Limiting beliefs are the constraints you place upon yourself in your abilities to go beyond what you even thought possible. They often come coupled with excuses and reasons as to why you can’t go beyond them.
When I first went to an Anthony Robbins seminar some years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew that at some point during the weekend I’d be doing firewalking and the thought of that scared the heck out of me!
The day before the seminar, I’d badly bruised and injured my foot and was barely able to walk.
Coupled with that injury, I thought that there was no way that I would be able to do it. (And deep down I was thinking wooohooo!)
Then, two hours before the fire-walk, Tony went through the motions of preparing the audience and how to think to avoid getting hurt or burned.
He had an amazing affect on people, myself included and after he finished his coaching, I felt ready and prepared to go through the fire.
I was still scared, my foot was still in pain, I was limping all the way to the hot coals, but I went through with it despite the fear and despite any limiting beliefs I had.
The one thing that whole experience taught me was that having the fear or a limiting belief is not the problem, the problem is when you allow it to stop you from doing what you want.
When you create a new belief, make sure itâ€™s one you can achieve and one you believe. For example, I made a goal 5 years ago to become a stand-up comedian and I did it. I don’t do it full time but it has given me the necessary skills to be able to perform on stage like and be up there with the best of them.
There are 2 kinds of primary limiting beliefs: The ones you impose on yourself and the ones imposed on you by others which, after some reinforcement, you’ve bought in to. Some examples:
I don’t deserve it
I don’t have enough qualifications
I’m not sure I’m worth it
I don’t have a degree
I didn’t go to university
They’re offering more than I deserve
I don’t have the energy
I’m too tired
I don’t have the right skills
I just don’t have what it takes
I could never achieve what they have
It’s ok for them to say that, they’re rich
Iâ€™m not funny enough
Iâ€™m not good at networking
I’m not good enough
You have a long way to go
You’re not ready
You don’t have what it takes
You don’t have the passion
You’ll never amount to anything
You’ll always be this way
You can’t cut it
Do any of those sound familiar?
What most people don’t realise is that essentially a limited belief is like a half-hearted goal. Rather than setting yourself a grand goal, you are setting yourself a below par goal to try and somehow avoid the disappointment of failure.
The question is are going to let any of those limiting beliefs determine your destiny, or are you going to dictate the beliefs you have an then shape your destiny accordingly?
The first step in having a stand-off with your limiting beliefs is recognising those beliefs that are preventing you from moving forward. It might even take someone to point it out. Once you recognise them, then you can do something about them.
I have my fair share, and still allow excuses to creep in now and again, but I’m much better at detecting them, and because of that, I’m able to deal with them head on.
When you detect one, ask yourself honestly: Why do I believe that? Where did that come from? Why can I not go beyond it? How can I go beyond it? Why can’t I take that limiting belief and give it the finger?
Once you’ve asked that last question, give it the middle finger!