Limiting Beliefs and their Impact

Limiting beliefs usually center round, ‘I can’t …’ If it is true, regard this phrase as simply a statement of fact that is valid for the present moment only. For example to say, ‘I can’t juggle’ means I can (not juggle). It is very easy not to juggle. Anyone can do it.

Attacking Your Limits

Believing that ‘I can’t’ is a description of your capability now not what is possible in the future. It will program your brain to fail, and this will prevent you from finding out your true capability. Negative beliefs have no basis in actual experience.

A good metaphor for the effect of limiting beliefs is the way a frog’s eye works. A frog will see most things in its immediate environment, but it only interprets things that move and have a particular shape and configuration as food. This is a very efficient way of providing the frog with food such as flies. However, because only moving black objects are recognized as food, a frog will starve to death in a box of dead flies. So perceptual filters, that are too narrow and too efficient, can starve us of good experiences, even when we are surrounded by exciting possibilities, because they are not recognized as such.

The best way to find out what you are capable of is to pretend you can do it. Act ‘as if you can. What you can’t do, you won’t. If it really is impossible, don’t worry, you’ll find that out. (And be sure to set up appropriate safety measures if necessary.) As long as you believe it is impossible, you will actually never find out if it is possible or not.

We are not born with beliefs as we are with eye color. They change and develop. We think of ourselves differently, we marry, divorce, change friendships, and act differently because our beliefs change. Beliefs can be a matter of choice. You can drop beliefs that limit you and build beliefs that will make your life more fun and more successful. Positive beliefs allow you to find out what could be true and how capable you are. They are permissions to explore and play in the world of possibility. What beliefs are worth having that will enable and support you in your goals? Think of some of the beliefs you have about yourself. Are they useful Are they permissions or barriers) We all have core beliefs about love, and what is important in life. We have many others about our possibilities and happiness that we have created, and can change. An essential part of being successful is having beliefs that allow you to be successful. Empowering beliefs will not guarantee success every time, but they keep you in a resourceful state and capable of succeeding in the end. You can learn more about building empowering beliefs in my book “Mastering Secrets of Personal Success: Tools to Create the Life You Want

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There have been a few studies at Stanford University on ‘Self-Efficacy Expectation’, or how our behavior changes to match a new belief. The study was about how well people think they do something, compared to how well they actually do it A variety of tasks were used, from mathematics to snake handling. At first, beliefs and performance matched, people performed as they thought they would. Then the researchers set about building the subjects’ belief in themselves by setting goals, arranging demonstrations, and giving them expert coaching, Expectations rose, but performance typically dropped because they were trying out new techniques. There was a point of maximum difference between what they believed they could do, and what they were actually achieving. If the subjects stuck to the task, their performance would rise to meet their expectations. If they became discouraged, it dropped to its initial level. Think for a moment of three beliefs that have limited you. Go ahead and write them down. Now, in your mind, look into a huge, ugly mirror. Imagine how your life will be in five years if you continue to act as if these limiting beliefs were true. How will your life be in ten years? In twenty?

Now, take a moment to clear your mind. Stand up, walk around or take a few deep breaths. Now think of three new beliefs that would empower you, that would truly enhance the quality of your life. You can stop for a few seconds to write these down now. Get these images of the words stating these beliefs clearly in your mind. Make a large sign with these belief statements on it. In your mind, look into a big, friendly mirror. Imagine yourself acting as if these new beliefs were really true. How will your life be in five years now? In ten years? In twenty?

Changing our beliefs allows our behavior to change, and it changes quickest if you are given a capability or strategy to accomplish the task. You can also change a person’s belief through changing their behavior, but this is not as reliable as being given a capability or strategy along with the belief change. Some people are never convinced by repeated experiences. They see only disconnected coincidences. Beliefs are an important part of our personality, yet they are expressed in extraordinarily simple terms: if I do this … then that will happen. “I can”…and “I can’t”… And these are translated into: “I must” … “I should”. . “I must not” … The words become compelling.

How do these words gain their power over us? Language is an essential part of the process we use to understand the world and express our beliefs. Remember, there is a saying that states “If you think you can, you’re right, If you think you can’t, you’re right.” It depends on what you think! The lesson is, think about what you think about. It can make the difference in what you believe you can do. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!

