The more I work with people helping them succeed, the more I notice one prevalent characteristic that makes the difference between the one who succeeds and the one who doesn’t get much further even though both are very talented, connected to the right people, working hard… What is it, that makes the difference?
And where does attitude come from? From beliefs. Especially those, that we are hardly aware that we have, because we so accept them for “the way things have always been so this must be reality and there is no other way” and we even don’t question them. It may be our blind spot because of which we keep hitting the glass ceiling or wall on the way to success.
Do you feel that you do everything that you can but your goal is still far from your reach? Maybe you feel like you make one step forward and then something happens and you have to jump two steps back on your way to success? Or that you feel you are just not good enough, not connected to the right people, have “bad luck” in your life or business, things don’t work out for you because of economy,….
Beware, there might be hidden limiting beliefs pulling you back and sabotaging your success in life or/and business.
Would you like to finally break through what holds you back? Get rid of those invisible strings that make your each step towards your goal so painful or difficult to take?
It takes some work but it is possible to do. Once you shed some light on the beliefs, they lose the power over you. So, are you ready to take the flashlight of your questions and see what’s holding you back?
Try on these following steps. Each of your answers is like a stream of light into the dark corners of your mind. Keep looking till you see what belief is the one holding you back the most.
Set at least half an hour aside to do this. Without doing the “work” and going with the flashlight into the corners of your mind, you will not find out anything new and you most likely will repeat whatever you have been doing in the past and getting the same old unsatisfactory results. So, whenever you are ready to get new results, do the exercise below!
1. Pick only one area of your business or life that you are not happy with or you wish it was better.
Pick an area where you suspect or know limiting beliefs might be pulling the strings in the background of what you do. Think of different areas of your life or business and look for feelings of guilt, anger, blame, unease, fear or physical sensations of being tense, headache, suddenly feeling sleepy, or feeling tense in area of your heart – emotions and feelings are like a compass that tell us where we stand in relation to our goals, values or ideals.
Is the area that you would like to work on weight loss? Amount of money that you earn? Not getting the promotion that you desired or feeling behind in your career? Procrastinating work on your business? Avoiding making the call to your potential customer? Being afraid to increase your prices? Or not having the relationships in your life that you want?
Another way to find out your limiting beliefs is to ask: What is my goal that I attempt to reach?
There might be several areas where you wish things were different or better but for clarity and focus, please select only one at a time to work with. Write it down.
E.g. My goal is to earn $200,000 a year but I haven’t reached it yet.
2. Once you picked the area of your business or life, write down all the beliefs that you have around that particular area. Brainstorm first, don’t write the ideas as a numbered list, don’t try to judge them yet.
Helpful phrase to get you started is by completing the following sentences:
My goal is …… and I haven’t reached it yet because ….. and so….
I really want to be/have ….. and it doesn’t happen because ….
Life is ….
All people who reached that goal are….
All people who reached that goal have….
If I reach that goal, I would be….
I can reach that goal but then….
Just let the reasons pour out of you on the sheet of blank paper. It doesn’t matter if you think it is related or not to that area, whatever comes to your mind write it down.
3. Look at your reasons why you didn’t accomplish your goal and evaluate. Which one would you like to look more into? Pick an easy one to start with that you suspect is not that valid.
E.g. I don’t have enough resources.
I don’t have enough credentials.
I don’t have what it takes.
4. Pick one and shine the flashlight on it!
Let’s pick an easy one to start with that you suspect is not true all the time.
E.g. I’m lazy.
Now ask yourself the following questions:
Is that really true? Is that really true that (I’m lazy, all rich people are dishonest, etc.)?
Can I find at least one example when this is not true? (Oh, well sometimes I actually take action and am motivated.)
See, maybe the statement “I’m lazy” is not as true as you thought! Is this belief serving you?
Is the belief “I’m lazy” motivating you to reach your goal?
5. How does the belief make you feel?
Justified? Righteous? Victimized? Scared? Angry? Write down how you feel whenever you say that belief.
6. What that belief costs you in your life or business?
What are the consequences of living and acting as if the belief were true? If you keep listening to that belief and behaving accordingly, what will it cost you in 5 years? 10 years?
E.g. I would probably never make $200,000 because I would be too lazy to do anything for it.
7. What would the opposite of that belief be?
E.g. I’m motivated to take an action.
8. What does it feel like when you think this opposite belief?
E.g. I’m motivated. — I feel excited, I can see myself taking action and enjoying the process of it. I feel proud of myself that I did it.
9. How could acting on this belief benefit you in the future? If you act as if the new belief is true, what your future might look like in a month, a year, 5 years?
E.g. being in action, motivated to find ways to make $200,000 a year! Creating a product, service, or finding what it would require me to change or improve to get the promotion at my company? Am I lazy to ask? To do my research? Not any more, because I believe I am motivated! 🙂
10. Check how you feel and keep those beliefs in check.
Does it inspire you to see the new belief? Have you felt a change in your focus and suddenly see new opportunities and possibilities for that area? Does this new belief help you to get closer to your goal? Do you feel excited about your goal and future now instead of drained or scared or lazy as before? If yes, awesome!
Sometimes, once you discover that the belief that you use most often as a reason why you didn’t accomplish the goal is not that true, a shift in your emotions or energy level or solutions doesn’t happen. No worries, you didn’t lose the battle with your beliefs. It just means that that belief is not the one that really holds you back from your success. Pick another belief, and dig deeper. Once you find the one, you will know, you will feel it and it will liberate you.
The only disappointing thing – at least for myself is – once you discover your limiting beliefs, it doesn’t make them disappear. They might still be there, lurking in your mind, because you nurtured them and made them stronger by thinking the thoughts over and over again sometimes for several years or decades.
But you claimed your victory by discovering them. Whenever the limiting belief stands in the way of you taking the action, such as “I’m lazy or “I’m not good enough for this”, don’t push it away. Listen to what it tries to tell you. Look at it, and say “Thank you for your opinion. And I still am going to take an action because I know now that I can be motivated. And it makes me actually happy!”.
Celebrate your victories! It will be your personal “Day of Independence”, no matter how many days in a year!
To Your Success
“Men often become what they believe themselves to be.
If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it.
But when I believe I can , then I acquire the ability to do it even If I didn’t have it in the beginning”.” Mahatma Gandhi
There are many resources, books, mentors, coaches or even free videos that can help you overcome your limiting beliefs. One of the books that I found interesting was by Byron Katie and her method of questioning our “reality” and beliefs. Available also as an audiobook. For me personally, audiobooks are a great way to use the time while sitting in traffic! 🙂