‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t … you’re right.’ Henry Ford.
When was the last time you talked yourself out of going for something you wanted because it just wasn’t you? What did the voice in your head say? Was it something like:
‘You’re not smart enough.’
‘You’re no athlete.’
‘Only people with money ….’
‘You don’t have a head for business.’
The problem is you believed it. Those statements sounded perfectly reasonable, after all, you’ve been listening to them for most of your life. But those beliefs influenced your actions and limited what you thought was possible. They prevented you from even seeing certain opportunities and made you feel like what you wanted deep down was out of reach and out of your league. You started to believe that all those great things were for other people, those who were younger, richer, smarter not for ‘someone like you’ so you never bothered to try.
That’s the danger of limiting beliefs, they convince you that a limited life is all you can have.
But just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Yes, those beliefs have been around for so long that you never questioned them but a belief can be challenged at any time. You can choose to stop believing it and believe something different. Something empowering. Something that moves you in the direction of your goals. You can start right now!
- First, don’t shy away from your deepest desires. What is it that you really want? What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of life do you want to create? Be open and honest with yourself.
- Set a goal that excites you, one that truly matters.
- Expect to be confronted and possibly intimidated by the gap that exists between where you are and where you want to be. Is that gap giving rise to negative thoughts and emotions about you and your abilities? Don’t just accept those thoughts, question them.
- You’re probably consumed by self-doubt right now but entertain the thought (just for a moment) that you may be capable of closing that gap, that you have the ability to learn and improve.
- Say to yourself: ‘There’s a big gap between where I am and where I want to be but I know I can learn and improve. I am capable of moving closer to my goal’. Assuming that this statement is true, what actions would you take? Identify the smallest step you can take in this new direction.
- Now comes the scary part, the part where many falter. You will have to take action. It will require courage to step into the unknown and try something new so start small. Reinforce that new belief by acting like it’s true.
Even the biggest changes begin with small steps
Don’t beat yourself up about what’s gone on before, focus on the here and now and the future you want to create. With every small step you take, every bit of consistent action, you will build confidence, creating an identity that embodies the new belief. In the process, you learn that change is possible and you have the power to create what you want. With commitment, courage and the willingness to take action consistently that person you believed you couldn’t be is just a little closer.
And when self-doubt rears its head as it will, when that voice in your head chirps up to remind you of staying in your place. When it says, who the heck do you think you are to have big dreams? Challenge it right back and say:
Now over to you
What is one thing you believe about yourself that is holding you back?
Are you willing to challenge it?
What is one new belief that would move you forward?
Let me know in the comments.
The battle against limiting beliefs is an unending one. It’s amazing how easily and insidiously they invade our lives. As we eliminate some, new ones enter so we have to be on constant guard. Want to read more about how to identify, hunt down and change your limiting beliefs? Check out my three-part series.
How your beliefs can keep you trapped
How to hunt down limiting beliefs