By Yigal Adato
I can’t do it on my own.
I’m not ready.
These are my two limiting beliefs, and I have worked on figuring them out for many years now. Some time in my life these beliefs were instilled in my brain, and whenever I set out to do something new or work toward a goal I have in mind, they take a step forward and announce their presence. It could have been when I was younger, during high school, or even when I started my business. I have no idea exactly when they started to speak up, but they are there.
We all have limiting beliefs but the trick is to identify them and to conquer them so that you can achieve your goals. No one is immune to these thoughts, and they can grow as time goes on if you let them. They are created in a moment when you don’t feel your best and sometimes others create them for you. Here are some common ones you may have thought about yourself:
I’m not good enough
I’m not smart enough
I could never accomplish that
I don’t have enough money
I’m not good looking enough
There is no way I can write an article (one I recently attributed to myself)
The list can go on and on but that’s not the point of this article. The point is to learn how to push these thoughts aside and continue on your path. Push them aside is the key phrase. You see, limiting beliefs are actually there to protect you. They were created in a moment when there was some pain, and in order for you not to relive that moment, your “self” brings those out in similar situations. Your mind is screaming, “hey bud, we have been down this road before and you felt like crap, let’s not do that again.”
The key is to know that you can’t get rid of limiting thoughts but you can thank their wisdom and decide not to listen. Ask yourself one question: “Is the outcome I want worth whatever will happen on the journey?” So many people hold back their dreams, goals and even their needs because of their limiting beliefs, but 90% of your success is in the starting. If you don’t start, you can’t ever get to the success at the end.
That reminds me of a story I heard a while back. In many parts of the world elephants are used for labor, and when they are first brought to a labor camp they are tied to a heavy chain and a large peg in the ground. Throughout the day, they work carrying thousands of pounds of weight and at the end of the day, they end up tied back to that peg. The scary part is that as the elephant gets older, the peg and chain get smaller and the elephant with the thousand-pound lifting ability doesn’t try to escape. The elephant has been conditioned to stay and not venture out.
Just like the elephant, we have been conditioned, but in order to reach our goals and dreams we must break the chains of our limiting beliefs. We can do this by creating and nurturing positive beliefs to counteract the negative ones. Imagine you accomplish that goal you have been wanting for so long. Feel the joy and the sense of accomplishment of finally finishing that project. Feel the sense of pride and the sense of success for finally doing what you have been holding yourself back from doing all this time. I challenge you to figure out your limiting beliefs and face them by taking a small step toward a goal you have been putting off. If you are brave enough, tweet me your steps along this journey @yigaladato using #breakthebelief.