Firstly, what are limiting beliefs and how do I know if I have them?
Well, in layman’s terms – they’re beliefs that you have that limit you in some way. Limiting beliefs will stop you from taking steps forward, they will tell you that moving forward is just not possible for you anyway, because of x,y, or z reason.
And I hate to break it to you but we all have them, beliefs about ourselves and certain skills, or lack thereof, that we would steadfastly argue for and could likely provide real-life examples to back up our case.
Some common examples of limiting beliefs
- ‘I’m just not good with numbers – it’s not one of my strengths, never has been – remember that time I messed up big time at work and got called into the bosses office?!’.
- ‘I could never make seven figures *insert relevant amount of money here* – that’s crazy money, it’s not for people like me.’
- ‘I cannot speak in front of large crowds, I’m terrified – I’ll mess it up and say the wrong thing for sure.’
- ‘This has been done before, I have nothing new to bring to the table! What’s the point!’
Our beliefs about where we stand in the world are backed up by what is, at its core – fear. Fear of being judged, fear of being ridiculed, fear of failing.
Why do we have these limiting beliefs? What’s their purpose?
Well, we all have fears, they’re totally normal and to an extent, they’re necessary to keep us safe. The problem is that our subconscious has gotten reeeally good at keeping us safe even when there is no real danger. ‘Safe’ to our subconscious nowadays means staying firmly within our comfort zone, small and far away from failure and judgement. (It hasn’t quite caught up from the days when being out in the open, alone and exposed might result in us being eaten by a sabertooth tiger – or some other prehistoric nightmare!)
So to keep us “safe” our minds are super quick to remind us of all the possible ways in which something might go wrong. We all know though, deep down, that the magic only happens once we are well and truly outside of our comfort zone when we take chances and welcome the possibility of failure with open arms.
What if it’s not a limiting belief and it’s actually just true?
The thing with limiting beliefs is, the more tightly you cling onto that belief about yourself, the more chance of it actually being true – what’s that saying? Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re usually right. It’s up to you to decide which truth you want to fight for.
Objectively speaking you might not be super strong at something, maybe you’re a beginner (like everyone is when they first start). However when you ditch that limiting belief that sounds something like – ‘this isn’t one of my strengths, I’ll fail for sure, there’s no point in me even trying.’ And instead, you say – ‘I’m a beginner at this, I have so much to learn but I know I can get better if I put the work in.’ Or, ‘I might have failed at this before but I’m trying a new approach and I have all this past experience of what not to do so, this time could be different.’
Instantly, you’re open to the possibility of success and your mind begins to use all that freed up energy to look for ways to make that happen. You know you’re a beginner so you don’t mind so much when you stumble or misstep, it’s all just part of the journey of learning – just like when a child learns to walk.
How to break down your limiting beliefs and achieve more than you ever dreamed possible
Here’s our action plan for success;
- Grab a pen and paper and write a list of what might happen if you ‘fail’… What’s the absolute worst thing on that list and what would you do if it came true? I can guarantee you that it’s not as life or death as your subconscious would have you believe. Doing this list will take away all the ‘what ifs’ swirling around in your head leaving you mentally clear and much better prepared to face the task.
- When you come up against a limiting belief, that’s trying to talk you out of doing something, instead of defending your limitations, work to reprogramme your mind by catching those thoughts and switching them out for something more affirmative. Say something along the lines of – ‘Even though I have reason to believe I’m not very good at x, y or z, I’m going to try anyway, this time might be different.’ Or maybe – ‘Ok great, thanks subconscious, I got the message and I appreciate you trying to keep me safe but I’m gonna go ahead and do this anyway – don’t worry, I’m capable and I’ve got this – we’re safe.’ And then take action – messy, bold action.
- Start small. Say, for example, you have a fear of speaking in front of large groups of people, start small and practice. You’re not alone in this (American’s have ranked it as their number one fear! Even before death!!) and we fully understand how debilitating it can feel so start by creating a script of what you want to say, this way you can edit and choose your words in order to have the impact you want to have, without having to think on the fly. Then, read through it a few times, start to become familiar with saying the words, read slowly and deliberately – breathe. Now, practice in front of the mirror, you have your script in hand, try to look up into the mirror as you’re working through it. Now, practice to your significant other, friends, dogs/cats, whoever you can find. Practice until you could recite it in your sleep. And finally, when it comes time to do your talk, make note cards so you always have a prompt in your hand, take deep breaths, remember to look up and don’t be afraid to pause and look at your notes if needed. Remember, everyone in the audience has their own shit going on and no one is as focused on you as you think they are, even if they’re all looking right at you!
- Remember this and repeat to yourself as and when needed, ‘If it’s been done before, it can be done again. If it’s possible for them, it’s possible for me too.’
A call to arms
If you’re feeling a pull to do something or try something new, please don’t ignore it – make 2020 the year you’re bigger than your limiting beliefs. Instead of fighting for your limitations (that’s cray) fight for the possibilities, fight for your potential, fight for yourself.
If you need some encouragement, click here to drop us an email and tell us what you’re struggling with (put ‘limiting beliefs’ in the subject line) and we can cheer you on and help keep you accountable!
Already have an idea but feel overwhelmed at the thought of creating your branding and website?
You know you need a solid brand and website that speak directly to your target audience… you could DIY it but you’re already wearing ALL the hats (hello, life of an entrepreneur) and feeling kinda overwhelmed by the idea of learning another skill in your minimal free time. Or, maybe you just prefer to work in your zone of genius and outsource the rest! Either way, if you feel like you need some additional support around branding and web design before you launch to the world, then we can help so that you’re free to do the work that only you can do!
Apply here, we can’t wait to hear from you.