Limiting beliefs exert a huge amount of control and influence over all aspects of our lives, be that personal or business. A key point here is that everyone has limiting beliefs, but those who truly succeed manage to uncover and recognise them. This can be a really difficult process, but if you can overcome your limiting beliefs, your chances of ultimate success will be exponentially greater.
So why are they difficult to uncover and overcome? It’s because many of us see our limiting beliefs as cold hard facts, rather than as something that could be changed. Subconsciously we are programmed to ignore or fight any evidence which contradicts our beliefs, and find and notice any evidence which supports them. Most of us will have both helpful and limiting beliefs which make up our reality, and our goal should always be to try to replace disempowering beliefs with empowering beliefs, so that our belief system takes us in a positive direction.
How, then, do we uncover some of these limiting beliefs? Simply take some time to answer the following questions honestly:
- What rules have you set yourself that limit you?
- What pessimistic thoughts do you have?
- What are your recurring narratives that hold you back?
- What values might be holding you back?
- Are there any cultural or stereotypical barriers holding you back?
- What evidence exists to disprove any of the above?
- What evidence exists to support more positive beliefs?
These questions can be difficult to answer, because you really have to face yourself and be totally rational; that is why limiting beliefs can be so difficult to overcome. Trying to do so alone can be even more difficult, but these questions will point you in the right direction. To make things easier, a strong personal mentor or coach will often be able to help you greatly with this, as long as they are non-judgemental and trustworthy, and as long as you are open, honest and share your true feelings with them about what might be holding you back.
This is what I personally did: I found a life coach and worked with them to overcome some of my own limiting beliefs that stemmed from the fact I left school early and hadn’t gone to university. I felt inadequate in the company of those in business who were highly educated, who perhaps came from a better background than myself. Looking back on it, and considering all that I’d achieved by that point, these were crazy thoughts stemming from a faulty belief system, and they certainly held me back. But with my coach’s help, I was able to overcome these beliefs, grow as an individual and continue to succeed.
As an individual, you need to believe in your own greatness, be grateful and recognise who you are and what you’ve achieved. A positive mindset is essential for this. Only then will you be able to move past your limiting beliefs to reach your full potential. I encourage you to stop and reflect now on how you might do this.
- This is an excerpt from Warren’s book, Evolve to Succeed, which is available here.