How 'Extreme Reach Barriers' Keep You From Improving Yourself

Achieving a goal takes work, but we often blow that work out of proportion. Ramit Sethi calls these "extreme reach barriers", and these psychological barriers can shut down a goal before you even start.

Author and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi explains them in the video above. He also explained them in a recent email using words that I really liked:

What's funny is, when I was thinking about starting a business, I really wanted to do it...but my mind would immediately jump to all the things that could go wrong!

"I don't have an idea"

"I wish I could, but I don't have enough time. I don't want a second full-time job"

"Ugh, I have too many ideas...I don't even know where to start"

Worst of all, I would say things like, "I don't have 20 hours/week to spend on this." I call these "extreme-reach" barriers because we focus on the worst possible things, irrationally.

That's like me going into the gym and saying, "I'll never be able to bench 300lbs. So forget this!!" And then storming out, my Gatorade bottle still opened.

Ridiculous...but how many of us actually claim we want to work for ourselves...then let "extreme-reach" barriers hold us back?

Extreme-reach barriers, at their core, are false beliefs. They come from our desire to preserve our identities. For example: eating healthier doesn't mean totally giving up junk food. Changing yourself to be more likeable doesn't mean giving up your personality.

Ramit mostly writes about this from a career context above, but as the video shows, you can apply this to physical fitness, hobbies, dating and any other aspect of your life. Keep an eye out for the mental self-chatter that involves extreme-reach barriers.

Classic line: "She should like me for who I am" [Ramit Sethi]


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