The Single Greatest Self Limiting Belief

Surround yourself with
positive people.

Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.
— Charles F. Glassman

I used to think this quote was just about my own negative thoughts about myself.

But people who have negative thoughts about themselves usually can’t help but transfer those thoughts to others. I believe it’s the single most self-limiting thing you can do in your life.

You may know someone who does this.

They’ll say things like,

I like your sweater. It’s better than the one that girl is wearing.
He did a good job in that soccer game, but you should have seen me play when I was his age.

They complain about the traffic.

They complain about the food.

They complain about people in general.

But what does all that complaining do?

Phrases like “Could’ve” “Should’ve” “Would’ve” cross their lips at every moment.

And every sentence begins with “But….”

They suck the energy from every room.

They drain the joy from every conversation.

They stomp upon every good idea.

It adds stress and makes us think that the world is bad, when the reality is that our circumstances have little to do with our future success.

Positivity is attractional. You begin to crave it. You channel your inner strength. You create more energy. You become more motivated. You take more initiative.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive.

When we build others up, when we help people achieve their dreams, when we provide a helping hand or a word of encouragement, it does more for us than it will ever do for them.

A few weeks ago, I took some of the girls from our 5th grade leadership club to visit a 95 year-old man who lives in town. You know what he said to us? He said, “You’re big enough to know right from wrong. Do something kind everyday. Say a kind word. Do something. You will need your friends one day.”

Nothing earth-shattering.

Be kind. Be a friend.

So simple.

Nothing does more to limit our own success than focusing on the deficiencies in others.

The irony is that uplifting encouragement does nothing to diminish our own accomplishments. Your achievements will stand on their own merit, despite anything that anyone else does or doesn’t do.

And what can be lost by offering a helping hand?

Maybe time, but time given in the service of others is never wasted.

Maybe a little money, but money given with a pure heart is never missed.


  • You might make a new friend.

  • Forge a new business connection.

  • Meet someone who inspires future work.

Spend today seeking the best in others, and you will soon discover the best in yourself.