When I worked in San Francisco at the adult school teaching ESL and Microsoft office to immigrants and welfare mothers, I realized something about success.

I realized it, but as with most important, life-changing ideas, I have to continue to remind myself of it all the time. Because I forget. When life is crazy and I’m trying to be a mother and a writer and a friend I forget.

I forget that success is about not limiting yourself.

It sounds so simple, but it’s sneakily difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I got frustrated with students who said things like “I can’t double click” or “I can’t do my homework because of x,y,z” or “i can’t apply for that job because I’m not x,y,or z” or “i can’t come to school on time because of x, y, or z”

All of these are not what many people would call “self-limiting” at first glance. But in my opinion, people who are afraid of succeeding or failing often use small inabilities (like the inability to be on time or the inability to do homework) as an excuse for their failure.

I know this because I’m guilty of this as well.

Not limiting yourself can also mean not being picky sometimes. If your goal is to have enough money to send your daughter to a private preschool, go to cafes, and order organic deliveries, than not being picky/limiting yourself may mean taking a job that you may not like or that may not be as ‘prestigious’ as you may like.

Yes, kirsten, I’m talking to you.