So how do you overcome self limiting beliefs? The magic question. That’s why you’re reading this post.
There are two ways. If you listen to traditional psychology, psychology will say attitude must always precede behavior. Right? So think it and then you can do it. Think it then you can do it.
That’s a hard thing for me because it’s hard to force thoughts. It’s hard to change thoughts immediately and quickly. It’s hard to change thoughts consistently over an enduring period of time. So what I find effective, and I’ve read about this too and there was actually this really phenomenal TED Talk video called Your body language may shape who you are: TED Talk that was given by Amy Cuddy, American social psychologist.
But the context of her video was along the lines of, I think it was about confidence. And she had this trick and it reinforced other things I’ve read. This trick or this mechanism of actually leading with behavior and developing a behavioral pattern in order to change your attitude.
Leading with behavior is by far the easiest way for me to overcome self limiting beliefs.
So in her video, she was talking about giving a presentation or speaking in front of large crowds, or public speaking, whatever it was and public speaking is a fear that a lot of people have. So she gave this example of well, do these power poses before you speak right? Stand there like a superhero, and put your hands on your hips and spread your legs apart while you’re standing they’re beyond shoulder width and you have a really broad, firm stance so that you’re consuming a lot of space. Because the more space you consume, the more powerful you appear to be.
Well anyway, the whole notion of it is to lead with behavior and the mind will follow rather than leading with the mind and behavior will follow. So I do that (not the superhero poses!…but leading with behavior) a lot when I come across something that is getting in my way. It’s something that might work for you too.
So when you’re trying to overcome self limiting beliefs , really what you’re doing is you’re replacing, ultimately, these seeds of doubt, these excuses as to why you’re not getting shit done, and you’re replacing them with certainty and positivity and things that enable you to get shit done.
So if you think about applying that, it means that everything you do…you know there’s an old expression…”act as if”, “act as if”. Really what that does is that sums up the whole school of thought of leading with behavior and attitude will follow.
So what it really means is this…move with certainty. Certainty is about confidence, Certainty is about physiological movement. If you’re walking down the street and you’re not saying a word to anybody, and let’s assume for a minute that you’re the most confident person in the world.
Let’s just assume that for a minute. You’re walking down the street. You’re not saying a word to anybody. You’re walking. You’re hunched over. Your shoulders are narrowed. You’re not making eye contact. You’re looking down. People will think that you’re not a confident person, even though you are right?
And as a result of that, your body and your mind will start getting into this cowering sort of space.
Versus, if you’re a person who lacks confidence, and we find this way to magically force you to change your behavior, forget your attitude for a minute, but if you change your behavior and to walk down the street with your shoulders back. Your chest out. You’re standing up straight and tall. You’re looking up and you’re looking people in the eye and you are taking strides that are very deliberate and purposeful and certain, your mind will change and you’re going to feel that pretty quickly.
So here’s what I’m going to ask of you or here’s what I’m going to recommend for you to overcome self limiting beliefs. Go through this exercise, it will help you. Here’s what the exercise is:
Take five minutes, ten minutes tops. Write down or type down the ten things that you would love to accomplish over the next year. Look at that list and say, “if I could wave a magic wand and have one of these ten things in the next twenty-four hours, which one would it be?
Circle it. Put a giant circle around it. Put a star next to it. Underline it. Whatever you need to do. Cross out the other nine and just focus on the one. When you’re looking at that thing that you want to accomplish more so than any of the others, start thinking backwards and ask yourself, “What’s getting in my way of accomplishing this”?
Start from within. What am I imposing upon myself that’s preventing me from working towards this goal? Write that down. Maybe write down the next thing if you’re aware of two or three things that you feel are getting in the way. Focus on them. Think about them.
Put these things in a place where you’re going to constantly reminded. What you’re trying to do is to remind yourself of this thing that you’ve imposed upon yourself that probably isn’t true. You’re going to weigh that and evaluate that against that you want to accomplish.
Of course you know the thing that you want to accomplish is much more important than that crutch that you’ve been using as an excuse to not accomplish that thing that you want to accomplish.
You have them written down. You have them in a place where you’re going to constantly remind yourself of them. If you can think, attitudinally first, and you can change your attitude quickly, then go through whatever process you go through to do that.
If you can’t do that, then focus on behavior first because there is absolutely nothing stopping you from making a decision to do something physiologically. So if you lack confidence and you feel that lack of confidence is getting in the way of your dream and your goals of what you want to accomplish, the do exactly what we just said.
There’s nothing stopping you from standing tall. Getting your chin up. Your shoulders back. Your chest out. Making eye contact with people. Moving and walking and sitting and speaking and shaking hands…with purpose and certainty.
After doing that for just a short period of time, I promise you, I promise you your attitude will follow your behaviors. It’s going to become second nature to you very quickly. And you’ll realize that self limiting belief is gone. You’ll probably form another one. Go through whatever process worked best for you for your first one.
Please think about this. Think about your self limiting beliefs, Think about those things you want to accomplish. Find the most important ones.Write them down. Focus on them. Commit to yourself that you’re going to stop imposing excuses and crutches at the expense of accomplishing your dreams.