2 Limiting Beliefs And How You Can Conquer Them
It’s very easy to get caught up in our own minds. We tend to have many learned behaviours that stem from our upbringing.
What are our limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are mindsets we have learned from stimuli and influence us from an early age. They can frame or shape what we believe are capable of achieving. Much of this stems from our upbringing and schooling, who tend to build an association with certain ideologies. Firstly, we have an association between being unable to achieve tasks and our “intelligence” levels. The second, when we are unable to fit in the gym or education, we say its because we struggle with the “avaliablity of time”. I will speak to you about why these beliefs can be limiting your success and how you can overcome them.
How many times have you told yourself ‘I am not smart enough to do this’. It was only until recently that I realised this is based on a limiting belief. I actually just thought I was being ‘real’ with myself. I will show you what I mean. Firstly, when I say the word genius. Who are the first 3 people that come to mind? For me, its Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Steven Hawking. I’m not surprised if you had many of the same individuals. Its because we have a fundamental belief that geniuses are associated with IQ.
Let me quash this for you now. Genius is not all about IQ. Let me give you the example of Kobe Bryant — he was one of the greatest athletes (if not, the greatest) of all time. He played basketball for decades and was able to maintain his phenomenal work ethic, his in-game strategy, post-game recovery and leadership. He was also a great father, husband, friend, investor, author, blogger and the list goes on. To me — this is nothing short of genius. There was genius in every facet of his life, from his discipline around his preparation to his ability to transition into retirement. We can also learn great things from other individuals, for example — if we look at Robert Downy Jr, who overcame as substance abuse issue to being one of the most successful actors in the world. There is genius in his framework to overcome addiction, even if we forget the fact he’s Ironman.
What we need to remember is there is genius in all of us. We need to know we are not limited by our ‘IQ’ and this is only one part of who we are. We are never ‘not smart enough’. Instead, we should frame this as we are ‘always smart enough’, and we need to adjust our strategies to reach our desired objectives. Whether that be investing time in structured learning, seeking out mentorship or practice.
Hence, it is a belief that limits us from achieving our potential, and most of the time, we don’t even realise.
Now, how many times have you told yourself ‘I don’t have enough time to do that’. Or if we have a to-do-list, and we only tick of half, why do we feel drained and unfulfilled. It’s actually driven by two reasons, the first is we feel unfulfilled when we work on tasks that we don’t enjoy and the second is we put off tasks that we don’t enjoy. The reason we put of tasks we don’t enjoy is either due to their satisfaction or benefit are not seen immediately, which is why exercise or education are the most straightforward tasks to put off. It could take months before you feel any progress at the gym, so it’s easy to put it off a few days.
Its easy to put off studying or a task until its the last possible opportunity and do it all in one hit. I know for me I did this all the time. We think by doing these later than we will feel better at that moment, but unfortunately, this is not always true. Our subconscious holds onto these thoughts, and we carry a degree of stress at that moment because our mind is working so hard to convince us what we are doing is ok. We are usually expending more energy in rationalising our actions internally than what would be required to do the task we are avoiding.
We need to adopt a growth mindset, to frame these tasks as milestones of an underlying goal. If we do this, we remove the negativity around the task, which often limits us.
Therefore, its not usually that we lack time, its the fact we are emotionally burdened by the tasks.
How can you overcome this?
1. Affirmation Statements
Yes, ok, this is going to sound contradictory to everything I have said above, but our minds can be a little foolish.
We can use positive statements to affirm our motivation and mindset to make us feel able to ‘take on’ challenges, for instance, instead of making mistakes and beating ourselves up. We need to tell ourselves “how can we learn from this mistake”.
Let us use a common scenario:
You were supposed to wake up early, but you slept through your alarm, which means you couldn’t make it to the gym. Instead of bashing myself, it is my job to empower myself to ask, what can I introduce to my routine tonight to allow me to succeed tomorrow. Whether that be sleeping earlier, or putting my phone further away from my bed, so I have to get up and not snooze.
2. Emotional Recharge
We learn the most in the first session of a learning program. This is because we tend to maintain the most energy, patience and focus during that period.
If you use the Pomodoro Approach to learning — which is 25 minutes of continuous work, with a 5-minute mind break, we are fresher, more eager and increasingly positive to take on tasks. This can help overcome issues around motivation on tasks that may be monotonous, helping us focus on how they’re part of the overall goal.
Using a combination of these two methods, we can overcome some of our limiting beliefs and start getting the most out of our development.