Dr. Ed Hubbard is the President & CEO of Hubbard & Hubbard, Inc., and recognized as Personal Success Coach and Mentor as well as the Founder of the Diversity Measurement and Diversity ROI Analytics fields. Dr. Hubbard is an expert in Organizational Behavior, Organizational Analysis, Applied Performance Improvement and Measurement Strategies, Strategic Planning, Diversity Measurement, and Organizational and Individual Change Methodologies. He holds a Practitioner Certification and Master Practitioner Certification in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), a Neuro-science discipline. Dr. Hubbard earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Ohio State University and earned a Ph.D. with Honors in Business Administration.

Dr Hubbard can be reached at edhub@aol.com

Enhancing Self-Confidence

Our minds are amazing instruments. It is just as effective at creating negative perceptions of ourselves as it is at creating positive images. When our mind becomes very adept at building these images, a cumulative effect can develop. That is, our mind begins building more and more of these images like an out of control, growing mass of thought energy. When we build positive thought energy we feel good, and we infect those around us with the same feelings. Unfortunately, the same process works with negative thought energy as well and it can have harmful effects on the way we perceive things.

Nothing can weaken or derail us as effectively as the sting of negative self-evaluation. People typically use two mental processes to put themselves down: making internal pictures of failing or messing up, and hearing an internal voice that reminds them of what they’re doing wrong.

Have you ever thought about an upcoming presentation you had to give and found yourself making pictures of getting up in front of the group and looking nervous and making a fool of yourself? Have you ever said something to someone and had a voice fire off inside your head that said “You dummy – whatever possessed you to say that? Many of us have had similar experiences where we became our own worst enemy and give it a voice! These mental processes set us up to fail ahead of time.

In all of the examples below where there is a negative thought, there is stress and tension blocking the creativity required to get us out of that state. Positive thinking and self-confidence frees up our energy channels to give us easier access to our inner resources such as concentration, confidence and imagination.

 

Habitual Language

Repeated phrases and words reflect our inner beliefs and they become self-fulfilling (show up in our behavior – what we do and say). If you keep saying how difficult something is, you are likely to make things difficult on your own. Here are some common examples and ways you can “restate” or “reframe” the thought energy from negative to positive:

 

Thought Reframe
“I find ____ really difficult.” “Imagine how I will feel when I’m finished with _____.”
“My life is so complex…” “How could I make my life simpler?”
“No one understands me…” “What can I do to help others understand me better?”
“My team doesn’t even try…” “How can I get our team to remember what they did when we were successful and use it now?”
“But…it will never work…” “What would help it to work?”

Negative thoughts will influence your energy and behavior and will be picked up by others. When faced with “confidence deflating” moments or situations, find something good and positive to focus on with whoever or whatever you are dealing with. Use the simple but effective technique of reframing to help you change your state (internal feelings) to a more confident one. Here are a few questions to assist you in this task:

  • Where would this be useful?
  • What positive meaning could this have?
  • What is good about ….?

 

Many exercises exist that can help you develop “self-confidence or mental strength”. Here are a few that can get you started:

  1. Evaluate Your Core Beliefs

We’ve all developed core beliefs about ourselves, our lives and the world in general. Core beliefs develop over time and largely depend upon our past experiences. Whether you’re aware of your core beliefs or not, they influence your thoughts, your behavior and emotions.

Sometimes, core beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive. For example, if you believe that you’ll never succeed in life, you may be less apt to apply for new jobs – and inadvertently, you may not present yourself well on job interviews. Therefore, your core beliefs may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Identify and evaluate your core beliefs. Look for beliefs that are black and white, and then find exceptions to the rule. Very few things in life are “always” or “never” true. Modifying core beliefs requires purposeful intention and hard work, but it can change the entire course of your life.

