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To be successful, get your foot off the brake!

July 01, 2013 10:25 IST

It's easy to be successful, if only you stop limiting yourself, writes Prakash Iyer, Executive Coach and MD, Kimberly-Clark Lever and author of the book The Secret of Leadership: Stories to Awaken, Inspire and Unleash the Leader Within.

Imagine you are a car. Not just any car, but one of the best luxury cars in the world. Imagine its powerful engine can race from 0 to 100 kmph in less than 10 seconds…

And you have all the features any car lover could dream of: leather upholstery, sliding sun-roof, airconditioning, stereo sound system, the works. You have all of these but there’s one small problem. The car’s brake is jammed.

So no matter how hard you press your foot against the accelerator, the car does not move ahead. Since the brake is jammed, the car just goes round in circles. You must be thinking – what a waste of a great car!

And if you think about it, you might realize that our lives are quite like that car! Each of us is in fact a luxury car with terrific features. We all have inside us all the stuff that the world is looking for.

But there’s that little problem.

We’ve got our foot on the brake. And that impacts our ability to get ahead in life!

What’s our “foot on the brake?”

It’s usually a self-limiting belief that holds us back. We feel we are not good enough.

And we find that instead of getting ahead in life, we are just going round in circles.

And as we sit in our wonderful luxury car with a foot on the brake, we get frustrated as we watch other cars overtake us and zoom.

We wish our car was like theirs! We sometimes blame the manufacturer and feel the world has been unkind to us. We feel like exchanging our car for another one.

In reality, all we need to do is take that foot off the brake. And our cars – our lives – will move ahead!

Next time you feel your life isn’t going as smoothly as you like – or your career is not moving fast enough – don’t complain about the vehicle. Just take your foot off the break. Get rid of those self-limiting beliefs. And you’ll see the difference.

And as you learn to enjoy the ride in the car, you must hear the story of the man who lived in a beautiful villa in a place far, far away.

One day, a fairy magically appeared before him and told him that all the wealth and riches he wanted in life were now within his reach.

‘Just go out into the garden,’ said the fairy. ‘There’s a large treasure chest there, filled with gold and diamonds and other precious gems. Go claim it—it’s all yours!’

The man couldn’t believe his luck!

The fairy then added: ‘There’s just one catch. There’s a white rabbit in the garden. As you go looking for the treasure chest, you must not think about the white rabbit. If you do, you won’t be able to find the riches.’

And you can imagine what happened! We are all like that man with the white rabbit, aren’t we?

Our goals and our dreams are all within our reach. But we are held back by our own white rabbits, our self-limiting beliefs. And they prevent us from rising to our full potential and achieving our goals.

‘I can’t because....’ we tell ourselves, and white rabbit gets going. We blame it on childhood, education, background, current situation, boss, family... whatever. We find our own white rabbits.

So what’s your white rabbit? What’s your favourite excuse for not doing what it takes to achieve your goals?

Whatever it is, it’s good to identify it. And banish it from your mind.

And, remember to take your foot off the brake too!

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