You had little choice in the experiences that have made you who you are. Back in your childhood, those formative experiences shaped how you view the world. By the age of seven, your subconscious was programmed by those events, whatever they were. Part of that programming is your sense of your personal limitations. Today, let’s resolve to breakthrough those mental blocks that are preventing you from achieving your full potential.
The great Mahatma Gandhi said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” If we can change your thinking, we can change your destiny. Everyone has inner voices that would keep us from achieving our full potential. Self defeating attitudes can be difficult, but they can be overcome. Here are eight common limiting beliefs and how you can overcome them.
8 Limiting Beliefs and How to Overcome Them
- “I don’t deserve success.” Do you ever think that? This limiting belief is rooted in low self esteem and it cripples so many people that there is a name for it among executives. It’s called “the imposter syndrome.” Negative beliefs about yourself and your capabilities can rule your mind, even in the face of mounds of real-life factual evidence to the contrary. List your successes, even the small ones, and stack them against your negative beliefs. Focus on what’s good in yourself, rather than the limiting belief that there is something horribly wrong with you that will always block your path to success. What are the personality traits and skills that you have that you can develop for your pathway to success?
- “I’m not good enough.” This limitation is a near kin to the previous one. This self limiting belief is rooted in low self esteem and fear. It’s the belief that no matter how hard you try, your efforts will come up short. Part of this limiting belief can be comparing yourself to others. The critic within you looks at others and judges that you don’t measure up. Here’s how to beat this limitation: ignore others, take stock of where you are now, and clearly state where you want to be. Is it more friends, better relationships, more income, better health? Benchmark where you are, set clear goals, and celebrate every step, large or small, that moves you toward your goal. Celebrate progress, and take missteps in stride, learning from them and pressing on.
- “I’m not smart enough.” Economist and Nobel laureate James Heckman worked with colleagues to determine how much intelligence contributed to success. Their finding? Future success depends on IQ to the degree of 1 or 2%. The rest is personality, perseverance, conscientiousness, other character traits, and learnable skills.
- “I’m not in a good place.” How much are your limiting beliefs keeping you in the hardships that are holding you back? The storms of life don’t have to keep you from achieving your dreams. Focusing on your dreams and achieving them is far healthier for you than dwelling on any drama that is swirling around you. Difficult times can be met with determination to find the way out of them. Determined people find a way to succeed no matter what place they’re in emotionally or otherwise.
- “It’s not the right time.” Really, when is the right time? For some people, it’s never the right time. Those who set goals and start acting to accomplish those goals are the ones who achieve great things. Now is the right time to start planning for your success and taking the steps necessary to achieve it. So, what’s your ultimate objective and what’s the first step toward accomplishing the intermediate goals that will get you there?
- “I don’t have enough time.” Everyone has 168 hours a week. Sleep eight hours a night and that leaves 16 hours a day to achieve your dreams. How hard are you willing to work to get what you want? How much time are you willing to allocate to your future success?
- “I don’t have enough money.” Money is not a limiting factor for any number of ways to succeed. I started my internet business for less than $100. Are you telling me you can’t scrape together $100 to start a business? You have the power to create the money that you need or want – this mental block gets down to how hard are you willing to work to get what you need or want? How much creativity can you bring to your situation? You have the ability to make money and once you figure out what ability within yourself is the most promising, this limiting belief is history.
- “It’s too late to change.” It is never too late to change. Focus on one change you want to make and get started. Procrastination may be your worst enemy on this.
6 Limiting Phrases That Kill Initiative
- “It’s hopeless.” Believing it’s hopeless can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can think your way out of this. Life is always changing, and can always get better. Plus, if you are intent on succeeding, you can work a problem and find a solution. What may look hopeless may be a situation that is calling for inner resources from you that you’ve never before tapped and didn’t realize that you had.
- “It’s useless.” It may feel that way after you’ve tried various options and none of them worked. Keep thinking, keep working, keep trying. Believe that there is a solution and commit to not stopping until you’ve find it.
- “I’m worthless.” This is not true and you should tell yourself that anytime this thought appears in your mind. You are a capable person who has worked through many difficult situations in your life. Remember your successes and trust in yourself.
- I’m helpless. Dig down on this one and find where it comes from. Do you feel alone? There are people who feel alone, even when they’re with friends. Accept it as a feeling and don’t let it stop you. Do you feel that you don’t have the skills necessary to complete what you’re working on? Learn the necessary skills. There’s plenty of help on the internet for this. Learning new skills will open up new possibilities for you. Keep growing and guess what? You can grow right into the future that you want for yourself.
- “I don’t know where to start.” Start where you are. It’s not important where you start; it is essential that you do start. Take a small step, but get going!
- “I’ll fail.” Brilliant insight: everyone fails. Take it in stride and keep moving. My favorite saying on this is “failure is never final.” Believe that and press on.
Reprogramming Your Inner Voice
Let’s get practical by working through a common sequence of negative thoughts and how to combat them.
- The first step to reprogramming your inner voice is to recognize that you have an inner critical voice that is the enemy of your progress.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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, and coaches and other authority figures can also be the cause of negative thoughts and attitudes. Once you’ve determined where these thoughts and attitudes have come from, you’re prepared to deal with them constructively.
- 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.”
- 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.
So, how will you eliminate the self-defeating voices that are holding you back? I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.