ability is still very much within you, and with the right application of effort and focus you can and will achieve more than those around you who do not.

So if you have, until now, been focusing on the nightmare in which you find yourself rather than the dream, its time to make that change...

Author's Bio: 

The Founder and Chief Dreamer at Dream Timeline a site dedicated to bringing free visualization tools to the web such as online vision boards.

Started journey of personal development after a failed business left him licking his wounds. It was on his NLP Master Practitioner course that he had the brain wave of bringing the creating future histories pattern and other techniques to the web.