Smashing the Beliefs That are Holding You Back From Success
“Limiting behaviors originate from limiting beliefs”
– Edward Morler, Author
Success in business entails investing just as much time and effort in personal development (like mindset training) as it does in business development (like marketing or operations management).
In fact, the one is useless without the other; without the right mindset, you can probably spin your wheels 24/7 and ultimately, not achieve the success you desire.
Beliefs have the ability to empower you, or limit you, and most people have a few limiting beliefs that slow down, or even stop, their success.
Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t even recognize we are holding on to self-limiting beliefs. As a result, these beliefs control our lives and keep us stuck in cycles of defeat, frustration, and mediocrity.
A Limiting Belief…
- Moves you to find “evidence” to support it.
- Tricks you into giving up before you get started.
- Stops you from taking chances.
- Holds you back from progress.
- Compels you to repeat negative patterns.
- Inhibits you from taking responsibility for your life.
- Stops you from setting goals and going after them.
- Provokes procrastination.
- Gives you an excuse for not doing what you really want to do.
- Fills you with doubt and fear.
- Shames you for imagining possibilities.
The very first step to eradicating a self-limiting belief is to pinpoint it. This can be tough. Your ego can be crafty and will typically get in the way of your ability to identify the beliefs that are holding you back.
What lies are bouncing around in your head?
You may be telling yourself things like:
- I don’t have the skills.
- I’m not good at this.
- Others can do it better than me.
- I’m not experienced enough.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I’m not old enough.
- I’m too old.
- I don’t have the money.
- I don’t have the time.
- It’s too hard.
- I’m lazy.
- Things just never work out for me.
- I never get what I want.
- This is just how it is.
- I am powerless over this.
- I don’t have anything to offer.
Bring your limiting thoughts to the forefront and examine them.
A good way to help bring restrictive attitudes past your ego for examination, is to ask your self a few core questions:
- What goals I have set for myself that keep appearing out of reach?
- Why haven’t I reached those goals yet?
- What do I think I have to have, know, or do to achieve what I want?
- What thoughts do I have about myself that produce negative feelings like fear, uncertainty, powerlessness, trepidation, or inadequacy?
Once identified, there are two major steps you can take to eradicate those self-sabotaging, success-busting beliefs.
Start with letting go of justifications
Limiting beliefs typically start with “I can’t because…” The second you utter the word “because” you summon a part of your brain that believes, “I have a reason.”
Having a reason- a “because”- makes whatever you are telling yourself, or others, significantly more compelling, as was shown in a research study done in the 1970s by Ellen Langer, Professor of Psychology at Harvard.
Question your beliefs so you begin to understand that success is not a private club.
It is likely that you see others living the life you want and achieving the things you desire. Seeing is believing- if another can do it, so can you.
Surround yourself with successful people and study what these role models do. Ask questions, seek guidance, listen to those who have what you want, and model your behavior accordingly. Fake it till you make it, if you must, but do whatever it takes to change those negative thought processes and show yourself that you can succeed too.
When you are basking in the light of the success of others, your negative beliefs can’t help but shift to the more positive.
Act as if you belong, even if you are secretly afraid you don’t. You can overcome your fear by suiting up and showing up to Meetups, mastermind events, conferences, networking groups, and any other place where the successful gather. When you are there and others are treating you as though you belong just as much as they do, you will begin to believe it yourself.
Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran is a undoubtedly a successful businesswoman.
Nonetheless the real estate mogul recalls being filled with self-doubt and fear in her 20s, and has said that she had a “self-limiting tape” running through her brain.
Distancing herself from the naysayers close to her, including her first husband, she says of that time, “I learned to replace my fear with a tape that kicks in my brain that says, You have the right to get out of life exactly what you want and be as successful as you want to be…. You have just as much right as the next guy…. It’s not a private club.”