Category Archives: Mindset

Are Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back?

 

We all have limiting beliefs, and one of the challenges of life is moving beyond them.  Everyone deals with self-doubt and self-defeating attitudes, but the successful are able to move beyond them and take decisive action that results in accomplishments, often beyond their wildest dreams.

One of the problems with limiting beliefs is that all too often they turn into limiting behaviors.  We sabotage ourselves, first by what we think, and second, by what we do.  Best-selling author and lecturer Louise L. Hay taught,

“We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.”

Limiting beliefs will morph into limiting behaviors, one follows the other.  One of the reasons that limiting beliefs are hard to change is that they are buried deep in our unconscious.  Some of your limiting beliefs started when you were a small child.  One of the ways to understand our limiting beliefs is to pay attention to our self-talk.  What messages are you communicating to yourself in your self-talk?  Are any of the following limiting beliefs evident in your self-talk?

4 Common Limiting Beliefs

1. I’m not good enough.  Do you remember Al Franken’s Saturday Night Live character, Stuart Smiley?  In the SNL skits, Smiley starred in his own television program, “Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley.”  Franken wrote a novel, using Stuart’s tagline in the title,  I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley.  Daily affirmations may work for some people, but the feeling of not being good enough can be so deeply ingrained that it is difficult to overcome.

This is common belief often starts in young children.  Parents can project bad feelings onto their kids and those feelings get internalized by impressional children.   Children don’t know any better and they easily soak up all kinds of emotional baggage from their family.  While we all want to believe that our families were loving and nurturing, often this isn’t the case at all.

Families often turn out adults with distorted views of reality.  Acting out of distorted views of reality makes reality even worse.  How can you overcome this?  Read on.

2. I’m not smart enough.  We often measure ourselves against others, and this can result in any of the many limiting beliefs that plague people.  From elementary school through college, or even graduate school, our educational systems are measuring our intelligence.  How do we grade?  Are we “A” students, “B” students, average students, or below average students?

The truth is that you do not have to be a genius to be highly successful.  Some of the most successful people in life where average (or worse) students.  Some of the most successful people are incredibly bright, but they are incredibly motivated.   You are smart enough to create the life you want.  You can create a rich and satisfying life with the smarts you’ve got.

3. I don’t know enough.  Did you know that it isn’t a crime to say “I don’t know,”?  Yet, often, we use all kinds of conversational techniques to avoid saying those three words.  How will we ever learn about our areas of ignorance, if we can’t admit that we have them?  Some of us learn by doing, and that can include plenty of errors because of our ignorance.   Others use “I don’t know enough” as an excuse for procrastination.  Here’s something I learned many years ago: there is always someone better than you are.  It doesn’t matter what field, there’s always someone who is best and it’s generally not us.  But that’s okay.

The important trait to overcome this limitation is a hunger for knowledge.  Learn what you need and get to work!  If you don’t know everything you can know about a particular area of your business, that’s okay.  Work with what you know, and grow your knowledge base as you go along.  You can build your skills while you’re learning.

4. I’m an outsider.  I don’t have the connections to pull it off.  It can feel lonely when you start a business, but it’s not impossible to meet people.  First, you may be underestimating how many people you do know.  In 2013, the New York Times reported that the average American knows 600 people.  If you live elsewhere, do you think it’s different where you live?  It might be, but I bet that you still know hundreds of people.

It’s not as hard are you think to expand your network.  You can do so through social media, community groups, and professional groups.  I challenge you right now to go on reddit and find a group in your niche, start contributing, and network with other contributors.  Or go on Quora and answer a question or two or three in your field.  You may be surprised (as I was) when emails start appearing asking you to answer other questions in your niche.

