Restrictive Thinking

Restrictive Thinking

Restrictive thinking consists of rigid views of our capabilities. And it can lead to negative self-perception. Without even knowing it, restrictive thinking makes us set boundaries on ourselves and how far we can succeed. 

If you think you can’t, you will manifest that notion into reality.  

Examples of restrictive thinking include, but are not limited to: 

  • An “all or nothing” attitude. For example thinking your performance is either amazing or terrible. If you are guilty of this black-or-white way of thinking, replace it with “all or something.” 
  • A fixed mindset. You don’t allow your beliefs to change. Usually, this reveals itself as a focus on talent (a belief that you either have it or you don’t) over self-improvement. Instead of a fixed mindset, it’s important to develop a growth mindset - believe your talent can grow with hard work. 
  • Never resting and resetting. Breaks are an opportunity for a physical as well as a mental reset. In sports, you can take a moment to slow things down. 
  • Listening to naysayers. 
  • Thinking you have all the answers/know everything (we all know that person who is uncoachable!). 
  • Self-criticism. It’s ok to be honest with yourself, but extreme self-criticism only holds you back.

Nonrestrictive thinking leads to action and success. 

Restricted thinking leads to inaction and failure (or at the very least, the inability to grow). 

If any of this sounds familiar, identify your restrictive thinking patterns and reframe your thoughts so you can consciously move past it. 

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