Choose Your Beliefs Wisely to Carry You To Success
Previously, we discussed Self-Fate and how, because we are making choices based on our past experiences, we cannot change our future unless the control of the past is removed. We need to learn to make conscious choices, choices that are made in the present moment, without all the emotional “baggage” we carry around.
You can think of that baggage as being packed in four kinds of suitcases – the “Big 4” that we carry around with us that dictate how we see the world and that hold us back from reaching our unlimited potential.
The first suitcase contains your limiting beliefs. Beliefs can either help you or hinder you; limiting beliefs are those that hold you back from success. If you do not believe something is possible, you’re not likely to attempt it. Even if you do attempt it, you won’t devote much energy to achieving that goal.
Unconscious Beliefs Will Hold You Back
Limiting beliefs are general beliefs about the world, your environment and situation, and the people around you that stand in your way. More often than not, you accept a limiting belief as true because you’ve learned it from someone else, or from an “authority,” such as the media, a book, or a movie. You assume that it’s “just the way it is.”
Here is a classic example of a limiting belief: Up until 1954, it was commonly held that running a mile in under four minutes was impossible. Moreover, physiologists believed it was extremely dangerous even to attempt it. Yet on May 6 of that year, Roger Bannister crossed the finish line in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, thereby disproving the myth forever.
It’s remarkable that Bannister accomplished his feat. It required that he completely ignore the prevailing limiting belief and construct an entirely different belief system for himself. What others saw as a limitation, he perceived as opportunity. And two months after he disproved the presumed limits of the human body another runner broke Bannister’s record. What’s more, within just a few years, dozens of runners were leaving the four-minute mark in the dust.
Here are a couple of common limiting beliefs that hold many of us back. How about, you have to work really hard to achieve success? Or that successful people are lucky? Or that you have to have money to make money?
One of my own limiting beliefs that I’ve recently discovered is that I need to work long hours to be successful. Because I had this belief I was often worn out, and as a result, not very productive during my working hours. When I let that belief go I found I was highly productive in short bursts soon after getting rest or doing some other non-business related activity.
There are several ways to challenge limiting beliefs. You can explore the effect the belief has had on your life, look for proof of its truth (or lack of proof), or modify the belief or aspects of the belief to better serve you. Simply examining the belief with questions like “How true do I believe that is?” and the rhetorical “Where did I get that idea?” can also work remarkably well. Once you overcome limiting beliefs, they can no longer hold you back.
Think about examining the contents of your limiting beliefs suitcase. Unpack it, and see how much lighter you feel.
Post any limiting beliefs you discover in the comments below. Many of us share the same limiting beliefs and having them posted here can help the next person move past their own.
In the next post, we’ll continue with the next of the Big 4, the assumptions we make.