Negative feelings of unworthiness can be difficult to overcome, but it’s not impossible.  Here’s where to start:

Reprogramming Your Inner Voice

Let’s get practical by working through a common sequence of negative thoughts related to starting a business

  1.  The first step to programming your inner voice is to recognize that you have an inner critical voice that is the enemy of your progress.
  2. Recognize that negative self-talk is a natural human reaction to perceived threats and fears.  Negative thoughts are natural, but they are a learned response and they can be unlearned.
  3.  To reprogram your inner voice, it is essential that you recognize when it is talking to you.  If it has become so predominant that you don’t even recognize that voice within you.  What negative thoughts and attitudes plague you?  Are you ready to get rid of them?
  4.  To get rid of your negative thoughts and attitudes, determine where they come from.  You could be hearing a scolding mother or an angry coach.  Parents are often the genesis of negative thought patterns.  Once you’ve determined where these thoughts and attitudes have come from, you’re prepared to deal with them constructively.
  5.  This part is actually simple.  Just disagree with your inner voice.  Positive statements like “I am good enough,” or “I am smart enough,” “I do know enough” (or “I may not know enough right now, but I will gain the knowledge I need”), or “I have what it takes to become an insider, and I’m going to work on that.”
  6.  Growing your ability to challenge and defeat your inner critical voice will enable you to grow out of self-limiting behavior.  This is likely not an overnight project, but it is one that is well worth your efforts.

Let’s look at a practical situation.

Starting something new, like a business, can be an open invitation to your subconscious to feed you memories of all the previous times you failed.  Worry and self-doubt come quickly to mind, and you can feel defeated before you’ve even started.  Some negative thoughts might be:

I can’t start a new business.  Why not?  What do you believe are the barriers that you see that have convinced you that you can’t start a business?  Sometimes, false beliefs masquerade as facts.  Separating out false beliefs from facts is the first step toward achieving something great.

Here’s another common fear: It’ll never be profitable?  Why not?  Why do you believe that you are incapable of creating a profitable business?  If you’ll put together a detailed business plan, you can rationally see whether or not your business can be profitable.  Here’s some help on putting a business plan together.

Self-limiting beliefs may be the greatest barrier to success, but you can overcome them.  You can achieve what you dream by taking rational action that is rooted in your genuine skills, abilities, and motivations.  Get your inner critical voice under control, and who knows how much you can do?

I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

Your New Year Quick Start Guide

It’s almost happy new year time, but  in the remaining days of 2017, let’s set you up for great success in 2018.  How are we going to do that?  First, with some down time.  Second, by writing everything down – what you write,  you can commit yourself to accomplish.

  1. In these last days of 2017, take time to refresh and evaluate.  Look back at the previous year.  What worked in 2017?  What worked really well?  Take time to celebrate your successes.  Then, what did you struggle with?  What didn’t work?  What additional training do you need to strengthen your strengths and improve in the weak areas that are most essential for your business success?  What is most important for your personal and business success in 2018?
  2. Keep your planning realistic.  What will help you most is what you can actually accomplish.  Other goals and objectives can be self-defeating.  Set goals that are realistic and attainable.  I personally believe in SMART goals.  Use SMART goals in your planning for best results.
  3. What can you do in January that will set the pace for your first quarter and full year?  Start with your priorities and set your goals from your priorities.  A great way to do this is to start with your big picture goals and then break them down into workable shorter term plans.  Put a first quarter plan together and break it down to monthly goals.  Break your monthly plan down to weekly goals with action steps, review those goals and action steps at the start of every week and work toward  accomplishing them day to day.
  4. What major projects are you planning for 2018?  Space these out according to how heavy a priority they are in your total business flow and how long they will take.  Which one do  you want to accomplish first, second, third…
  5. What habits and routines do you need to build into your life to succeed?  If your business is not at the center of your 24/7, how will you carve out the time necessary to achieve your business goals?  You can turn your hopes and dreams into accomplishments if you have the discipline necessary to create a plan and work that plan until  you have found the success that you dream about.  The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People has been an inspiration to millions of people – this might be a great place for you to start.
  6. What bad habits do you need to break in order to succeed?  First, attack some of the reasons for bad habits like stress and boredom.  How can you manage your stress in a healthier way?  How can you add healthy practices into your life in order to kill the boredom?  Replace your bad habits with good ones, like the ones you considered under #4 above.
  7. What job skill can you learn in January that will pay dividends for the entire year?  Build training time into your January schedule for this.
  8. What job skill would be most beneficial to improve?  Build time into your schedule for this too.

