The Easiest Way to Overcome Self Limiting Beliefs

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.

Video: The Easiest Way to Overcome Self Limiting Beliefs

What are self limiting beliefs?

What gets in the way of accomplishing our goals and our dreams?  Self limiting beliefs.

I was working with this really phenomenal sales coach about two or three years ago.  The guy is awesome! Scott…you’re awesome.  And when we first started working together, it was actually during our first session, he asked me, he said, “Kevin, tell me about your self limiting beliefs”.

And I had never heard that term before. I’ve spent probably half of my life now studying a variety of topics, probably the same sorts of topics that you’re all interested in; psychology, NLP, persuasion, body language, habits, success, and all that other good stuff.  I don’t ever recall coming across this term “self limiting beliefs”.

But as soon as Scott defined it for me…BOOM…I knew what he was talking about right away.  

My definition of self limiting beliefs

A self limiting belief is this thing that we impose on ourselves, it’s negative, and it’s something that we use as a crutch or an excuse, to not get stuff done, right?

Something that we can use to justify our “inability”, our lack of achievement, because it’s really excuses to make excuses, it’s human nature.

So Scott defined it to me and he said “so Kevin, what’s your self limiting belief”? And I told him and right away, his eyes were wide open and he said, “Kevin, that’s ridiculous, that’s nonsense, you’re nuts!   There’s no reason for you to have that self limiting belief.

Well the reality is, most self limiting beliefs aren’t rational, and we’re not deserving of them. But again, we have them to plant our own seeds of doubt to justify why we don’t get stuff done.

One of my biggest self limiting beliefs that I learned to overcome

So I’ll tell you what mine was and listen, we all have self limiting beliefs, and we’re all always dealing with at least one.

At the time, my self limiting belief was that I didn’t like the sound of my voice and I really went through this for probably about a year or two, where I felt this huge disconnect between my thoughts and what I wanted to say versus what came out of my mouth. Or even worse, it was my thoughts and nothing coming out of my mouth.  I wasn’t speaking up at times because I didn’t like the sound of my voice and I feared others didn’t like it either and I wouldn’t be taken seriously.  Or I felt like my voice was unpredictable and I didn’t know how it would sound.

It’s actually a pretty ridiculous thing.  Listen, I don’t have a voice like James Earl Jones right….I’m a horrible singer y the way. But my voice is my voice.  So even though I described it to Scott in that moment, I wasn’t at all prepared to let go of that belief, that self limiting belief.  That negativity.  That seed of doubt.

I actually went to speech therapists, voice coaches, ENTs, and you name it. I actually went for a while.  And I went through all these different consultations and diagnoses from all of these healthcare professionals.

And they came across something here, and something there that could be leading to it.  Too much acid in your diet Kevin.  You drink too much coffee, stop drinking coffee.

When the doctor told me to stop drinking coffee, I stopped immediately, because I wanted my voice to sound better.  I wanted to believe that my voice could be better. And giving up coffee was hard for me, but I made that sacrifice in favor of this self limiting belief right here.

Anyway I gave up coffee for a year and it was actually hell for the first three weeks or so.  I had massive headaches and stuff, but whatever.  Give it up!

There were actually ebbs and flows of improvement in my voice, and I’d go back for another doctors visit, and they would shove a scope down my throat, and they would say “hey, it’s less red (my throat), or whatever it was.  But my voice never really consistently got better.  

It requires self awareness to overcome your self limiting beliefs

So I’m sharing with you, but what we need to do, when it comes to relieving ourselves of our own self limiting beliefs, first and foremost, we need to be aware of what they are.

We have to be self aware.  We have to be honest with ourselves and whether the self limiting belief is real or not, in our own mind, the trick is realizing that it’s never as important as a way to justify why you’re not getting something done that you know you should be getting done or something that you want to get done.

Video: A Definition of Self Limiting Beliefs That Anyone Can Understand 

What’s your definition of success?

I always wanted to be successful. But I got to a point in my life where I questioned what successful meant. Then I learned the true definition of success.

When I first got out of college,  actually I was going to college, I had a job in a warehouse. I was a forklift driver…and it was at one of those big warehouse clubs that we’re all familiar with.  I was there for quite a few years and while I was working there, and for me I knew it was a temporary stop in my life, I  would be there for a few years .  There were other people there who had already been working there for many years and I knew would be working there for many more years , which is great.

