As women and emerging leaders, we have an incredible opportunity to take our business and career to a new level. But to do that, we need the right mindset. When you “Step Up,” you have a different attitude – you embrace the mindset of possibility and are willing to make different choices to achieve your outcomes. You are willing to step out of your comfort zone, say yes to the right opportunities for the right reasons, and no to those that just aren’t a fit.

But there are obstacles to achieving this mental clarity, and one of our biggest obstacles is OURSELVES. This blog post will explore how limiting beliefs can hold us back from achieving what we want most in our leadership and life!

First of all, a limiting belief is a false idea that we hold about ourselves, and it’s usually based on an experience from our past that has left us feeling scared, anxious, or unworthy. Unfortunately, these beliefs can be so strong that they shape the decisions we make in our lives and can even keep us from taking risks or pursuing our dreams.

Perhaps you’ve had a job interview in the past. This was THE JOB, and you were ecstatic! However, as you entered the interview, your nerves began to get the best of you. You lost your train of thought and couldn’t even seem to respond to questions despite knowing the correct answers. The interview didn’t go well, and you didn’t get the position. It was a terrible experience that left you brokenhearted.

You were 15 years old, and that was an interview for a movie theater.  

But because of this incident, you made a subconscious decision that you aren’t capable of interviewing; that you’re terrible at it. This belief is reinforced each time your mind creates a similar outcome, either other interviews, presentations, or even speaking up for yourself.  It becomes so ingrained that you develop an unconscious ASSUMPTION about yourself that restricts you.

Now, it’s many years later, and there’s a job you’d really love. This is the spot where you believe your career will take off. You’re psyching yourself up! But that day, you get nervous since you’ve always had trouble with interviews. As you approach the interview, your thoughts begin to race as you worry about what might go wrong and whether or not you’ll appear like an idiot if you don’t know the answers to any of the questions. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. You don’t get the job and don’t want to know why. You now start telling yourself that you’ll never get ahead. You’re not meant to get a better job. You’re not meant to be a manager. Or maybe, you’ll never amount to anything.

Our Limiting Beliefs are an obstacle of our own making.

Limiting beliefs are the lies you tell yourself. They’re always buzzing in the background. They sound something like this:

I’m not…good enough, smart enough, skilled enough, connected enough, or confident ENOUGH to be a manager… WORTHY.

I can’t… Be the boss, put myself out there, bring up my accomplishments, ask for… a raise, a promotion, a mentor, you name it!

So how do you identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back? I’m so glad you asked! Here are three tips to help you:

Tip #One: Pay attention to your self-talk. The things you say to yourself – consciously and unconsciously – reveal much about what you believe about yourself. If your self-talk is negative, chances are you have some limiting beliefs. For example, do you find yourself saying things like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t do that,” or “That’s too hard for me”? If so, it’s time to challenge those negative thoughts and replace them with more empowering ones.

Tip #Two: Notice what you tell yourself about other people. How we view others is often a reflection of how we see ourselves. So if you tend to believe that other people are smarter, more successful, or better than you – guess what? Those are probably some of your limiting beliefs. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. The good news is that once you’re aware of your negative patterns, you can start to change them.

Tip #Three: Be honest about your fears. We all have fears, but some of us are more afraid to admit them than others. If you’re fearful of failure, rejection, or success, that’s a pretty good indication that you have some limiting beliefs. The key is not to let your fears control you. Acknowledge them, but don’t let them stop you from taking risks and going after your dreams.

So there you have it – three tips for identifying the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Now it’s time to take action and start working on replacing those negative thoughts with more empowering ones.

Until the next time, here’s wishing you the Clarity (and the empowering beliefs) you deserve!