The most common limited beliefs could be holding your career and life back and you might not even know it. You can learn how to find what your limited beliefs are, root them out and retrain your brain to think with freedom.
Why is that we are so attracted to a dog or a baby’s innocent eyes, chubby cheeks, and curious smile? Have you thought of that? I’m sure you are or have one of those friends who walk down a street and see a dog and at once yelp “Doggie!” “Oh, she’s so cute!” “Can I pet her?!” Or they see a baby, “Oh my gosh!” “Ugh, adorable!” “I just want to scrunch her cheeks!” Why is that? Could it be because we see innocence, pure innocence, someone or something that knows no right or wrong and love every little doughy inch of it?
If that’s the case, why can’t you love yourself for not knowing what is right or wrong? In truth, there is no right or wrong, there is, however, better or worse. For instance, a flight from LA to NYC might be better for me and worse for the person who wants an adventure and bike ride it. Both ways will get a person to NYC.
Could loving this adorable baby be because you deep down want to protect it from the harms of the world? Because you know, all the memories, the pain, joy, reason, passion, giving, embarrassment, resentment, criticism and judgment were all structured into your head from your youth. All these memories are your memories and your memories alone. All these judgments on your memories are your judgments and your judgments alone. So, you don’t want to protect the baby from THE world, but actually from YOUR world. Your world that you have created by reacting to the circumstances given to you in your youth. Your world that you are holding onto from the age of 7.
As a child the subconscious is completely open to the surrounding world, like a sponge taking everything in. When a feeling arises, the conscious comes into play and can secure that feeling turning it into a belief (I feel X because of Z thus I will avoid Z or isolate myself with Y), storing it forever in the subconscious. As an adult, you might have this limited belief “I’m not creative enough,” all because of something your parent said to you when you were 6. Maybe it wasn’t something your parents said, maybe it was not winning the school science fair. A person has avoided a creative endeavor because they didn’t win their first grade science fair. Worse, this limited belief is highlighted throughout their life. Anytime a challenge arises with a new project, this person could avoid taking it on because the limited belief is reinforced.
This is what we call a Limiting Belief. A subconscious thought that is constantly reinforced in your day to day world that holds you back from moving forward.
But now you’re an adult and you can logically think back on your past and find where your limited beliefs lie and why they are there. You can work backwards and start to unravel these limited beliefs and like muscle memory, retrain your thoughts to be positive and free of any limitations you bestow on yourself.
Limited Belief #1: “Building a Business Is Hard.”
Building a business is hard! I’m sure you’ve heard the term “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it!”
I have an old colleague, we’ll call her Mona. Mona decided she wanted to start her own consulting business but the amount of work she had to do on the ground floor was insurmountable, so overwhelming that most people dropped out before the business even started! In fact, Mona wanted to drop out too.
One day while she was playing Sudoku on her phone, a difficult, puzzling, time-consuming, mind game she likes to play in the few free minutes she gets, it dawned on her. “Why can’t my goals be like a game?” “Brilliant!” she said. Mona tucked her phone away and at once went to work on her business. Every challenge she found, she considered a new level. A new challenge. A challenge she wanted to beat.
When one is playing a video game, when you get to the next level, you don’t expect the level to be easier, the bosses to be easier, do you? In fact, it’s the opposite, it gets harder. Now Mona works to “level up” her business. She looks forward to every challenge, knowing that once she finishes this challenge, one is awaiting her that’s even bigger. She calls this “leveling up.” This helps her understand that she has a goal, the challenge or obstacle, and she must figure out a way to beat this “level” to move on to the bigger and more challenging “levels.” Now her “Level 1” challenges are no longer a challenge, she’s more concerned with her “Level 100” challenge.
Some will note that you might not like your work. If you find yourself sitting down to do an assignment and you’re grudging through it. This is probably the universe trying to direct you into another path, a different career path.
