What Are Limiting Beliefs?

man with red backpack standing on cliff facing mountains under white sky during daytime

The number one scientifically proven reason we don’t achieve our desires, goals or dreams isn’t lack of money, time, talent, opportunity or even support. Its Limiting Beliefs about our ability to achieve. When we say or think, “I don’t have enough money, time, talent [fill in the blank] to achieve that,” it is a limiting belief. And, here is the truth about limiting beliefs; they only exist in our head. It is not reality, and if you sit yourself down and examine whether your belief is 100% true compared to reality, you will find its not.

Limiting Beliefs comes from our unconscious mind comparing our perceived abilities to someone or something else with a determination we aren’t capable. Or, when someone else says we aren’t—these are simply their limiting beliefs, not yours. But, because our unconscious mind was created to keep us alive in the face of dangerous threats, it always takes the comfortable path of staying where we are instead of stretching to discomfort to achieve something new.

Take my case as an example. My dream was to compete in the Ironman World Championships as an amateur athlete. For 28 years I dreamt of competing and held myself back through the limiting belief, “the athletes that compete in Kona are elite and I’m only amateur, I couldn’t possibly compete.” It was essentially my unconscious mind talking my conscious mind out of a life-long dream. This pattern repeated annually until 2010 when I learned the science of limiting beliefs and how to conquer and transform them into unlimiting beliefs. Once I incorporated these techniques I crossed the finish line at the Ironman World Championships two short years later, at the age of 46!

Now, I know what you’re thinking; I’m a naturally talented athlete, I was able to focus on this dream full time, etc. Essentially, you are assuming I am more capable than you in some way or had an advantage. And it couldn’t be more false. I am not a naturally talented athlete, hadn’t done anything remarkable in my life (other than being outwardly successful as a corporate leader) up until that point, and was not able to focus on my dream full-time. In fact, I wasn’t a swimmer, had never ridden a road bike, and had not completed a triathlon or even a marathon up to that point. I also had just taken on a new leadership challenge of turning around a failing office quickly for shareholders, and was going through a contentious divorce. Needless to say, I did not have an abundance of extra time and it could be argued that I had a few challenges going against me. And, that it wasn’t a good time to focus on achieving something new.

But, what I found was a HUGE breakthrough and not only the key to my true capability, also my purpose, and ultimate success. This is the enormous opportunity of conquering limiting beliefs and transforming them into unlimiting. By doing so, we re-train our unconscious mind to use a new default pattern of expansion and doing new things in all areas of our life and work instead of the defacto default of staying in comfort. Which, brings out our true capabilities, along with it purpose and higher success than we’ve realized before.

I have also found this scenario and opportunity with every leader whom we have coached. Even the most successful ones still have limiting beliefs about themselves, their team, their environment, their market, etc. The unconscious mind has enormous power; far more power than the unconscious. We think we are making conscious decisions and actions every day and it’s really emanating from our unconscious. Only .008% of everything we do and think in a day is conscious. The rest is unconscious! So, it makes sense that when you tap into the power of your unconscious mind and know how it works, you can achieve what you desire, faster.

Getting back to limiting beliefs and how to conquer them. Here is the technique, laid out step by step. Starting with how to reveal the limiting beliefs holding you back, how to unlimit them and further steps you can take to achieve what you are truly capable of.  Use this technique and share it with others who will benefit. And share with us your unlimited belief.