Limiting beliefs are one of the key reasons why entrepreneurs find themselves in a rut and unable to hit their goals. Garen Armstrong had to overcome such beliefs after finding out that he needed a new heart. It is important to recognize what limiting beliefs are and how they can keep you from growing and getting better at what you do. Most importantly, one must find what their limiting beliefs are in order to move forward and grow to their fullest potential. 

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Tony Robbins defines Limiting Beliefs this way: “Limiting beliefs are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be. These beliefs limit us from reaching our full potential. They are often subconscious – we don’t even know that we have them until someone points them out to us.” Basically, a limiting belief keeps you small when your potential is much greater. Believe it or not, we all have these kinds of thoughts. It could be something as simple as, “I can’t do this.” or “I am not worthy of success or happiness.”  Often these limiting beliefs are rooted in fear and fear can be defined as False Evidence Appearing As Real. Through negative bias and crooked thinking, one can convince themselves that limiting beliefs are true.

How Limiting Beliefs Affect Growth

Limiting beliefs or toxic thoughts can sabotage your future if not seriously self-investigated. These thoughts and beliefs can adversely affect your entire work culture and create tension among employees, resulting in a lack of joy and positive continuity in the workplace. These beliefs ultimately keep you stuck in a negative mindset, robbing you of new experiences and opportunities that could push you to new heights and greater growth. 

How to Recognize Limiting Beliefs

Maybe you are an entrepreneur that feels you’ve hit a wall, are unable to reach your goals and aspirations in business, and you want to make a change. First, you need to find what limiting beliefs may be in the way. Here are just a few exercises that may help:

1. Set aside time each day to connect to what you are feeling and think about your present circumstances personally, relationally, and in business. Specifically, define feelings and determine what feelings are true and what feelings may be indicators of something else going on in your mind, such as a limiting belief.

2. Journal when you are angry, discouraged, or hopeless. Break down your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs – and maybe you will discover a repeating limiting belief.

3. Ask the people closest to you to help you recognize repetitive comments or self-deprecating statements. Your friends and family will most likely be able to point them out to you.

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

When Garen Armstrong, entrepreneur, and owner of Shamrock Roofing and Construction, found out he needed a heart transplant, he determined he would not let himself believe that this seemingly impossible circumstance would keep him from his goals. He could have allowed this diagnosis to offset his focus and provide evidence for an already present limiting belief; but instead, he determined that he would tell himself a true story which is exactly the core of how to overcome limiting beliefs. Once you have determined one of your limiting beliefs, ask yourself three questions:

1. Is it true? Is this thought a reality right now? Sometimes you know immediately that your limiting belief is ridiculous. You recognize that it is simply a statement that you’ve heard someone very influential in your life say to you or about you and you have subconsciously adopted it along the way-without questioning.

2. Is it believable? If you were to ask those closest to you – would they believe it? Ask yourself if you truly believe it and, if not – What is believable?

3. Is it Provable? Find the evidence – or rather the evidence to disprove the limiting belief. 

Finally, once you have determined the belief that is standing in the way of your progress, re-write it. Take time to cross-examine and create a new belief to put in its place. Rewrite and recite the new truth daily. William Backus gives this advice in his book, Telling Yourself the Truth, “The most important thing you can do to increase your self-control is to identify the misbeliefs in the words you tell yourself. Then argue against those misbeliefs. Never let yourself get away with misbelief talk. Use determination and energy in arguing, refusing each misbelief with the truth.” 

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