A video of a commencement address by Jim Carrey recentlywent viral, with more than 7,000,000 views on YouTube alone. In the talk, the comedian poignantly captured what holds most of us back from achieving our goals:
You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based on either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.
He went on to relate the story of his father, who he says “could have been a great comedian,” but instead lost his “safe” job as an accountant:
I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
Carrey’s simple and inspiring message has been splattered across social media, showing how strongly it hits home with so many. Every one of us is capable of undermining our own goals because we all have an inherent inclination to self-sabotage. Two of the most important questions we can ask ourselves are why and how we get in our own way when we seek to achieve what matters most to us.
Following are 4 common reasons we place unnecessary limitations on ourselves that keep us from living our dreams.
All of us can develop a more realistic and compassionate view toward ourselves. We can learn to foster self-compassion, which studies show can improve every aspect of our lives. Research from Dr. Kristin Neff shows that, in comparison to self-esteem, self-compassion is associated with greater emotional resilience, more accurate self-concepts, more caring behavior in relationships, as well as less narcissism and reactive anger. In this more centered state, we are better able to go after our goals and cope with any anxiety that may arise. We can start to distinguish what we really want instead of what others want for us. We can make our destiny, rather than live one prescribed to us by our history.
Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at PsychAlive.org