Wednesday, 20 July 2016

What are Your Limiting Beliefs?

Notice I didn't ask whether or not you have any limiting beliefs, just what they are.  If you believe you do not have any, you are deceiving yourself.  We all have limiting beliefs.  Every one of us.

Limiting beliefs are not "limited" to the poor and those of us who are not well known.  The French King Charles VI, for example, had a belief that limited him from being touched by others - his belief was that he was made of glass and that if anyone touched him, he would shatter!  Most of us will not have limiting beliefs quite that strange, and most of us will not act quite as erratically as King Charles - who even gave his country away to the King of England!  But we do all have limiting beliefs, and some of those beliefs will be highly debilitating.

A limiting belief is any belief which stops you achieving something you would like to achieve.  This is often, but not always, because you do not believe it is possible for you to achieve it right now.  Sometimes it is a belief that what you want is in some way sinful.  It may be a belief that even though you really want to achieve it, you will be unhappy if you do.  Perhaps because deep inside you are not sure it is right for you.

As you will see, there can be many different kinds of limiting belief.  The best way to deal with some of those beliefs is to take some time to review very carefully what you really do want to achieve.  As I have said many times before, look deep inside and make sure your desire is fully aligned with your inner values.  If it is not, then you will always be struggling against yourself when you try to reach that goal.  Something has to change before you can move forward.  Either your inner values must change or your goal must change.  For more help on aligning your goals with your inner values read my article on Alignment here.

Probably one of the most common limiting beliefs is that your goal is impossible to achieve.  Impossible for you.  Impossible at this time.  Perhaps even impossible for anyone, ever.

Nothing is impossible.  What seems to make it impossible is your limiting belief, or even a whole series of limiting beliefs which are all conspiring against you.  Absolutely anything is possible if you truly believe you can achieve it.  In fact, I would go even further.  My belief is that as long as you are determined to deal with your limiting beliefs you have ALREADY achieved your goal.  Read that again!  You have ALREADY achieved it.  That achievement is in the future, but the future is real, so you have really achieved your goal.  All you have to do now is to allow that future achievement to unfold in the present.

One way to unearth your limiting beliefs is to look out for a person inside you called Mr, Miss, or Mrs Yabut.  Yes, you have multiple personalities, and one of those personalities has the name "Yabut".  This is the person who, when you think about one of your goals, says "yah, but ..."!  What comes after "yah, but ..." is the key.  It is the objection you need to answer.

If you have ever had any sales training you have probably been taught to unearth and then answer objections.  If you don't have this skill it is very difficult to sell anything.  In fact many sales trainers will tell you that an objection is a buying signal.  Your prospective buyer is telling you that he or she wants to buy from you but first you need to help them remove this obstacle.  Give them the help they need to remove that obstacle and you have the sale.  In other words, find the "Yabut", answer it, and then you can assume the sale is made.

It is exactly the same when you are "selling" to yourself.  Find the "Yabut", answer it, and then move on with the certainty that you will now achieve your goal.

Just to give you some encouragement, here are some "Yabuts" that others have answered and moved on to achieve their goals.

Shania Twain was born into poverty.  In her childhood, she and her brother and sisters often went hungry.  From the age of 8 she had to work to help earn enough money for her family to survive.  Shania is now one of the most successful country singers of all time, with a net worth estimated at the time of writing as around $350 million.

Howard Schultz was also born into poverty, and nobody in his family had ever been to college.  Perhaps you have never heard of Howard Schultz.  But I am sure you have heard of Starbucks.  It was Howard Schultz who catapulted Starbucks from a single coffee shop into a worldwide chain that, when I last checked, had nearly 24,000 branches.

Another great man born into poverty was Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate and philanthropist who gave away around $350 Million to charity in the last 18 years of his life.  In today's terms that is over $78 Billion.

Have you heard of Steve Jobs?  I am sure you have - the co-founder of Apple Computers.  Steve had a lot of problems at school.  His parents were not well-off, and when he realized how much college was costing them and how little they could afford it, he dropped out of college to save them the money.  So here you have it - a family background of financial difficulty, and an educational dropout.  Despite this background, and despite many other challenges after he co-founded Apple Computers, Steve Jobs realized his dream and completely revolutionised the computer industry.  In 2010 he was worth over $8 Billion!

J K Rowling struggled as a single mother after a failed marriage, living on state benefits. Her first draft of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was rejected by publishers 12 times, before the 8 year old daughter of the chairman of the Bloomsbury publishing house read the first chapter and demanded to see the next chapter!  Bloomsbury took her on, but also told her she should get a "proper" job, as she had little chance of making any money as an author of children's books.  As I am sure you know, J K Rowling has made a fortune from the Harry Potter series and is now a billionaire.  She has also set up a charitable trust with an annual budget of over £5 Million to combat poverty and social inequality, which are two of her major passions.

There are plenty of other examples of individuals who are now very famous for what they have achieved but who overcame enormous obstacles to get there.  How about Michael Jordan, the basketball star?  He didn't even manage to get into his high school basketball team, and today he reminds us that the only reason he is successful is because he has failed so many times, having lost over 300 games!

Or how about overcoming obstacles that occur while you are already living your dream and that threaten to take that dream away from you.  Perhaps one of the best examples of someone who overcame in those circumstances is Ludwig Van Beethoven.  In his late 20's he started to develop hearing problems, compounded by severe tinnitus (a condition in which you continuously hear sounds that are not actually there).  This is a difficulty in many careers, but would seem an insurmountable problem for a professional musician!  Imagine having your concentration on creating a symphony interrupted by continuous noise!  And then being unable to play and hear the passages you want to include in your masterpiece!  These are the obstacles Beethoven faced.  They were pretty solid and apparently insurmountable obstacles, but they did not create for Beethoven the limiting beliefs they would have created in almost any other musician.  He was very frustrated by them, but that did not stop him - he simply carried on regardless!  When he wrote his magnificent 9th Symphony, which contains the "Ode to Joy" that is now the official anthem of the European Union, Beethoven was completely deaf.

Find your limiting beliefs.  Recognize that nothing can limit you unless you allow it to do so.  Then go on to achieve your goals, whatever they may be!  But don't stop there - also recognize that no matter how many limiting beliefs you have unearthed and destroyed, there will always be more under the surface.  Keep on rooting them out and keep on achieving goal after goal!