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WHAT THE F*CK IS A LIMITING BELIEF?

I swear… being into personal development requires a whole subset of the English language.

One of the things you’ll inevitably come by is the concept of ‘limiting beliefs’, so if you’re new to personal development, or just feel you need a deeper understanding of the subject – this is for you.

But to start with, let’s back up to what a belief is.

It’s something you believe to be true.

This can be something as trivial as believing someone is mad at you, all the way up to something with great magnitude, like whether you believe there is a god.

But here’s the mind fuck – just because you believe something to be true, doesn’t actually make it true.

Just to drive this point home – there was a Japanese Second Lieutenant called Hiroo Onoda who remained in hiding for 29 years after the end of World War 2…

Why?

He simply refused to believe that the war had ended.

Even to the point where he dismissed his own brother as an impersonator sent by the US forces.

Beliefs might not have the power to undo universal facts, but they are powerful in a different way…

Your beliefs create your reality.

Hiroo Onoda might have been totally wrong about the war ending, but his belief in its continuation created a reality where he was still at war.


So now we turn to this phrase: Limiting Beliefs

Much of personal development is about expanding your mind, realizing the potential you hold, and pushing into the unknown in order to be the best version of yourself.

But how are you supposed to do any of that if you believe you’re incapable of earning more than $25,000 a year, you’re too old/young to start something new, and that “success isn’t for people like me”?

For 99% of situations, you first have to believe that it’s possible, before the achievement can even be considered.

As Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right.”

So to answer the question “What the f*ck is a limiting belief?” It’s anything you believe to be true that is a limitation on what you’re able to achieve.

The Best Way To Deal With Limiting Beliefs

I spent 27 years being a total sucker for limiting beliefs, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. My band shouldn’t tour without conquering our hometown 
  2. I couldn’t ever make a living doing something I enjoy – ‘work’ was hard for a reason
  3. That by doing a degree there would be a £30k a year job just waiting for me at the end
  4. For years I had a mental block over talking to people older than me, but also the inverse – that I had nothing to learn from anyone younger than myself
  5. I held a fear of German Shepherds because as a child my mum told me “they are strong enough to eat you”

As you can see, limiting beliefs are total bullshit, no matter how real they feel in your mind.

There are 3 strategies that I would recommend which will take care of most limiting beliefs, with a 4th step that ties everything together and makes it work.

1: Create Principles Over Singular Beliefs

If you believe the example above – you’re incapable of earning more than $25,000 a year, you’re too old/young to start something new, and that “success isn’t for people like me” – you may try and attack each of these beliefs individually.

Or you can adopt a belief that tackles all of them at once. 

A principle I remind myself of when any thought like that comes up, is that I believe anything is possible. 

The caveat here is to respect the laws of physics, at 34 years old the chances of me becoming a professional football player are slim-to-none. 

Does that make me a loser who can’t do anything with their life? 

Absolutely not.

Morgan Freeman was 34 before landing a film role, and 52 before being cast as a lead.

Gary Vee was 36 when he posted his first video.

Colonel Sanders was 62 when he started KFC.

Which brings me to the next point…

2: Look For Proof

If there is someone else doing what you want to be doing, that isn’t a signal to be jealous, it means it’s possible.

If it’s possible, you can do it too.

Learn from the people ahead of you instead of envying them.

3: Stack Evidence 

You might feel like you’re ‘not good enough’, everyone has at some point, but a great way to squash this brain fart of a thought is to look for evidence that you are good enough.  

So you haven’t scaled a business to 7 figures, but you’ve sold something on Facebook Marketplace? That’s proof.

You’re not looking for the proof that you can do the thing, just stepping stones and breadcrumbs that build up to provide evidence and confidence.

4: Take Action

You can talk yourself out of limiting beliefs all you like, the best way to truly let go of them is by disproving them.

The way to disprove them, is by taking action.

And not taking action once, failing, and then going “See! I knew I couldn’t do it!”

No, take action more days than not to show yourself those beliefs aren’t true.

There is a ton more that this could lead to, but for now I hope you have a better understanding of beliefs, limiting beliefs and how to deal with them.

I will leave you with this mind-bender:

“We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we truly believe in, and those we never think to question.” – Orson Scott Card

What limiting beliefs do you have that are so deeply set that you’ve never questioned them?

Now is the time to start that introspective journey, as there is no better way to start on the road of personal development.

If you feel you have limiting beliefs, and are unsure of how to overcome them, check out Unf*ck Your Mind, my guided journaling process for neutralizing emotions – and skip to the ‘Self Doubt’ section.

Meet Robert
Alexander Doran

I am an award winning filmmaker, writer, creative consultant & mindset coach… My mission is to help you think better and create more.

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