Change is the only constant in life, and that’s certainly no more true than it is in business. Still, it’s possible to find yourself stuck in ruts and plateaus, unable to move your business forward.
When that happens it might seem like everyone is more successful than you. And for a lot of really good reasons.
You tell yourself:
- I just don’t have enough time or money to invest in the things that will grow my business.
- I still have so much left to learn before I can make the big moves.
- I've made costly mistakes before and I certainly don’t want to go down that road again. People haven’t forgotten and they’re all watching me, waiting for me to fail.
- I need to be happy with what I’ve already achieved. Wanting more would be greedy and it will probably cost me my relationships.
- What I’ve achieved isn’t good enough. I need to work harder.
What you may not realize is that every one of these limiting beliefs is false. They come from some aspect of your past (often as early as childhood) and they’re more than untrue‒ they’re holding you back.
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
We have all developed a unique set of beliefs from our early childhood. Some of our beliefs are supportive (“I am loved and supported by so many.” “Good things take time.” etc.), but some of them are limiting.
A limiting belief is any belief (not fact!) that keeps you from reaching your full potential. They almost always come from a place of fear, but they can also come from our lived experiences, outside influences, societal standards, or religious beliefs.
With limiting beliefs, we might convince ourselves that we don’t deserve success, we’re not as talented or knowledgeable as others in our industry, and the rest of the world is working against us.
The Two Main Categories Of Limiting Beliefs
1. Comfort Zone Limits - These limiting beliefs keep love, success, and happiness at the level you find most comfortable.
We use them to keep ourselves safe, but they undoubtedly come from a place of fear. When we have a comfortable amount of wealth, love, and happiness (i.e. the amount we’ve been taught to expect throughout our lives) we create limits to protect us from growing any further.
It’s the reason celebrities - at the height of their outward success - turn to drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or toxic relationships. Subconsciously, they realize they’ve stepped outside their comfort zones and now they’re doing everything in their power to self-sabotage - even if they don’t realize it. The same can happen with your business.
2. Internalized Rules - These limiting beliefs are the "shoulds," "musts," and "gottas" you’ve learned over time.
Want to discover your “shoulds”? Try opening up a social media app and checking on the competition. It won’t be long before you develop a whole list of them.
Instead of healthy principles, these internal rules cause us to feel like we must meet some self-placed expectation or else feel like a failure. They create “busy work” for us, taking away time from our more valuable work.
The Five Types Of Limiting Beliefs in Business
Sounds like: “Our offerings aren’t good enough to charge more.”
Sounds like: “We don’t have enough time or money to invest in certain things that will grow the business.”
3. Imposter Syndrome
Sounds like: “I haven’t been doing this long enough. I’m not experienced enough to make this deal.”
4. Hyper Achievement
Sounds like: “We’re growing but not enough. We need to work harder.”
5. Fear of Success
Sounds like: “This move is too big. We’re not ready to be a household name.”
The 6 Steps To Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs
1. Identify a limiting belief.
To uncover your limiting belief, ask yourself:
- What is something I would like to achieve‒ but I’m not currently working toward?
- Why am I not working toward achieving it?
- What is the reason that deep inside I believe I cannot do, be, or have something?
2. Label it a belief - and deconstruct accordingly.
A lot of the time just recognizing, from an adult perspective, that this is a belief you learned in childhood is enough to eliminate it. You must tell yourself, “I’ve believed this for a long time, but it is not true.”
Other times, you will need to deconstruct it to see how useless and harmful it is. Try asking yourself:
- Why do I believe this?
- Where/how did I adopt this belief?
- How is this belief hurting me?
- What might happen if you didn’t have this belief?
3. Find a role model.
Find someone you admire who is successful in the area in which you have limited yourself. Identify and list the empowering beliefs that that person must hold to have experienced such success.
If you can, talk to them and learn from them. More likely than not, they, too, had to overcome limiting beliefs to get to where they are today.
4. Move on.
Limiting beliefs are sometimes the result of past events where you feel like you made a poor choice or you were told you weren’t good enough.
Release those past events along with your limiting beliefs. Accept the reality that it happened. Forgive yourself for the time you spent believing something that wasn’t true, and move on.
5. Do the work.
Every old, limiting belief must be replaced with a fresh, healthy belief. This is going to take work. If your limiting belief told you that you were "not talented enough," start telling yourself, "Skill is the result of practice - not talent."
Make it a mantra and repeat it as often as needed. You have repeated your old belief to yourself many times, many times. You’re going to have to do the same with your new belief. Visualize the results you can achieve with your supportive belief.
6. Watch your life improve.
With your new, positive beliefs, you’ll be open to more possibilities and more opportunities. You’ll start to find yourself happier and more successful than you previously thought possible. Each new piece of evidence will only prove you more correct in your new belief.
Then encourage your team to do the same you’ve just done. The impact it can create will be substantial for your business.
The Bottom Line: Letting Go Of Your Past Won’t Happen Overnight, But The Work Is So Worth It
Don’t try to rid yourself of ALL your limiting beliefs at once. That’s a sure way to trigger your internal self-sabotage and set yourself up for failure.
Instead, be patient with yourself. Go slow and address each of your limiting beliefs one by one - for as long as each one takes.
As your comfort zone expands, you’ll start to realize you are gradually increasing the love, happiness, health, success, and abundance you allow into your life. As a result, you’ll no longer feel anxious about growth and change and instead, you’ll experience a greater sense of peace when everything is going great.
Best of all, you’ll have opened yourself (and your business) up to limitless possibilities. Because the truth is: the only thing limiting you is yourself.