Finally, some inspirational words from Zig Ziglar:

What would you add to this New Year Quick Start Guide?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

Have You Done A Year-End Review?

 

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is a year-end review  from December of last year that has been thoroughly revised.

A year-end review.

If you’re an employee, it can be the most dreaded time of the year.  But, if you’re running your own business, it can be one of the most beneficial times of the year.

Those words can strike fear into the hearts of employees, but as boss of your own internet marketing company, a year-end review can help you launch a new year in the very best possible way.  So, how do you do a review that will set you up for success in 2018?

First, your mindset needs to be brutally honest.  You’re doing this review for improvement and you can’t improve what you won’t admit needs improvement.

Second, put it in writing.  This is something that can be a guiding document for the new year. Don’t let this be just a mental exercise that is quickly forgotten.  Plan your work and work your plan to achieve your highest goals.

Let’s start with the positive.  What were your accomplishments in 2017? What were your highest achievements?  Where did you see real improvement over 2016?  What were the challenges in 2017 that you overcame?  What did you learn?

To what extent did you achieve your goals for 2017?  What do you still need to do to complete what hasn’t yet been achieved?

Next, what are the challenges that persist into 2018?  What can you improve upon in 2018 that was a roadblock for you in 2017?  Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.  Think about how your challenges can help you create a better plan for moving forward into the new year.

Don’t fixate on your weaknesses, but don’t ignore them either. This review is for your benefit – don’t sabotage it by leaving out what could be most helpful.

Finally, what is your personal-development plan for 2018?  What are the areas of your business that need most improvement and how will you build your competencies in these areas?  How do you intend to improve yourself in these areas?  What do you need to do to put you in the best position to succeed in 2018?  What would contribute to your greatest success in the new year?

What goals will you set for your business and your personal performance for 2018?  What will you continue that will help you meet your goals?  What will you change that will help you meet your goals? What will you get rid of that is not contributing to your reaching your goals?

Take your year-end review seriously and it could be your greatest growth tool for the new year.

If you’d like a good personal assessment tool, this is one that I recommend: http://www.thecompoundeffect.com/downloads/englishlife_assessment.pdf

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

Your Year End Evaluation Checklist


As we head closer to 2018, this is a great time to evaluate 2017 and plan for an even greater new year.  Use this checklist to set yourself up for a great 2018!

Your Year End Evaluation Checklist

1. What were your accomplishments. How did you move your business forward this year?What were the obstacles that kept you from hitting last year’s goals?

2. What are the challenges that you still need to overcome?  How can you overcome your obstacles in the new years?  Be brutally honest about problems and spend the time needed to find the best solutions.

3. What are your developmental goals?  Professional development is an important area for business success.  Do you need new skills?  For internet marketing, website creation and development, SEO, advertising and marketing, social media management, computer programming, and content marketing are all helpful areas.  Some of these you can hire out to others.  What areas do you need to develop for yourself and your business success?

4. What are your strengths?  How can you maximize them in the new year?

5. What are your weaknesses?   How can you improve on them in the new year? 

6. What did you do this year that you can do better in the new year?   How can you plan now to improve in this area?

7. What are your biggest business priorities right now?  How can you plan now to achieve them?

8. How can  you make your work easier?  Have you automated everything that can be automated?  Have you built a team around yourself that will help propel your success?

9. Who can you ask to get another perspective on your work?  A second set of eyes can be extremely beneficial, seeing things that you are missing.  Who can you trust to give you helpful, constructive criticism?

10. Do you need a mentor?  A new year can be a good time to start with a mentor.  Here’s some helpful information on choosing a mentor.

11. How is your growth mindset?  If you need to work this, this post on growth hacking can help you.

How did you check out?  What would you add to this checklist?  I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.