There are some people that will say “No, I love my career, I just don’t love this aspect of it.” Well, we all have that. There are singers in the world that have all the money, fame, rock star tours but hate the interviews, but that’s part of the gig. To that I say “Every rose has its thorns.”
Limited Belief #2: “I Don’t Have Enough Money.”
Money is something that we as a society have made up. Back in the stone ages, there was joy, frustration, excitement, anger, love…there was no money. Money didn’t control them, their feelings were still there and yet humans and society progressed. So, why is money holding you back?
Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage. Daymond John started FUBU in his mom’s living room. Amazon, a garage. Facebook in a college dorm room. You get the picture.
Money wasn’t on the minds of these entrepreneurs. Their passion and hard-work led them to money. Money is in fact an effect, not a cause. Once you unravel from your belief that money is going to be the cause of something instead of the effect of something, the more you will reap the benefits of your hard-work.
You may need money to expand, or for inventory purposes, or R&D, whatever it may be, the Universe will help you as your belief will lead you to securing a loan, starting a kick starter, asking friends and family, or finding a venture capitalist.
Need another example? “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” is a well-known TV show that has been running for 13 seasons and still going. Filming takes a ton of work and knowledge. The proper camera, the writing, the lighting, the sound, the location of shooting, the editing, etc. A good camera that you see shooting on say Game of Thrones or Riverdale cost 10s of thousands of dollars. The guys who developed “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” had none of that. They had $100. With the little cash they had they bought some recording tape and an old camcorder. They knew nothing of lighting, editing, or even working a camera. They shot their pilot episode and FX bought it. $100 turned into tens of millions.
Money is not the answer to your problems. Money is the effect of you solving your problems.
Limited Belief #3: “The Market is Saturated!”
Do you remember Blockbuster Video? One of the many video rental stores that had a firm grasp on the market and then comes Netflix. Dunkin Donuts were everywhere, now there’s Starbucks.
I’m willing to bet that you know in your head at least 5 different love songs. The most common song written is about love. Over a 100 million loves songs have been written, but when you hear that new love song tomorrow on Spotify that you fall in love with, you don’t say “ugh, another love song!” You probably are in your shower or car singing along to it. Why is that? Perhaps because the artist who is performing the song brought themselves to the piece.
How many Chinese restaurants are there? Or new Italian spots opening up? Which gym did you choose?
You are enough! Letting the belief that you’re late to the party and the market is dried up is a limiting belief. Believe that you are different, because you are different. People will come to you because of you.
Limited Belief #4: “I Don’t Have Time.”
There are 24 hours in the day. Like your friends, family, colleagues, and enemies, they too have 24 hours in their day. This is another common belief that limits people from starting their new chapter, changing careers or pushing forward with their goals. I’m here to tell you, you do.
Goals aren’t easy to fulfill. Goals take sacrifice and one of the main sacrifices is Time. Maybe you have to wake up an hour earlier to work on your personal project. One hour. Is that so bad? Maybe you stay up an hour later?
Maybe you have a 9-5 job, you drop off the kids to school at 8. You commute two hours total each day. You get up at 6 to cook breakfast. You take a 30-minute jog before that. You get home at 6, you talk with your family, do laundry, eat dinner. It’s now 9:00 in the evening. Most people are reporting to be getting around 6 hours of sleep! 6! That leaves you with 3 hours left in your day. What are you doing with that 3 hours?
Time is what we make of it. If you believe time is controlling you and you find yourself saying “I should do XYZ,” you’re letting time limit you. “I should” needs to turn into “I must,” because you have goals laid out, your priorities are straight and your passion is thriving.
Figure out what works best for you, for me I like to write on an index card the night before of everything I must get done the next day. Note, I don’t put an all-ending fate on myself if I don’t complete all the tasks. I might want to get 5 tasks done, but I only get to 3. I simply state “Well, my day is done, I am not finished, but I did all that I could do for today.” This takes the pressure off myself that time is not controlling me, that the world isn’t ending because I didn’t finish all of my tasks, but that I am allowing myself to flow with time.