 

  1. Expend Your Mental Energy Wisely

Wasting brain power ruminating about things you can’t control drains mental energy quickly. The more you think about negative problems that you can’t solve, the less energy you’ll have leftover for creative endeavors. For example, sitting and worrying about the weather forecast isn’t helpful. If a major storm is headed your way, worrying about it won’t prevent it. You can, however, choose to prepare for it. Focus on what is only within your control. Save your mental energy for productive tasks, such as solving problems or setting goals. When your thoughts aren’t productive, make a conscious effort to shift your mental energy to more helpful topics. The more you practice expending your mental energy wisely, the more it will become a habit.

 

  1. Replace Negative Thoughts with Productive Thoughts

Although most of us don’t spend time thinking about our thoughts, increasing your awareness of your thinking habits proves useful in building resilience.

Exaggerated, negative thoughts, such as, “I can’t ever do anything right,” hold you back from reaching your full potential. Catch your negative thoughts before they spiral out of control and influence your behavior. Identify and replace overly negative thoughts with thoughts that are more productive. Productive thoughts don’t need to be extremely positive, but should be realistic. A more balanced thought may be, “I have some weaknesses, but I also have plenty of strengths.” Changing your thoughts requires constant monitoring, but the process can be instrumental in helping you become your best self.

 

  1. Practice Tolerating Discomfort

Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you don’t experience emotions. In fact, mental strength requires you to become acutely aware of your emotions so you can make the best choice about how to respond. Mental strength is about accepting your feelings without being controlled by them. Mental strength also involves an understanding of when it makes sense to behave contrary to your emotions.

For example, if you experience anxiety that prevents you from trying new things or accepting new opportunities, try stepping out of your comfort zone if you want to continue to challenge yourself. Tolerating uncomfortable emotions takes practice, but it becomes easier as your confidence grows.

Practice behaving like the person you’d like to become. Instead of saying, “I wish I could be more outgoing”, choose to behave in a more outgoing manner, whether you feel like it or not. Some discomfort is often necessary for greater gain and tolerating that discomfort will help make your vision a reality, one small step at a time.

 

  1. Reflect on Your Progress Daily

Today’s busy world doesn’t lend itself to making much time available for quiet reflection. Create time to reflect upon your progress toward developing your self-confidence. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your thoughts, emotions and behavior. Consider what you hope to improve upon or accomplish tomorrow.

 

Developing your self-confidence and mental strength is a work in progress. There is always room for improvement, and at times this will seem more difficult than at other times. Reflecting upon your progress can reinforce your ability to reach your definition of success while living according to your values.

Strategies to Achieve Your Goals

Dealing with Life and Goal Achievement

“An Excerpt for the upcoming book: Mastering Secrets of Personal Success by Dr. Edward E. Hubbard. Publication Date: April, 2015. Pre-Publication Orders Available Now!”

We’re all busy. Life doesn’t necessarily lend itself to achieving your personal or business goals. If you learn these simple time management tools, you will achieve anything you desire, much faster than you would if you waited around for “when I have time”.

 

Time is given to us at 60 seconds to the minute, 60 minutes to the hour, 24 hours in the day. Nobody has more time than anyone else. Successful people and unsuccessful people have the same amount of time. What’s the difference? The difference is in how they use it. Successful people have mastered the tools and techniques to get more accomplished in the time they have. They know the rules: “You can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress, But You Can’t Do Both”!

Have you noticed how some people, and indeed some organizations, seem to be ‘aligned’, in that they are really congruent (i.e., committed to and having their total energy focused on) in what they are doing. These individuals are often described as ‘having charisma’, ‘knowing what they are about, and are rarely deflected from going for what they want. Signs of aligned organizations are that there are few internal politics, they focus on the customers and getting the job done efficiently, and everyone knows their role and what is expected of them. One of the strategies of Personal Success Mastery called the “Logical Levels” can help both individuals and organizations to achieve this kind of alignment to achieve their goals. Let’s explore this strategy with an example.

