I hate limited mindsets. They ruin everything. They hinder progress, give us excuses and allow us to sit on our couches and wallow in self-pity that things aren’t going our way.

One of my favorite things in this life is proving people wrong, and it’s not in an egotistical way, but it’s when acquaintances, strangers or even close friends place limits on me that I know just aren’t true. They’re perceived stereotypes that I loooove to prove wrong. It’s the best feeling. Some of it is stubbornness and hating being told what to do and what my limits are. Some of it is that addicting feeling of overcoming difficult situations or pushing myself beyond what I thought my limits where.

Maybe you’ve experienced this too.

“You’re a woman, there’s no way you can lift that heavy.”

“You’re too old to wear those colors.”

“You’re too young to take on that project.”

“You’re a guy, if you wear pink, people will think things.”

“You have kids, you can’t have a career and be a good mother.”

“You’re too short, there’s no way you’ll play in college.”

“You don’t have experience, an amateur could never succeed here.”

When people tell us these things, we tend to believe them without even giving it a second thought. It’s a survival skill. Few things are scarier than perceiving reality incorrectly and ending up in a Truman Show situation.

And sometimes we even tell ourselves these limiting beliefs:

“I’m just forever going to be fat. There’s no way I can lose this weight.”

“I’m too ugly for that guy.”

“I’m too old to run a marathon, those other people have been in shape their entire life.”

“I’m going to always be poor. There’s no way I’ll ever be ahead of living paycheck to paycheck.”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes we reach a threshold where enough is enough. You think back to those situations and wish you would have stood taller, looked them straight in the eye, and firmly said, “Watch me.”

I’ll never forget when I came home one day and told my mom that my teacher had mentioned that I would never be successful if I didn’t go to a prestigious college with a certain degree.

She stopped what she was doing, turned around, put her hand on her hip and looked at me with fire in her eyes and firmly said, “Says who?”

That fire has stayed with me ever since. It’s so fun to prove the doubters, the haters, the naysayers wrong.

We root for the underdog because we’ve all been there. It’s no fun to watch the egotistical maniac succeed, predictably again. It’s no fun to watch a football game where one team is crushing the other.

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The games we remember are the comeback games, the kids who cross the finish line when all odds defied them not to. The rags to riches stories. Folks with unimaginable disabilities who lead extraordinary lives compared to those with none. These situations keep us humble and they inspire us to not only just do more, they remind us to do what we can’t.

As you set your goals for 2018, think outside the box. Come into the ring swinging. If you had no limitations set on you, what would you want to accomplish? What kind of person would you be?

Start with where you are. Start with what you have.

Make 2018 the year you challenge yourself to do what you “can’t”.

Lorna Bailey currently lives in the spunky but welcoming town of Eugene, Oregon with her husband, dog and cat. During the work week she aids a writer and speaker remotely as an Executive Assistant. When she is not working, you will find her writing, hiking, serving in various ministries or watching anime.