The Five Limiting Beliefs that Hinder Your Success…and How to
By Jay Arthur
times have you gotten into a tough situation and done something
“dumb”? Perhaps you even said to yourself, “Boy…I’ll never do that
again.” But then the next time you were in a similar situation, you
did the same “dumb” thing again. That’s a limiting belief.
many times have you heard yourself say (to yourself or others), “I’m
not good with money,” “I’ll never get the job I want,” “No one will
ever want to be in a long-term relationship with me,” “I always
screw things up,” or any sort of negative message? Those are
people have a limiting belief or two that slows or even halts their
success. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t know they have
limiting beliefs. As such, they go along day after day doing and
saying the same things over and over, all the while wondering why
they never reach their goals.
news is that you can change your limiting beliefs. Yes, it
will take some careful thought and work on your part, but achieving
your life’s purpose and dreams is within your reach. You simply have
to listen to what you’re telling yourself and recognize the
situations you continually find yourself in.
following strategies will help you identify your limiting beliefs
and turn them around for good.
Recognize the most common limiting belief phrase:
Limiting beliefs almost always begin with “I can’t because…”
(Example: “I can’t find a good job because I never went to
college.”) As soon as you say the word “because” you invoke a part
of your brain that believes, “I have a reason.” That’s when you
simply stop trying. So as long as you tell yourself that you can’t
do something because…, you never will.
aware of the five common limiting beliefs.
It’s hopeless (Example: “I'll never be able to start my own
business because I don’t have the money to do so.”) –
When you think something isn’t possible, you won’t even try to
I’m helpless (Example: “I’ll never be rich because no one
ever showed me how to manage money.”) – When you don’t know how
to do something or think a goal is too big, you start to feel
helpless to your situation. As such, the weight of the goal or
the steps involved seem too difficult, and you give up.
It’s useless (Example: “I shouldn’t even bother going back to
school because I won’t make much more money with a degree
than I do now.”) – If something doesn’t seem desirable, you may
view it as useless. But most events have both a short-term and
long-term result. Only focusing on short-term results could
cause you to miss an opportunity.
I’m blameless (Example: “I can’t get a better job because
the economy is so bad.”) – Blaming external events or situations
is the easy and lazy way out. Interestingly though, once the
current external event is over (such as the economy gets
better), you quickly find something else to blame for your
I’m worthless (Example: I don’t deserve the job I really want
because I'm not smart enough.”) Feeling worthless and
undeserving puts the blinders on you. You fail to notice what
you’re good at and consequently think you’re worthless.
Question your beliefs: Whatever your belief is or which phrase
you’re using, question it. For example:
you believe “It’s hopeless,” ask “How is it possible?”
you believe “I’m helpless,” ask “What do I already know about
you believe “It’s useless,” ask “How is it desirable?”
you believe “I’m blameless,” ask “How am I responsible?”
you believe “I’m worthless,” ask “How do I deserve it?”
you likely see others living the life you want and achieving the
things you desire, you know that your goals are possible. Analyze
what these role models do and copy them so you can make progress in
changing your limiting beliefs.
Test your new thinking: Finally, take whatever belief you have
and completely turn it around and test it. For example, suppose your
limiting belief is “I can’t get the job I want because I
never went to college.” You would test that by asking yourself,
“How would not going to college
make it even easier to get the job I want?” or “How would going to
college make it difficult to get the job I want?” You may realize
that many people never graduated from college but they’re worth
millions or even billions of dollars and are passionate about their
careers. If they didn’t graduate from college, how is it possible
for them to get the job they wanted? Sometimes college makes you too
stiff and rigid, and you can’t think broadly enough to get a better
job or start your own company. So in some respects, going to college
may be a hindrance, and someone who didn’t go to college has more
creativity and is better able to take risks.
The key is to change your thought
process and thereby your belief about a particular situation. When
you open your mind to new possibilities for your situation, what
seemed like a dismal circumstance can instantly transform into
A New Belief – A New You:
The goal of these three steps
is to get your brain to notice your limiting beliefs and to see the
other side of the beliefs. As you go through the process, writing
everything on paper will help you better formulate your thoughts so
you can pinpoint specific limiting beliefs and develop questions and
answers to reverse them. Often, just knowing your limiting beliefs
and acknowledging the possibilities that exist within them is enough
to change your thought process. Other times, you need to refer to
your written answers often to keep your new beliefs on track.
The bottom line is that when you
rid yourself of limiting beliefs, anything you want in life becomes
possible. So take the time to complete these steps today. By doing
so, you’ll be able to attain all your personal and professional
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