John Wooden is a famous basketball coach that coined the term “Make Today Your Masterpiece.” If you can work hard to make today everything that you can make out of it, time will no longer be your enemy, but your friend. You will find every challenge that is thrown in your direction, even every unexpected challenge, you will take on with passion and excitement to make that day, that unique day, your masterpiece.
Limited Belief #5: “I Don’t Have What It Takes To Succeed.”
You’re right. You don’t, if that’s the way you think. Henry Ford was once quoted saying
Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right!
To this day, I have never met a successful person who didn’t think they could succeed. I have met many unsuccessful individuals who doubted themselves though. The correlation is there. If you yearn for success you must first define success.
People who write down their goals are more likely to be successful and earn more money than others who do not write down their goals. So, grab a pen or a marker, not a pencil! Because a pencil marking you can always erase, and write down your goal!
The change of perspective comes from thinking too big to thinking small. What is your overall goal? To run a successful business? What is a successful business? Okay, let’s say you want 10% of market share, that’s your success label. How do you get to 10% of market share? First, you have to get 9%…before that 8%. Let’s go back further on the timeline, develop an ad campaign….develop a quality product…invest in R&D…create a business plan…state your company’s mission…what is the name of your company?
Creating the name of your company seems so much smaller and not as daunting as needing 10% of the market share. Today, you come up with your company’s name. First step! That, for today, is success! Congratulations! And now you move to the next small baby step.
So, you do have what it takes to succeed…by taking it one step at a time. Running a marathon seems like an appalling task, but do you know how you run a marathon? One step at a time. Each step is closer to your overall goal of success. I promise you can do that, because you do have what it takes to succeed. Everyone can run, walk, wheel, crawl a marathon.
Bonus Limited Belief: “Successful People Are Just Lucky.”
Thomas Edison developed the light bulb after 10,000 tries. 10,000. Ten. Thousand. Keep that in mind the next time you’re rejected or are angry at your lack of success and feel envy towards “successful” people. If that rejection wasn’t your 10,000th time, Thomas Edison and I do not want to hear it. Nor does James Dyson after finally succeeding on his 5,126th time to create a vacuum cleaner. Or Colonel Sanders who was rejected 1,009 times trying to sell his recipe. Or the founder of Pandora.Com who enduringly found an investor after being kicked out of 300 offices.
Successful people aren’t lucky. They’re persistent. Their hard-work and passion allows for the universe to connect them to opportunities that one would define as luck. The saying goes “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Or another great quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca, “The difference between lucky and unlucky people, we’ve seen before, is all in our perspective.”
A small change in your perspective can open up the gates for a flood of energy.
How To Let Go of These Limiting Beliefs…
Recognize your Limited Beliefs. Take a moment to write them down. Don’t pressure yourself to find them all at once. You might encounter a limiting belief one day at the office, but take note of it and write it down at that moment.
Understand where it came from. As an adult you might now understand where this belief was developed and understand how this belief no longer serves you.
Separate yourself from it. Understand that this belief did protect you for certain reasons subconsciously. Be grateful. This belief was only trying to keep you safe. Now imagine this belief on a leaf being whisked away by the wind far, far away as you…
Release it! Understand these beliefs no longer serve you and your interest. You send these beliefs out into the universe, and they no longer block you from what you desire. Here is a quote to use when releasing your limited beliefs:
“I embrace the belief of xyz. Although you have always served me and tried to protect me, you are separate from me and no longer represent the person I am now. Thank you for always trying to serve my higher good. But I am now moving on with my life that is unrelated to you. I send you back to the universe so that you may occupy the space of infinite possibilities. You are now free to reside in a safe place with other beliefs where you will be treasured and loved. I am now free to live as I choose, and create what I want. ”
Find that inner baby in yourself and learn to love that inner child. Release all those limiting beliefs that were protecting you, change your perspective and make each day a masterpiece.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. Take a look at my last article on the crippling effect of Judgment by clicking here.