Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be accomplishing so much? What propels some people to do the things that you would consider as “risky” or “courageous”? One of the reasons, lies in our belief, our belief system. Our belief system can either propel us forward or stops and limits our learning potential. Limiting beliefs as the name suggest, hold us back or limits our learning potential. Do you have a desire to challenge and to overcome the barriers that are holding you back? In this episode, I will be sharing how you can start the process of overcoming your limiting belief.
Our belief system will either propels us to a learning and growing mindset or prevents and stops you from moving forward, hence the term limiting beliefs. Our belief system is developed over time based on knowledge and experience. Depending on whether the experiences were positive or negatives, our belief system will either propel us to do more or limits us in order to prevent risk or hurt.
Limiting beliefs starts out from mistakes or small setbacks. In order for us not to experience any further disappointment, we will naturally move away from an activity or action or thought that has caused us harm. Over time, these beliefs shape the way we think and perceive the people and situation around us. I have held many long-term limiting beliefs. One of which was that I had no drawing talents whatsoever. This was further reinforced by the fact that the only subject in school that I have ever failed was Art. Just to keep things in perspective, I still draw people as sticks. When I played Pictionary, it is a miracle how anyone could possible guess what I am drawing. Let’s just say it is not a pretty sight.
2 years ago as part of my Theme of the Year, Overcoming Limiting Belief, I decided that maybe I should think about challenging that limiting belief. Now, the goal is not to be a Picasso but to see if I could overcome this limiting belief and what the possibilities would be. I decided to do try a few experiments on myself. Instead of drawing, what if I looked at alternatives such as painting or hand lettering etc. to try out different variations of “drawing”.
I signed up for a “sip and paint” session which claimed that even people who could not draw or have never painted could paint. Now of course the “sip” part of the paint was partly the motivation. It was exciting as the session started and after 3 hours of full concentration (mostly fun times), the outcome of that was in my eyes a pretty good copy of the subject. That was the start of my painting journey.
- Painting and in most cases, any skill, is a learned skill. You will need to learn, techniques, processes and of course practice. Any new skill will take time to learn and the initial learning curve will always be steep but once you have put into practice the techniques and processes, you will develop skills around the subject matter.
- Setting the right Expectations. Expectations are critical in terms of how you will view the learning process. If you have the wrong expectation, for example, if I had expected to be an expert painter after 1 lesson, I am clearly setting myself up for failure. It is unrealistic and not achievable. When you set the right expectation and appropriate milestones, you are then able to embark on learning anything on the right path. Let’s take my painting example, my expectation of that session was to have fun, learn maybe one thing about painting and see what happens. During and after the session, not only did I enjoy it, but because the outcome, the painting was somewhat decent, I deemed that as an overwhelming success.
- Be open to new challenges and possibilities. I went into the session with an open mind and ready to overcome my limiting belief. I wanted to see just what happen if I gave it a shot. Not just be there but to really try. If I put in the effort, what would the result be. I believe that you too will be pleasantly surprise with what you can achieve if you gave it go.
- You need to put in the effort and do it. There is no point paying lip service to wanting to overcome limiting belief if you are not willing to put in the effort. As they say, practice makes permanence.
- A sense of accomplishment. It is rather amazing how from a blank canvas, the end result is a painting. That painting will a symbol for me to keep challenging my limiting beliefs.
Realistically there are limitations to what my skills are, but it is not about being “perfect” or the “best”. It is about being and doing the best that I can. Not for other people but for myself. It is about not letting fear of failure dictate my choices but to allow failure to teach me what possibilities are still ahead of me.
I would like to challenge you to think about one limiting belief that you would like to overcome. It could be anything. In fact the next time, you hear yourself saying, I can’t do that. Stop and ask yourself, why can’t I do that? What is stopping me from doing it? What limiting belief am I entertaining? Then start the process of challenging that limiting belief through 3 simple steps:
- Identify the limiting belief. What is the limiting belief? Once you are able to identify it, you are able to tackle it. For example, you have identified a limiting belief around public speaking. This limiting belief is because you have never spoken in public before. Specifically, you are afraid of the reaction or lack of reaction from the audience. Write it down. You have now identified and named the specific limiting belief.
- Identify the Potential rewards or benefits. What am I missing out on because of this limiting belief? Is the benefit or reward more powerful than the limiting belief? Think about all the potential rewards and benefits if you overcame your limiting belief. Write down all the possibilities for your career or work if you did not have the limiting belief of public speaking.
- Identify and execute Small simple steps. What small simple step can I take to overcome this limiting belief? Now that you have identified the specific limiting belief and its potential rewards, the next step is to actually face it. Identify steps that you would need to do to overcome the fear of reaction from the audience. For example, it could be to attend a public speaking course to learn the techniques and various presentation methods. Break that one step down to even smaller simpler step such as ask a friend who has attended such course for a recommendation, check out the registration details and options, make decision on the date to attend the course. The idea behind breaking the steps down to smaller ones is to ensure that it becomes so simple that it is hard for you to avoid taking the first step.
Start small and simple. Don’t be overly ambitious or have unrealistic goals. Every step that you take is one step closer to overcoming the limiting belief while every step that you are not taking is further entrenching that limiting belief.
I appreciate your support and hope that you have learned at least one new thing. After all, learning just one new thing each day and to be able to put into practice is the best outcome for all growth mindset individual.
Please subscribe and provide your feedback or comments as we are all in this journey of growth together.
Check out and subscribe to my weekly podcast
3 thoughts on “Start the journey to overcoming limiting beliefs”
Thanks for writing this