Mindset Meeting #6 (Every Tuesday at 3pm at Comphealth) – How to get the *bleep* out of your own way and destroy your limiting beliefs. Earlier in the year I was doing a lot of coaching with year 1 and 2 reps that were struggling in their business and having a difficult time ramping up their pipeline. At first I found myself doing a lot of coaching on strategy and the mechanics of the business, but then I started asking this question: “What is holding you back”? The answers I received helped me understand some of the mental roadblocks and limiting beliefs that reps of all tenure deal with, but especially first and second year reps since they don’t have the success and confidence that is built with time and experience.
Over the course of this year, the term “Limiting beliefs” has been used more and more on my team and I am gaining a better understanding of how many constraints we really place on ourselves. I have been studying topics such as early childhood development, behavioral psychology, neuroscience and cognitive behavioral therapy. The best way I can describe limiting beliefs is pretty simple: thoughts that cause us to get in our own way. I have also realized that limiting beliefs aren’t caused because there is something wrong with us, they are caused by our subconscious trying to keep us in safe an familiar territory.
Our subconscious is responsible for keeping air in our lungs, keeping our heart beating and for automating as many things as possible to allow for capacity in our conscious mind. Our subconscious also has a job to keep us safe and out of danger. In ancient times we had many different dangers such as finding food and shelter, keeping safe and away from enemies and threatening animals. In today’s world, we don’t face the same dangers but the default setting of our subconscious mind is still set to keep us in a place where things are familiar. Once we start trying to accomplish bigger goals and create a different future for ourselves, our limiting beliefs kick in and start causing us to question ourselves.
There are two worlds: One dictated by our Comfort Zone, and one that consists of Opportunity. In the world of our Comfort Zone is everything that we already have and where we are naturally headed in life. This world is comfortable, safe and familiar. It keeps us doing the same things which lead to the same results. Same input, same output. In the world of Opportunity is everything that you could ever want. On this side are the dreams and goals that punch us in the gut when we think about the because even the though makes us so uncomfortable. In the world of Opportunity exists the dream home that we think we can never afford, the dream job that we think we could never get, the business that we are afraid to start, the income that we don’t think we are worth. Our limiting beliefs are the wall that separates the two worlds.
As we start crossing over from the world of our Comfort Zone to the world of Opportunity, our limiting beliefs start manifesting and like a rubber band increase in resistance as we start moving over to the world of Opportunity. Uncomfortable feeling start to emerge such as fear, uncertainty, anxiety, stress, imposter syndrome, boredom and procrastination.
As we gain confidence and start moving over to the world of Opportunity, these ‘suffering state’ feelings start to change to excitement, engagement, exhilaration, youth and more confidence. I’ve been starting to embrace these uncomfortable feelings that our limiting beliefs create because I can feel myself moving from the world of my Comfort Zone into the world of Opportunity.
In preparation for my discussion on limiting beliefs I started to write down some of the ones I hear and some of the ones that creep into my head as well. What are some of the limiting beliefs that you hear or ones that are holding you back?
Society: You need to go to school and get a degree to be successful. If you want to make good money you need to become a lawyer or a doctor. You need to work hard and save until you are 65 and then retire. Advertising creates limiting beliefs that we must keep up with the Joneses to be successful or happy.
Monetary: You have to screw people over to make money or to be rich. Rich people are greedy. Money is the root of all evil. You need a lot of money to be wealthy. You will be happy when you get a lot of money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I’m not good with money. Money is not that important. It’s selfish to want money.
Personal: I’m not (good, smart, handsome/beautiful) enough. I can’t do that. I don’t deserve (success, the perfect relationship, etc). People will judge me or think what I have to say is stupid. I’m to old/young. I can’t fall in love because I will get hurt. Imposter syndrome. Negative self talk.
Career (CHG/Comphealth): All the good doctors are taken. All the senior reps have all the business. If we hire more people there will be less business for me. The market is bad for locums right now. I’m not good at sales. I’m not good at making calls. The reason that rep is successful is they inherited a lot of business.
Excuses: I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. My wife or husband won’t let me do that. Things are good enough where they are at.
