It seems as though the world is conspiring towards setting us up for failure by ensiling a complete lack of self-belief. Oscar Del Ben looks at some of the myths we believe as facts and explains why a knowledge adjustment is all it takes to succeed.
When we were children, we were used try out as many things as possible, because we naturally wanted to learn how things work. That natural behaviour was soon stopped as we grew up because our parents taught us their view of the world and life and we were encouraged to follow their thoughts. They taught us how to deal with people, how to study, how to get a job, etc.
This, with the addition of time, created our personality and our view of things. Unfortunately we also came up with a lot of limiting beliefs against our dreams and growth. Personally I believe that 90 per cent of our thoughts are not validated and are untrue. Take the following five examples:
- 95 per cent of businesses fail within five years. I don’t know who said this at first, but I really believed it was true, until I saw some real statistics. Talking about the US market, only 23 per cent of business close within five years, and we must consider that not all of them are a failure. Some businesses are sold, and some are closed because the boss retired, that’s far from a failure.
- You can’t become fit at your age. Some people believe that in order to become physically fit you must be younger. Although youth may help to develop muscles, you can work on your physique at any age, you only need to get started.
- Your brain stops growing at 20 years old. Our brain is extremely malleable and scientists have proven multiple times that it constantly grows at any age. Like with our physique, the more we use it, the more it grows.
The problem with limiting beliefs
Let’s make this clear. It’s impossible to live a 100 per cent objective life where you personally validate everything you do or hear. And it might also not be a big deal to know that the Chinese wall can’t be seen from the moon. The problem rises when you believe something that causes you trouble. I call these beliefs limiting beliefs, because they provide no positive value to those who accept them as true. You should be well aware of them, because they are often the cause of our pain.
How to turn limiting beliefs into positive beliefs
Fortunately, once we realize that we have a limiting belief, it’s easy to turn it into a positive belief.
Take the 95 per cent of business failure as an example. Once we discover that the truth is that only 23 per cent of businesses fail, and some of them are not a real failure, but rather the business was sold or the boss retired, we can easily assume that you have four chances in five that your business will succeed. In this particular case you can increase your chances further if you consider your preparation, determination and knowledge.
There are a few simple steps you can use to turn your limiting beliefs into positive ones:
- Validate them. Is what you think really true? Try to search for evidence, or ask around if someone thinks different than you.
- Turn them to the positive side. If you are dealing with some sort of statistic, don’t say that 30 per cent of people don’t pass an exam, but say something like 70 per cent of people pass the exam. Can you see the difference?
- See if there’s room for improvement. If you are still dealing with a negative belief, see if you can do something about it. If it’s true that you can’t do a side split right now, you can train and improve every day, until you reach your goal.
- Don’t care about it. This is the last step and you should use it if everything before didn’t work. At this point you should simply ignore your belief. With this I don’t mean you should negate it, but rather that you shouldn’t let it hurt your feelings, this is really important. If you can’t do anything about something, let it go.