While in this job driving a forklift every morning, it was one of my jobs to unload the trucks, tractor trailers that came in. And you need a lot of really awesome people when you’re doing that…honest-to-God.  Truck drivers are some of the coolest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. Stereotypes…I get it, but it’s true.Broadly speaking, they’re just awesome awesome people.

They’re laid back, they could talk to anybody.  They’re perfectly happy and content with who they are in their own skin and I think a lot of that comes down to probably a couple thing.  One they spend a lot of time on the road by themselves and when you have that amount of time to just kind of think and reflect on life and you start putting in perspective what’s what’s important to you. I think that’s that’s part of it.  The other thing is it took me a while to realize…the other thing is it came down to success.

How I learned to define success

For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be successful. But I got to a point in my life where I was like what the hell does that even mean…what does successful even mean?

And it means something different to everybody

For awhile, for me, it was..success…I’m going to be filthy rich, I’m going to have beautiful cars, I’m going to have a beautiful home, massive home.  Then I started to realize, especially by way of getting to know some of these truck drivers, my definition of success drastically changed.  And it turned into “being able to live your life in your own”.

I can’t take credit for that definition of success.  I came across that a long time ago.  It as actually a quote from an American journalist, his name was Chris Morley, he died some time in the 50’s.  But it really got me thinking, because if you’re saying to yourself “I want to be successful”, “I want to be successful”, you might as well not want anything at all.

And what I mean by that is that you need to crystalize what that means for you.  And that’s what I do for myself too.  Right, because if you’re speaking vaguely, there’s no way to achieve a goal that’s undefined.

Focus on the positive in order to be successful

But bring it back to these truck drivers for a minute.  These guys were absolutely content and satisfied with their worlds and what they had.  So for them, they were successful.  They had accomplished what they wanted to.  They had such a high, high level of gratitude.

They were focused on everything that they had and they weren’t focused on the things that they didn’t.  And I say that because in speaking with them , they were all so friendly, so candid and so comfortable in their own skin.  Which made me realize they were focused on what they had, and what they had accomplished.

I’ve been horrible at doing that.  I’m actually typically focused on the things I don’t have.  And I’m realizing as I get older that’s just poison, that’s poison.  You have to have an attitude of thankfulness.  You have to have an attitude of gratitude.  And you have to be grateful for those things that you have.  And that changes your entire outlook on things.  And that will allow you and that will enable you to go another step further in achieving your own definition of success.

So I’d love to hear more about how you define success for yourselves.  If you feel like sharing it, I would love to read it in the comments.  I would love to talk about it.  So go ahead and think about what success means for you and put it in the comments and let’s talk about it.

Video: This is the True Definition of Success

How to Accomplish Your Dreams

My wife and I have been talking a lot lately about dreams. Not dreams you have at night but dreams that you have when you’re a kid right? How do you accomplish your dreams?

We’re very fortunate.  We have good lives.  We have three healthy beautiful amazing intelligent talented children, but we’re not living our dreams.  We’re not living the dreams we had when we were kids.

Think about the lack of inhibition, the total freedom of your imagination and your ability to think when you’re a child and you dream about being a billionaire.  That’s what I dreamt about all the time.  I’m not a billionaire.

Maybe you dreamt about being an astronaut. Whatever it was you wake up one day in your 30s or 40s and you realize it just kind of smacks you right in the face and you realize, “I’m not living what I dreamt about when I was a kid.   I’m not a billionaire”.  And you think about what happens right?  What what causes us two going from being so brilliantly wired and imaginative and hungry as children to becoming adults for what we have. No matter how good it is, it’s not what we dreamt of having when we were kids.

What prevents us from fulfilling our dreams?

So what are what are those things that cause us to go from being a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10-year-old child with wild aspirations and dreams to being in your 30s and 40s and just  going through the routine, through the routine.  What causes that to happen? What prevents you from being able to accomplish your dreams?

There are  a few things. There are societal norms that are placed on everybody right and they come they come presented as rules.

Don’t do that.  Don’t do this. Don’t touch. That’s not yours.  You can’t have that!

These are all guide rails that are put on us as we’re growing up and they start to influence our thinking and our mind that our subconscious mind and they make us realize that things can get in the way of what we want. Harmless things can get in the way of what we want. And over time it changes, it  radically changes that freedom of imagination and thinking that we had. That’s a horrible thing to do somebody.  Because ultimately what it’s doing is it prevent us from fulfilling our potential.  It prevents us from being satisfied.  And those aren’t healthy things.  They’re not healthy at all.

