A Warning About Inspirational Signs
If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of my office, you know that I love a good inspirational sign. I have several around my desk and one of my favorites simply says, “Limitless Possibilities”.
You know the kinds of signs I’m talking about because you can walk into just about any store now and find these inspirational signs with motivating words for your workspace or home. I love this!
However, a word of warning: If you pick the wrong signs or interpret them in ways they were not meant to be interpreted, it can actually work against you.
Today, I want to share a story with you that shines a light on this.
Recently, I was on a call with some students inside the TOP Program, and one of the women shared this with our group:
She said, “You know, I'm feeling a little frustrated. I've really been working on my mindset and on busting through limiting beliefs around my ability to control my calendar and manage my time. Yet, at the end of every week, I still really feel like a failure because I'm just not getting the stuff done that I planned to get done.”
Immediately, I suggested we take a step back and look at two things from what she had shared: her calendar and her limiting beliefs. And if you’ve been experiencing these feelings as well, I’d encourage you to do the same.
When we pulled out her calendar and looked back at her plans, we realized she was missing a couple of key elements in the planning process.
Those key elements were very critical ones because they're part of the planning process that helps you identify and clearly see what time you really have to work with. Because when you don't recognize the actual time you have in a week, you’re going to try and cram in way too much.
Then, at the end of the week, you’ll inevitably feel like a failure because you’re setting yourself up to fall short.
So by looking back at her calendar, we were able to fix that process for her.
#2 Limiting Beliefs
I’ll start by saying that I’m all for busting through limiting beliefs! My amazing coach, Mindi, has continually helped me bust through mine.
But there is a huge difference between limiting beliefs and thinking that you have unlimited time.
We all have specific constraints or limits on our life. Some of them are imposed on us, and some of them are self-imposed.
For instance, the starting and ending times of my daughter’s school are limits on my time that I don’t control. They are not self-imposed.
You have these limits as well. It could be drop-off and pick-up times. It could be other events or activities on your calendar that need to be there, but you don’t choose those limits.
These limits or constraints shrink the amount of time that you have available to work on the things that you want and need to get done.
While there are definitely strategies that you can put in place to maximize your available time, there is no amount of mindset or motivational or inspirational work that you can do that is going to change the laws of physics around time.
This conversation on our call wasn't the first time that similar conversations have come up in my community over the last year. I’ve seen so many women who are really struggling with doing lots of mindset work — including positive thinking, meditating, reading inspirational books — and yet they’re frustrated that they still can’t crack the code on how to get 40 hours in their day instead of 24.
They can’t do it because it’s not possible...even if you have a motivational sign that makes you believe it is.
Chances are pretty solid that if you've landed on my blog, you are searching for inspiration and motivation the same way I do, but I encourage you to be cautious in how you interpret the inspiration that you find — on a motivational sign or otherwise.
I love my “Limitless Possibilities” sign, but for me it just reminds me that there are lots of different ways to get something done. There’s no one right way to approach life.
This mindset helps me approach a challenge and say, “What can I do instead? What are the other possibilities?”
I don’t interpret my sign to mean “limitless time”, and if I did, I know it would work against me and my abilities to feel inspired and encouraged about what I am getting done in my day or week.
So, next time you are out and about and picking up a new motivational sign for your space, really take a minute and ask yourself, “Does this serve you? When you look at it, will it inspire you and motivate you? Or will you be interpreting it in such a way that it secretly deflates you and makes you feel like you're doing something wrong?”
Because if that sign is going to pull you down, then it is not the sign for you.
For more tips and exercises on all the things, time management, organization, and productivity for your new year, check out more blogs or podcast episodes!