Physiological: I need caffeine to have energy. I’m not a morning person, I can’t get up early. I can’t meditate because my mind keeps wandering. I’m not feeling well (ailments).
So what’s the best way to deal with limiting beliefs and how do you find out what yours are?I want to circle back and reiterate that limiting beliefs aren’t because you are bad, weak minded or there is something wrong with you. Remember these are just created because of the default setting in our subconscious mind to keep things safe and familiar. They are insidious though because as we view the world through our own lens (paradigm), we might often assume that our limiting beliefs are also are reality. Also, everybody has limiting beliefs, but some people play on a much bigger level and know how to tune them out.
Awareness – the first step to destroying your limiting beliefs is to start being aware of that little voice in your head. Start listening to the things that you are telling yourself when you are trying to think bigger and play in the world of Opportunity. When you come up with a limiting belief, write it down so you can see what you are saying to yourself. I used to wear a rubber band around my wrist so that I could snap my wrist every time I noticed myself with a limiting belief. Talk with friends, co-workers, coaches, leaders or your significant others about your bigger dreams so they can hold you accountable and make you aware when your limiting beliefs are holding you back.
Poke holes in your limiting beliefs – once you are aware of them and have written them down, find ways to ‘debunk’ the belief. Take a step back and look at that belief and ask yourself if other people are accomplishing that bigger goal and ask yourself why couldn’t you do the same? Try placing the limiting belief on someone you care about and you’ll quickly realize how absurd it is. If you feel like you are ‘not enough’, imagine telling that to your child, niece/nephew or a younger version of yourself. You wouldn’t tell that to them so why would you tell it to yourself?
Think the opposite and ask yourself better & more empowering questions - whatever your limiting beliefs is, think the opposite and then start working from there on what you need to do to make it happen. For example, if your limiting belief is that ‘I don’t have the skills an experience to start my own business’, replace it with:
- What skills do I need to acquire to start my own business in (x)? How do I make this happen? There is a solution to everything. Everything is Figureoutable.
- Who do I know that is already doing this, and what are they doing to be successful at this? Get in closer proximity to some of the people that are doing what you want to do, and if you don’t know anyone in person, use social media to connect with these people and ‘model’ what they do for success. Interview them if you know them personally and ask for tips. If you don’t know them personally then read their books, listen to their podcasts and interviews.
- What type of person will I become if I do this? Often the most valuable thing you can gain by chasing your biggest dreams is not the goal itself, but the person you become in pursuit of that goal.
- What tools do I already have that can help me believe that I can accomplish this? Instead of focusing on your limiting beliefs, lean on your past accomplishment and your current skills that you can use to succeed. Make an inventory of all the tools that you have in your toolbox that you can use to succeed.
Work on your ‘inner self - it’s no secret that the most successful people have early morning routines, meditate, visualize, do affirmations, journal and express gratitude. If you really want to move forward, make sure you are using some of these tools because they work!
Walk through more doors – There is a door in that wall that is your limiting beliefs separating the world of your Comfort Zone and the world of Opportunity, start walking through that door more often. Start small if you need to, or go big and go bold. Try out new things like a new hobby or sport, join a networking group, start a new meal plan, start asking for a discount every time you buy something. Lean into the feelings that you get when your limiting beliefs start giving you resistance and embrace it.
Find a challenge or create one – This June through August, I participated in Rob Dial’s Ironmind60 Challenge and did 60 straight days of journaling, meditation, cold showers, no sugar, no alcohol and working out every day. This was a great experience and built my confidence up, not to mention solidified some good habits. This month I am participating in a second challenge, this one is 30 days and we got to choose the 4 habits we wanted to commit to. I’ve been fearing doing the Whole30 for a long time because of the dietary constraints and my love/addiction for carbs. I’m 20 days in as I write this and I feel great! The other habit I’ve committed to is doubling my call commitment at work, taking vitamins every day and not having screen time between 6-9 pm so I can be more present with my family.
Take a listen to this podcast by Hal Elrod and neuropsychologist Shannon Irving talking about limiting beliefs and how to erase them: