The other day I was at yoga class and was chatting with the owner about attendance. It’s a relatively new studio in a rural area of Los Angeles so I knew that it would take some time to build the word-of-mouth buzz she needed to sustain full classes on a regular basis. I threw out a few suggestions based on my 12 years’ experience helping entrepreneurs create six and seven figure businesses but the response was, “I’d like to double our business but none of those ideas seem to work to get more people in the door.” I asked why and it seemed that the reason these techniques would not work were in her mind – not in reality. She had not actually tried to implement them yet.

Now I know the strategies I suggested could work as I’ve seen it work for other studios. So I just got quiet and changed the subject. After all, she wasn’t paying me (yet) for my advice.

The minute the “but” word comes out I know it’s a business in a Constraint Box. If you’ve ever caught yourself uttering the words “I’d love to grow but [fill in the blank here]” then you probably have one too.

The Constraint Box is when the entrepreneur has a limitation around what they see is possible to generate more sales or make the business more profitable. Often the idea is outside of what they learned when trained for their craft or the idea is so far outside of their comfort zone they can’t see how they could make it work.
It usually goes something like this:
“It isn’t done that way in my industry.”
“I’d have to spend too much money to do it that way.”
“That won’t work — I tried it before.”
“I can’t afford to hire help to get more done.”
“I can’t do that with my license as a XYZ.”
“I don’t know how to do that.”
“I don’t have time to do anything else.”

These statements cause an instant limitation in your view of what’s possible. That limitation shuts off all possibility of achieving the next level of success. You then find yourself struggling for answers, feeling stuck and wondering why everyone else is getting ahead but you aren’t.

Not only does this type of thinking limit your results, it also affects your ability to see the strategies that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU that would work.

Nine years ago I caught myself in a place where I had very little client work and a mounting credit card balance. One of my colleagues suggested I hire a virtual assistant. I instantly said, “I can’t afford that.”

I started thinking about how ridiculous that Constraint Box of “not being able to afford” what I knew could work was. I knew that if I wanted bigger success I had to be willing to change my thinking and my strategies. I also knew that other entrepreneurs making six and seven figures had a different approach to growth than I did at the time – obviously they were doing something that DID work.

In that moment I made a decision that I wasn’t willing to live with the constraint of “I can’t afford it” anymore.

I decided to ask myself a better question.

“What would have to happen so I could have XYZ (the new outcome?)”

The way we talk to ourselves and position our “truth” activates a neuro-pathway in our brain. Based on our stories and beliefs, we have trained our brain to follow a path between an idea and our reality. Most of us have lived so long with our story of what we can’t have or how limited resources are that we literally have trained our brain for lack.

If you study neuro-linguistics, you’ll discover that the fastest way to breakthrough barriers in your life by destroying the current path in the brain and creating a new path to the results you do want.

A simple way to activate this technique yourself is to ask better questions that lead you to better outcomes.

When you ask yourself the question “What would have to happen so I could have XYZ” you have activated the solution-seeker inside of you. When we say “I can’t afford it” the solution-seeker stops. There is nothing to do because you’ve already decided that you can’t have it.

When you give your brain a solution to seek, your Constraint Box will dissolve rapidly, new possibilities will drop in and options you never saw before will magically reveal themselves to you. All because you shut down the automatic response that was limiting your perspective of what’s possible and created a new neuro-pathway that is capable of delivering what you do want!

Let’s activate the solution seeker in you now. It’s probably been lying dormant for years just waiting until the day that you shift your perspective back into possibility.

You’ll discover one of three things has to happen:
1. Ask Solution-Oriented Questions.
Instead of shutting down your manifestation process, you’ll need to learn how to change the way you think about opportunities. Our gut reaction is often to look at our current reality as our truth. If you remember that we can create any reality we want, you’ll be able to activate solutions (instead of just staying stuck where you are right now.)
2. You Have To Make A New Decision.
My guess is you’ve lived a very long time with your story – why you are stuck where you are right now. In order to activate your solution-seeker and upgrade your results, you’ll need to decide that anything is possible. Seriously. You have to be willing to change your mind. Your current life is not your truth. It’s the reality you created for yourself BASED ON a limited view of what was possible.
If you don’t like the life or business you have right now then make a new decision. Decide right now you will use this process to activate the life and success you really want. Decide that you can have what you want right now. Decide that you will no longer let your current circumstances dictate your future success.
3. Upgrade your Habitual Thinking.
Everything we have is a result of our habitual thinking. When you recognize that 90% of what we accomplish is a direct result of what we have conditioned ourselves to believe, then you will QUICKLY and PERMANENTLY upgrade what you habitually think.
If you don’t believe me, then try this test. Over the course of one week write down what thoughts cross through your mind when you are faced with an opportunity or idea that challenges your Comfort Zone. Whatever that immediate response is in your mind is your habitual thinking. That thought either makes you feel alive and energized or depleted and afraid of moving forward. If it’s not making you feel expansive then it’s probably not a thought that has a positive outcome.
4. Practice Operating Outside Of Your Comfort Zone.

When we remove our constraint box we discover a world outside our comfort zone. Our comfort zone keeps us all warm and safe in a predictable environment. It also means that our thinking, habits and strategies can become complacent. We stop challenging our own assumptions and live comfortably inside our current reality. In order to permanently remove our constraint box, we have to practice living outside of our comfort zone.

Every day challenge one of your assumptions about life and success – and ask yourself, “What would have to happen for ABC (the opposite of what you experience right now.)”

See what shows up and how little by little you create a habit of living in possibility versus feeling stuck in your current reality.

Your turn. Try it out. Let’s see how your Constraint Box becomes a Possibility Magnet quickly!

Author's Bio: 

Melanie Benson Strick, known as America’s Leading Authority on Optimum Performance, has a gift for guiding fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs to thrive in their small business. Melanie is an optimizer – uncovering costly breakdowns and de-railers while super-charging profits– ultimately freeing the entrepreneur to experience exponential growth by doing more of what they love most. Get my free optimize your results gift at