It’s time to bust this open. Self limiting beliefs can and will make you fail. They’ll cause you to act in such a way that you can’t succeed. How? Well, it’s pretty complicated. Let me explain it to you; sit back and relax. I’m going to explain how something as small as a thought or even a sentence you say to yourself in your mind can make or break you.
‘Make or break me? Sounds a bit extreme?’
Well, it might sound harsh but it’s true. Think about the last thing you told yourself. If you can’t remember, maybe try thinking about the last time someone told you to do something that is considered difficult. If you’re having trouble remembering any of this, (don’t worry) then I’ll use an example. Mr. example for today will be called Nathan.
Nathan is a fairly bright man, he’s been to college and now has a job working as an accountant. He earns a decent living. He’s actually even started his own business on the side. He’s a bright man with a bright future? Well no because Nathan has a problem. He has self limiting beliefs.
What do we mean by self limiting beliefs?
We mean one or more beliefs that you can have about yourself that BRING YOU DOWN or otherwise limit your progress in any given area of life.
It can be something simple like ‘I never seem to be on time’ or it can be something much more serious and potentially lethal to your business success like ‘I can never seem to make any money’ or ‘I’m not good with technical things like computers’.
These beliefs can actually change the way our brains work in such a way that situations which would normally be opportunities are rejected and disregarded by your brain SIMPLY BECAUSE the way you’ve programmed your brain through negative experiences and ‘the story you tell yourself’ stops you from making the most of them.
It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you tell yourself you can’t do something, you’ll stop yourself being able to do it. You’ll physically change the way your brain works. By associating certain feelings, thoughts and emotions with something, you change the way your neurons fire in your brain therefore potentially limiting your abilities. It’s pretty annoying that it works like that, but at the same time it means you can do something about it. .
‘Nathan, why don’t you start a website?’
(This is an example conversation that Nathan could have. Bear in mind that Nathan is the classic person with limiting beliefs. Try to understand what’s going on here)
Person – I’ve seen some of your work and you’re really talented.. Why don’t you start a website? My friend built one and after a few months of work it’s really taken off! You’re good with numbers and you like organizing things!
Nathan – Oh, I’ve never been good with websites. I can never figure out the coding and technical stuff.
Person – It’s possible to learn though, right? I mean.. You didn’t just BECOME an accountant did you? You had to study and learn the skills needed to do that job.. .why not try and learn some new skills?
Nathan – I could never make it work.. It would be a waste of my time.. I can see why it would be a good idea, but I don’t think it’s for me. I’d rather work for someone else and get paid a fraction of my potential earnings. (Alright, I’m starting to play this up a little bit now but you get that idea)
Person – Even the really technical stuff can be outsourced, there are tonnes of videos on YouTube, and you’d be in good company! I’m trying to start a site as well! We could learn together..
Nathan – No, honestly I’m not a techincal sort of person. I would rather stick with my safe accounting job and earn just enough to pay the bills.
Hopefully you get the idea. He COULD learn those skills. It took me weeks to learn how to start a site but I did it, and now have several of them. It’s fun! It’s actually a nice little challenge with potentially huge results and rewards, but so many people are like Nathan and don’t do it. These negative beliefs can be about anything as well.. For example, I’m sure you’re aware of THAT girl?…
‘I can’t find a happy relationship because I always attract idiots’
You know? That girl?
The one who always says she can never find love and attracts all the wrong guys.. And her friends sort of stare at her in almost disbelief but at the same time, bored tired eyes when she says she’s broken up with yet another ‘jerk’. It gets to a certain point where you realize she must be the problem. There’s no way one person can be THAT unlucky, and in the end it comes down to her beliefs.
Her self limiting beliefs that she can never find love will actually cause her to ‘ignore’ it when she does actually find it and instead accept offers and romantic invitations from guys she probably knows won’t work out. There have been several online ‘jokes’ in the form of memes suggesting that girls friend zone the guys that would actually be good for them and instead give their time and attention to ‘idiots’.
So why is this? Are these girls genuinely unlucky, Or are they just an unknowing victim of their own negative beliefs and expectations?
I don’t think I really need to tell you which of those it is. It’s obvious, right? But it’s SO EASY to tell yourself negative things without being fully aware of how it affects your mind. Your subconscious mind as explained before is incredible.. It can produce ANYTHING you want it to but the problem is it can return weeds in just as wonderful abundance as flowers. It’s all about what you feed it.
So when that girl says ‘I always attract the wrong guys’ what she should be saying is something positive! Something like ‘This relationship hasn’t worked out, but the next one will. I’ll find someone who treats me right and who I’m happy with’. Do you see the difference? One is negative, one is positive.
The funny thing is, both statements will turn out to be right. Tell yourself every day for a year that you’re going to be successful, and it’s pretty hard NOT to be successful. In the same way however, Tell yourself things like:
- I’m never on time
- I can’t ‘get’ all this technical stuff
- I never find the right guys/girls
- No-one likes me
- I’m un-attractive
And those things WILL become true.
It’s annoying but at the same time motivating because after reading this, you’ll be able to understand how to change your situation. Now of course removing negative and self limiting beliefs is slightly more complex than just ‘wishing it away’ and telling yourself you look sexy in the mirror. We’ll get to that soon enough.
A self fulfilling prophecy
You’ve heard that saying before? It basically means that if you tell yourself something over and over again, eventually you’ll make small changes and alterations to the things you CAN control which ultimately make your expectation a reality. In simple terms, We become what we think about.
It you decide (And it is a choice) to think negatively, you’ll get negative results. Think positively and you’ll get.. Say it with me now.. positive results. So simple yet thousands of people set themselves up to fail! They really do and it’s sad. Approach everything you do with a feeling of positivity and potential. I had never done origami in my life before, but I saw a cute origami rose being made on some YouTube video, so I approached it with optimism and sure enough 20 minutes later..
And that was my first attempt.
Now of course there are some things you won’t be able to do first time.. I’m not saying that you should approach NASA and tell them you want to work for them simply because you belief you can operate a rocket. I’m saying that you should just stop telling yourself negative and self limiting stories. You’re NOT always late.. You’re late today because you overslept.. So set your alarm to go off 10 minutes earlier and then again at your actual time. Go to bed earlier the night before and sleep better.
By saying things like ‘I’m always late’ you’re telling your mind that it’s okay to continue being late.
By telling yourself ‘I’ll never become a millionaire’ you’re telling yourself that you should never try.. And therefore if/when an opportunity DOES come around, you’ll be so conditioned to fail that you’ll either consciously or subconsciously reject the opportunity! You’ve got to think about things in a positive way!
What are your self limiting beliefs? What would it mean to you to be able to remove them? Let me know on Facebook.. If you liked this article and agree with what I said, please do share it. Takes a few seconds but it helps me a lot!