The first step to accomplish your dreams

So what we have to do, I go through this, everybody needs to go through this if you’re not satisfied with where you are. If you’re not living your dream you need to do this. You need to make a decision.  And I know a lot of people are going to say decisions are hard, decisions are real hard right?

They take a while!  Bull! They don’t take a while and they’re not hard.

You make a decision like that!

The hard part is being committed to that decision right? You can make a decision to lose weight and by the time and you put the diet book down or by the time it’s lunchtime on day one of our diets, we’re like “man you know what….I don’t want the salad….I want the burger and french fries” right?

So the decision is a key, critical and important step, but it goes well beyond that because if it just came down to decisions, everybody, EVERYBODY would have everything they want.

So it’s the commitment that separates us.  The commitment that separates us from goodness and greatness. It’s the commitment that separates us from our current reality from something much better and much more fulfilling.

How to remain committed to and  accomplish your dreams

So how do we do that? How do we ensure that we remain committed? Well the number one thing that prevents people from remaining committed to’s an association that you make with a massive MASSIVE amounts of action that are required when you commit to something.  And you have two choices. You can either associate that action with pain;  which is the easy thing to do.  It’s unfortunately what most people naturally do. Or you can associate that  massive actin and that commitment to pleasure right?

Commitment to fulfill your dream and live your dream requires a lot of hard work on a regular basis.  You are up early.  You go to bed late. You maximize every minute of every day with laser focus on inching closer and closer to your dream while at the same time, living the life you have to live on a daily basis because we all have other obligations  right?

So instead of associating that action that’s part of that massive commitment with pain, what we need to do is associate it with please.

And here’s how we do it.  You ready?

Commitment is about association of pain or pleasure

Every day you stick to your commitment gets you a step further away from your current reality and a step or a day closer to that dream. That dream you had when you were a kid. You have to associate it with that pleasure.  Pain is an easy thing to associate it with.  Associate it with pleasure. That’s the key and you have to do it on a daily basis.

Because if you’re not inching closer to your dream you will never be satisfied and you will never reach your potential. And it is 100% our moral our moral meaning, it’s from within, our moral obligation to fulfill our human potential.  Our own personal potential.

It’s our moral obligation.

We go out of our way to make everybody in our worlds our lives as happy as they can be and we should we absolutely should but guess what? Those same people in our lives they want to see us very happy and they want to see us satisfied. And they will support you in fulfilling your dream.  They will support you and that massive commitment that it takes to accomplish your dreams.

So we have to dream big!  We have to fulfill our moral obligations to inch closer and closer to our potential and it all starts right now with a decision that that’s what we’re going to do.

It’s a decision! And the next thing it’s step one of your commitment.  And do not waver. Do not pull back. Do not hesitate on staying committed every single day until we get closer and closer and closer and we finally fulfill our dreams.

Video: How to Commit to and Accomplish Your Dreams

Lazy People are Simply Uninspired

Laziness and lazy people are topics that come up in many of the sessions I lead whether its for a corporate event, a public forum or team coaching.  For a long time, I believed that laziness was a learned behavior based on experiences and societal observations.  Simply a decision to not do something.  But what drives that decision?

Just think back to witnessing a three year old run around with endless energy, where the only thing that would stop them is complete and utter exhaust of stamina. Nothing would stop them, other than complete exhaustion, but then at some point in their lives, that same three year old, grows up and will decide at will to not do something that everyone else thinks they should do.

Based on years of observations, education and experiences, I’m still convinced that lazy people don’t exist naturally, rather they choose to not do something for one plain and simple reason.  They’re uninspired by the outcome of their actions.

Lack of inspiration happens to a significant portion of the population in their personal and professional lives.  There needs to be a crystal clear and motivating goal to get people to act on it.

Unfortunately what happens, is while people may be uninspired by an outcome, and they’re natural reaction is to do nothing, that nothingness will quickly grow roots and start to form a habit of nothingness.  As a result, their self-confidence will diminish and so will they’re perceived value because progress in any and every aspect of life is the one crtitical component to fulfillment and happiness.

Next time you think you’re working with lazy people, work with them to reframe the outcome and the actions needed to achieve those outcomes as something positive and inspiring and you’ll see that laziness disappear.


