“Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way. Just by believing them, we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit. And in doing so we impoverish our lives. We may have beliefs about rights, duties, abilities, permissions and so on.”
“I can’t do it, but if I had to…….”
How many times in life have we told ourselves we can’t do it?
Henry Ford has a famous quote that says “If you think that you can do a thing or you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
We are all our worst enemies when it comes to accomplishing things in life. How many times have you told yourself that you would not be able to accomplish something put in front of you?
These are called limiting beliefs.
I’ve been trying to keep track of how many times I allow my mind to float to limiting beliefs in a day. I have been catching myself many times in a day. It is hard. I consider myself an optimistic person and I still do it to myself many times a day.
Recently, I’ve been fighting off limiting beliefs in regards to making sales and setting up support for our new company. We have incredible products, ones that I truly believe will help small businesses. And, I pay the bills for the stores I own, so I know how stressful it gets for business owners. We have not priced these new products by what the market will bear. We priced our products with what we thought were fair margins and what we, as owners, thought we’d pay for them even though the market is currently higher for most of the products we are offering.
I believe in what I’m doing as much as anything I’ve ever done. That doesn’t mean that I’m not trying to drive myself crazy filling my mind with limiting beliefs. “There is a ton of competition”. “It will be a lot of work to get this off the ground”. “I don’t have a background in being a sales organization”. This one is especially tough to choke down considering I owned DrivingLoyalty for 12 years. The best I can do is try to recognize that I’m doing this defeatism to myself and counter it in my head.
Common Limiting Beliefs
I heard someone at the gym the other day talking about getting ahead in life and they said “it takes money to make money”. We have all heard this adage many times. If you’ve ever said it, you are taking part in a limiting belief.
I’d like to talk about a few of the financial limiting beliefs we tell ourselves. Before you get mad at me for acting like a financial know it all, I am simply pointing out that these are the things we tell ourselves.
I’m not saying getting ahead financially is easy. It is very hard, but I’m positive that we all spend too much time trying to talk ourselves out of being successful. Also, I realize that we all come from different backgrounds. Some kids grow up and are lucky just to make it through the day. It’s hard. Still talking ourselves out of trying won’t get us there.
Ok. Back to financial limiting beliefs.
The fact of the matter is that this adage is not true. According to Thomas J. Stanley’s book, “The Millionaire Next Door“, only 20% of millionaires inherited their wealth. Most of these people simply worked, saved their money and then picked their heads up after many years and realized they had accumulated some wealth.
The key to becoming wealthy is to produce more than you consume and save and invest the difference. This is hard work.
Other limiting financial beliefs:
- 1. I’m too old to do that. I have heard it and I’ve said it tons of times. People are living longer than ever. There are so many examples of people who did extraordinary things at an advanced age that I know it is possible. Now, things are always easier when you are starting out, have no kids, debt, and have increased consumption as you get older. In fact, this last sentence is another way to say the “I’m too old limiting belief”. Ask Colonel Sanders about this one.
- 2. I don’t have the right degree to do what I want. I am encouraged here. I’m 48 years old and when I was a kid, it was common knowledge that you would be less successful if you didn’t go to college. Now, education has been democratized. You can learn almost anything online for next to nothing. All it takes is a little grit. The only caveat is whether you need the degree to legally earn a living like doctors and lawyers.
- 3. The economy is holding our business back from being successful. There are always winners and losers. This was the case in the depression and it is the case now. Proctor and Gamble, Chevrolet and Camel Cigarettes were 3 examples of companies started during this time. This one is especially tough because of the 24 hour news cycle. There are always excuses, financial woes and reasons not to move ahead. The problem is that most of them just hold us back from taking action which leaves us in the same boat as if we would have started and failed. Might as well give it a try. Remember, there are always winners and losers.
- 4. You have to be dishonest to be rich. This one excuses people from working hard and smart. I have been lucky enough to spend time around quite a few wealthy people. Though I have run into a couple that seemed to get ahead by straddling the line between honest and dishonest, I’ve found that most people are kind, good and have worked VERY hard to get ahead in life.
“I can’t” is dangerous. When you start with an “I can’t” or “it won’t work because of a, b and c”, you often give up before even starting. You will never succeed without actually attempting hard things.
Ok. About 1000 rambling words that I hope made some sense. It would be great if you never have limiting beliefs but this is just not realistic. What do you do?
First, recognize that you are making yourself crazy.
Try — “I can’t do it, but if I had to, here is what I would do”
This is the subject for my next post……..
Please contact me if there is anything I can do for you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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