Self-confidence plays an important role in success. This is especially true when it comes to an online business. You often face a lot of challenges. And often the only thing that gets you through these moments is the belief that you will succeed.
Truth is your mindset can make or break what you do online. It’s been my experience that most people have the potential to make a full-time income. But they allow “self limiting beliefs” to hold them back.
The Dark Side of Self-Limiting Beliefs
We’ve all heard the expression; “the body achieves what the mind believes.” It’s a typical rah-rah saying that’s supposed to inspire people to do great things. However I think the reverse is also true. If you don’t believe in yourself then you’ll probably fail.
In psychology there is a common term called a “self limiting belief.” It’s any conscious (or unconscious) thought that’s a roadblock to your success. It’s the negative stuff you think whenever you’re presented with a challenge.
A self limiting belief can dramatically alter your perspective of reality. Your thoughts affect how you act in life. So it’s hard to be successful if your head is filled with limiting statements.
In other words: Negative thoughts = Negative results!
Why Self-Limiting Beliefs Prevent Online Success
In a way, your mind can be programmed for success or for failure. Think negatively and you’ll create a situation where you subconsciously “prove” these statements to be true!
For instance, let’s say your mind is filled with negative thoughts about blogging. You secretly think no one likes your posts. Eventually you’ll look for evidence to prove this true. So once you experience any negativity, you’ll think: “See, I knew my writing sucks!”
A self limiting belief comes from past experiences. In life, it’s easy to accumulate mental clutter that trains you to avoid risks. Whenever a new challenge presents itself, there’s a mental voice that is a reminder that you’re not “good enough” to do something.
What really sucks is this inner monologue can be very convincing. Often, it prevents you from doing something… before it’s even tried!
Self-Limiting Beliefs about Internet Success
What self-limiting beliefs will you find online? They’ll be any thoughts that pop into your head during moments of doubt or stress. These are the mental statements that convince you of certain failure.
So my first piece of advice is to monitor your surface thoughts. You’d be surprised at much negativity runs through your head in an average day.
Moreover, there are a number of common self-limiting beliefs that people have when it comes to an online business. How do I know this? Because I’ve personally experienced a number of negative thoughts in the last few years. Here are just a few:
- “What if people laugh at me or criticize my writing?”
- “I’m not smart enough to succeed.”
- “This won’t work because I’ve already failed numerous times.”
- “I can’t contact this person because she (or he) is too important to help me out.”
- “I don’t have the technical expertise to learn this technique.”
- “This person succeeded because they possess something I lack.”
These are just a few self-limiting beliefs. Odds are you have a unique set of negative thoughts that often pop into your head. The trick is to know how to identify and eradicate them!
How to Identify YOUR Self-Limiting Beliefs
I think a self-limiting belief is a like a faulty computer program. It’s actually pretty easy to experience bad programming. Perhaps at one point you developed a negative outlook on success. All you have to do is identify this “program” and fix the bug in the software.
I suggest a simple exercise…
Spend one week and monitor your thoughts. Write down any negative thought you experience. Jot down the phrases and words that predict a negative outcome. (You’ll find these thoughts are similar to the beliefs I just listed.)
Don’t skip this step because it isolates what’s going on in your head. In a few short days, you’ll have a list of beliefs that are holding you back. Then you’ll be ready to move on to the next step…
How to Eliminate a Self-Limiting Belief
Eliminating a self limiting belief is not that hard – IF you take a proactive approach.
Simply identify the belief, restructure it in a positive manner, and then provide examples of when the self limiting belief was proven to be false. This can be done in the following exercise:
Step #1- Identify the Belief
First, pick a specific belief that’s troubling you. Don’t worry about every negative thought you’ve experienced. Instead target one belief at a time. So if you have four self limiting beliefs, then you’ll repeat this exercise four times.
As an example; we’ll assume you have this belief:
“I don’t have the technical expertise to learn this technique.”
This is one of my personal favorites. That’s because many Internet entrepreneurs are afraid to try a new technique because they don’t think it’s something they can learn.
Step #2- Look for the Roots of the Belief
Once the belief is identified, it’s time to find out why you think this way. Usually it’s resulted from something that happened when you were young. Perhaps you had a bad experience with learning technology. Or maybe a certain person made you feel stupid.
Now, the goal isn’t to psychoanalyze everything that’s gone wrong in your life. The important thing is to get to the root of the problem; not agonize over every past experience. So save the heavy stuff for your next trip to the therapist.
Step #3- Prove the Belief Wrong
In the third step you’ll change the way you think. Picture the self limiting belief in your head. Then imagine a few times when the exact opposite was proven to be true.
Using the previous example, think about the times when you were able to learn a new skill. For instance, blogging requires a bit of technical expertise. Yet most of the people reading this post have successfully learned this skill. That’s a great example of something you’ve recently learned.
To really make this exercise really work, imagine all aspects of this memory. Use all your senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste and feeling) to create a perfect mental picture of this incident. Then mentally review it till this memory is crystallized.
Step #4- Construct a New Belief
At this point your mind should be full of positive images and experiences. What you do now is construct a new belief. This is done by creating a powerful mantra that transforms the negative, self-limiting belief into a positive, self-empowering affirmation.
When constructing a new belief, picture these memories while reciting a positive statement that’s the exact opposite of the self limiting belief. Again, you want to capture that energetic feeling you had when this memory was created. And while you’re doing this, you want to repeat the new positive statement you’ve created.
For instance, you could create a new affirmation like: “I’m a smart person who enjoys learning new technologies that expand my Internet business.”
Step #5- Reinforce this Belief
The easy part is to create the new belief. The difficulty is to reinforce it on a daily basis. The best way to do this is to create a system that constantly reminds of this new way of thinking.
My advice is to create a daily reminder. This is a simple list of the positive affirmations you’ve created. Write down each new belief (word-for-word) and then review them every single day.
During this exercise, mentally picture the new belief PLUS the associated memory. Attaching the belief to a positive, past memory is a great way to change the way you think.
Step #6- Attack Any New Self Limiting Beliefs
Make a habit of reinforcing positive beliefs and it’s easy to reprogram your mind to think this way. Eventually this will destroy most self-limiting beliefs. Then the trick is to know how to overcome mental relapses.
Once in awhile those negative thoughts will rear their ugly head. What you have to do is immediately challenge them! Whenever a self-limiting belief pops up, go over the affirmation and remember those times when you’ve successfully done the opposite. Do this every time to master the way your mind thinks.
Final Thoughts on Self-Limiting Beliefs
I’ll be the first to admit this article might seem like a lot of psychobabble. Perhaps you think positive affirmations and exploring your feelings is something you’d hear about on Oprah or Dr. Phil.
What I ask is simple. Try this six-step plan for a few weeks. You might think it’s weird, but it’s a technique that many entrepreneurs have used to create success.
Think about this way. Everything you do online starts out as a thought. So you have two choices here: You can allow self-limiting beliefs to hold you back. Or you can fill your head with positive experiences that drive you toward success. The choice is yours!Take Action. Get Results.