When individuals feel they cannot achieve their goal or mission, they might make the statement: “I can’t do that here”. They seem defeated before they even start. Maybe you have made this statement at some point in your life and did not consider its impact on your options to get what you wanted. Using the “Logical Levels Model”, let’s consider six possible interpretations of this statement:

  • If your emphasis is on “here”, it implies that there is something about the place or the environment e., You could do it elsewhere, but not “here”? A more empowering and relevant question would be “where” could you do it?
  • If your emphasis is on “that”, it implies that you don’t know what behaviors to do. A more empowering and relevant question would be “what”? i.e., “what” do I do in this situation?
  • If your emphasis is on “do”, it implies that you don’t have the skills/ abilities/capabilities to do it. You don’t know “how” to do it.
  • If your emphasis is on “can’t”, it implies that you don’t believe you can do it, and/or it is not important to you and doesn’t fit with your values. In other words, you don’t have reasons “why” to do it.
  • If the emphasis is on ‘I’, it implies that you are not the sort of person to do this, that it doesn’t fit with your “identity” or sense of self “Who” are you to do this)
  • A further possibility is that it doesn’t fit with your sense of purpose or your Purpose is about considering “who else” is affected.

For more information regarding “Strategies to Achieve your Goals”, click on the link below.

Dr. Ed Hubbard is author of more than 40 books including the the book “Mastering Secrets of Personal Success – Tools to Create the Life You Want” For more information regarding Hubbard Personal Success Coaching, go to http://www.personalsuccesscoachingcenter.com/index.html

5 Statements That Are Limiting Your Life

Struggling with health problems, being concerned about relationships, wrestling with career-based issues and all the other things that life can throw at you can be challenging. It’s very easy to let things become all-consuming and holding on to a number of excuses for not doing something ends up being commonplace. People find ways of justifying and validating their reasons, the problem is that is very limiting and you lose your options and your choices. Letting go of the excuses that become entrenched in your experiences frees you up from limitations and opens you up to possibilities, options, choices and limitless potential.

If you catch yourself using the phrases that are mentioned here, or something very similar; if you choose to live your life by them, they become the influencing factor in how you continue to make decisions – which could cause you to make decisions that limit you.

It’s highly probable that you use more than one of these phrases. The first thing is to become conscious of your language and become aware of the things you are saying to yourself and to others. When you catch yourself using one of these phrases (or something similar) or thinking it, pay attention: is it your voice or someone else’s? How do you feel? When are you saying it? Then contemplate the purpose for saying it. This will give you clarity on what’s going on for you. Let’s take a closer look at these five statements:

  1. “I don’t have time….”
    How often do you say this? It’s a popular reason when it comes to exercise. It’s a reason that will definitely stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. The truth is we are all busy but there is no extra time. Time is given to us at 60 seconds to the minute, 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours per day. Nobody has any more time or less time than anyone else. Good performers and poor performers have the same amount of time. So, what’s the difference? Its how you USE the time you have! If it’s important to you, you have to make the time which means creating a schedule and then working the schedule.

A simple way to free up some more time, turn off the TV, get off Facebook and you’ll be amazed with the additional time you have for pursuing your goals.

Make the decision to keep yourself accountable for your actions.

 

  1. “It will NEVER happen.” 
    How do you know for certain? What actual evidence do you have? Who made up that rule for you? What if you could and this belief statement is preventing you from knowing? There’s a lot of people on the planet and I would put money on it that there is at least one person making that thing happen which you claim will never happen. Be aware that making a statement like this and allowing it to become one of the rules in your life means that you could stay stuck and cut off from your goals.
    It’s a good idea to focus on how it can happen, rather than why it won’t. If you focus on the solutions you are more likely to find one.
  2. “I’m not the type of person who would …”
    How do you know? Have you just created boundaries and limitations for yourself rather than thinking about how you could change your perception of the situation. Or maybe you are concerned about how other people will view you rather than being bold and pursuing the things you want to do in life.

 

  1. “I could never …”
    What would your life be like if you did? “Never” is a very broad-brush, sweeping statement isn’t it. In numerous ways it limits you and cuts you off from the possibilities forever! Start exploring how you could make it happen instead.

 

  1. “Oh well, never mind …”
    If you’ve explored every conceivable option, there’s strength in accepting the present moment. BUT if you’ve let your hopes and dreams slip through your fingers without trying giving it 100% of your commitment to succeeding then it’s time to re-think the situation.
    Don’t let your life be ruled by excuses and reasons for not achieving. From today, start to take responsibility for your results and look for the solutions which allow you to reach your desired goals and outcomes.

Source: Adapted from The NLP Practitioner – Mind Training Systems