Success by Elimination: Removing Self-Limiting Beliefs
Success means different things to different people. For a footballer, it might be winning a football match, or for a blogger, it might be writing a post that attracts a lot of links. Although successes as we define them can be different, there is one common force that stops people achieving them: self limiting beliefs. When there’s a number of people who will happily jump on your case to tell you that you can’t do things or won’t amount to anything, it puts into perspective how pointless self-limiting beliefs really are. In this post I am going to share why we have self-limiting beliefs and how to remove them from your thinking.
Defining your SuccessI’ve already made clear that everybody has their own definitions of success so I’m not going to preach that point here. What I do want to cover is that defining your success really should be your success. Just because you see someone like Bill Gates making billions through software or Google controlling the online ad market, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them. In-fact, I think the worst thing you could do would be to aim for success in an area that you have no passion for. Not only because of wasted time, but for doing yourself dis-justice in terms of not finding out what you really want to achieve. Success can also be in areas outside your career, it can be in helping someone else to achieve something or just becoming a better person in general. There are 6 main factors to success as defined by Peter Clemens:
- Have a definition of what success means to you
- Don’t expect things to come to you, you have to work for them
- Instead of thinking what you can achieve for yourself, focus on how you can help others
- Keep an abundance mentality in that there are enough ideas, opportunities and profits to go around
- Have something to drive you to keep going, whether it be supporting your family or improving your current lifestyle
- Assign goals, they have been proven to help people succeed over those who do not assign them
Why do we have Self-Limiting BeliefsIt is clear that doubting ourselves and thinking we aren’t going to succeed at something is probably the best way to fail before we’ve even started. So if that is the case, why do we have self-limiting beliefs in the first place? When you think about this more clearly, the answer is very simple: social conditioning. When we were babies or young children, did we have self-limiting beliefs then? If we did, I certainly wouldn’t have believed I could be a world class footballer or that my friends really could become astronauts. When people tell you that you can’t do something often enough, you start to believe it and question whether you can. After-all, how can all these people be wrong and you be the one who is right? Thankfully, the effect society plays on our minds didn’t affect every human who has walked this planet, as the world would be a much lesser place. I don’t want it to seem like I think societal reactions are a bad thing. When you have a big dream that will probably be difficult to achieve, people want the best for you and don’t want to see you wasting time or potentially failing something when you could be taking a safer option. Besides the feedback from society, laziness and a quitter mentality can be a great way to fuel our self-limiting beliefs. We often want to take the easier option and then make the difficulties an excuse for why we never achieved our dreams. If that is convincing enough for you on your deathbed then so be it, however, I’m willing to work hard to do the things I want to do. I accept the challenge.
Removing Self-Limiting BeliefsThe following are some steps that have helped me vastly improve my life by ridding myself of limiting beliefs and achieving things I never thought I could do.
- Don’t settle for second best
- Set out goals and how you will achieve them
- Find ways to motivate yourself
- Having a defined reason you are doing what you are doing, that you can look back on for reference if you lose track i.e. this blog is to help more people find their identity
- Consider what else you would be doing; if you gave up you would be back to square one and make all the hard work worthless
- Realise that nothing in this world that is worth anything ever came to anyone easily or without any effort
- Realise that you own your self-limiting belief