I often work with clients who have been passed over for a promotion, not because they didn’t have the skills or experience, but because they don’t walk into the room like they do. If we don’t believe we are capable, we won’t assert ourselves when it matters.

I once worked with a CEO who was very intelligent and capable, yet at home his wife belittled him.

This impacted him negatively when he was under high-stress situations presenting to his Board of Directors, and caused him to come across as unsure and uncomfortable. He actually believed he was not a great presenter because of what she had told him for so many years. Through our work together, he created a new attitude that he is a great speaker. And it’s true. He really is.

Other times, a person is struggling because of negative circumstances in their life.

The negative experiences they are going through cause them to hold back. Negativity causes us to retract; positivity causes us to assert, to engage, to create. When my clients go through hard times personally, I tell them they are not the person they are feeling like at the moment, and their unsure feelings will pass, just like the flu. The key is to not allow yourself to form a negative attitude that we are our present circumstances. We have to view these circumstances outside of ourselves, and not believe that failure is who we are.

Some people take pride in old attitudes, even when they aren’t positive. In the past week, I have heard people say:

I am an introvert, so I keep to myself at work.

I am a grouch.

I don’t like people.

I am not a nice person.

In each case, I wondered how their attitude was impacting their overall happiness in life, their ability to form healthy relationships, and their ability to thrive.

Do you find yourself procrastinating when you know you should be working on something specifically related to getting you to the next level?

Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to uncover any old attitudes that might be hindering your progress.

  • Where do I feel stuck in my life, and what is my general attitude in this area? What are some things I think about, say, or do in this part of my life?
  • Who in my life is making me feel like I can’t get beyond where I am today?
  • Who are the 3 people I spend the most time with? Are they helping me, or hindering me, from achieving happiness and fulfillment in my life?
  • Do I have someone in my life speaking positively to me, telling me what I’m capable of, how I can achieve more in my life? Someone who celebrates my wins and supports me during difficult times?
  • Have I experienced a failure in the past that has caused me to retreat and pull back, versus striving forward? What am I trying to protect myself from?

We should strive to do things better in the future than we were able to in the past.

The challenge is, sometimes we don’t realize this, because we have outdated attitudes guiding our decisions and reactions. In reality, our altitude in life is determined by our attitude. If we don’t believe we can thrive or succeed, we won’t even have the motivation to start. This is a trap that keeps people stuck where they don’t really want to be.

At the end of the day, we must reevaluate our past beliefs and decide: will this continue to shape my reality? Or am I ready to grow beyond my outdated beliefs and live into my full potential?

Hi, I’m Amy Hedin.

I founded HumanPoint in 2007 with the mission of empowering leaders and teams to reach their potential. Although my team and our offerings have expanded, my passion for coaching is as central to my work as it was 12 years ago. Here on our blog you’ll find the advice, expertise, and insight my team and I have gained from decades of work in the executive coaching and consulting field.