Positive Attitude and Mindset – Learn How

As I get older, I’m realizing that a positive attitude and mindset is a requirement to be successful.  Negativity is a distraction of success and poison for your life.

Without a positive attitude and mindset, greatness will always be out of reach for you.

Here are 7 ways that have helped me remove negativity from my thinking and form and maintain a positive attitude. I’m certain they will help you too:

  1. Counter negativity by putting up positive reminders (pictures, messages, notes) of the things that make you happy.  They could be pictures of your family, inspirational quotes, a reminder of your definition of success, or a picture of your dream car
  2. Exercise everyday – You’ll feel better almost immediately and doing it every day, whether first thing in the morning or late at night will not only improve your health, but will help you form a positive attitude
  3. Write down your future goals and dreams daily in present tense as though the goal has been achieved.
  4. Create and commit to a disciplined schedule and do not deviate from it. This will create a sense of control. We are all the results of our habits and rituals.
  5. Improve your diet.  Focus on eating healthier foods and drinks. I’m not asking you to count calories, but avoid sugars during the day, reduce fat, and drink a lot more water.
  6. Go to Sleep Early and Get up Early. If you don’t control when you go down, you won’t control when you get up. Early bird stills gets the worm, don’t kid yourself.
  7. Maximize every minute of every day.  Time is the one thing we can never get back.  By structuring your day and filling your calendar up with activity, you’ll have a much greater sense of certainty. White space on a calendar creates uncertainty. The more you have to do the more you will and can do. Commit to more not less.

With everything going on in the world today, its easy to be influenced by negativity.  But  it’s critical for you to realize and own the fact that having a positive attitude is senior to your ability to take action and follow through. The key for massive success is your attitude. Stay committed. Stay focused. Most importantly, stay positive.

The Five Qualities Required to be Successful

When you see a successful person, you recognize these intangible, almost soft skills that clearly make them stand out from most people.

Successful people act with certainty and confidence.  Everything they say, the way they think, and the way they approach situations, challenges, and problems is done with total decisiveness and purpose.

I’ve been studied successful people most of my life and have found the differences between them and the people who fail, worth noting – and its not what you might expect.

The differences between successful and unsuccessful people between have nothing to do with education, location, demographics or economics.  Of course their life  experiences influenced their mindsets and habits, they are NOT ultimately the determining factors in whether they achieved success or not.

I can show you people with no education, who were reared by broken families in terrible surroundings, but still managed to grow their successes to stratospheric levels. Top 5 Qualities shared by all successful people are that they:

  1. They have true commitment
  2. Focus on Opportunity
  3. Love Challenges
  4. Seek to Solve Problems
  5. Take Risks
  6. Surround themselves with other like minded people

Commitment is the Secret to Success

Commitment is the secret to success.  How many times have you had s such a strong desire to accomplish something, yet you never actually get it done?

Everyone dreams.  Everyone has goals.  But what’s the one word that separates those who actually accomplish their goals and those who never do?

One word: COMMITMENT. How Does a Person Commit? It sounds easy, but it’s not. However, its completely worth it.

The trick to committing is associating everything you need to do, as part of your commitment, with pleasure!  So many people associate commitment  with pain. Think about dieting, or working out. Sacrificing your favorite foods.  Spending hours in the gym or running.  Pain right?  Wrong!  Associate it with pleasure because each time you maintain your commitment, you’re a step closer to accomplish your dream.

Not committing will make you miserable for the rest of your life as you’ll always regret not making your dream a reality.  Say it with me…. COMMITMENT!

What is Success?

I’ve known my entire life that I’ve wanted to be successful and for some reason, everybody I grew up with, knew I would be too. There was a time early in my life though where I finally asked myself the question; “What is success”?

There’s a good chance you’re reading this because you’re curious about the real definition of success and the reality is, it means something completely different to everybody.

When I was in my late teens, I  came across a definition of success that totally clicked, with me and crystalized exactly what success is.

American journalist, Christopher Morley said it best when he stated:

There is only one success- to be able to spend your life in your own way.

The magic of that statement is the reality that success is a very personal and individual thing.  When asking yourself the question, What is success”?  you need to take it a step further and ask yourself “What is my success”? or “What does success mean to me”?

Doing that, is the first critical and absolutely necessary step in working towards accomplishing your success. Because without a true definition of what your success is, it’s impossible to put together a plan and commit to that plan to become successful.

Video: The True Definition of Success