Choosing a “Word of the Year” rather than making resolutions has been a cultural thing for a number of years now. I find it particularly appealing because I can’t stand making New Year’s Resolutions only to mess them up by the 4th of January. Yep, it really hasn’t taken me long in the past (blush). So if you’ve managed to go longer than a week, I applaud you!
My word for this year is “Conquer”. While it’s already nearly April, I’m bringing this up now because I feel it’s fitting to go with today’s blog post. The one thing I’ve noticed more than anything, not only in other female entrepreneurs but also myself in the past, is how much limiting beliefs can hold us back. “I can’t do this because…”, “I would do that if….”, “I could succeed in if only….”. Insert any limiting belief you like to finish those sentences. Those limiting beliefs are so sneaky, we don’t even realise we’re saying them. I mean, they’re genuine issues right? Or are they?
“It’s okay for her” is one that I’ve heard many times over the years. This one is aimed at people that we look to as either competitors or people we aspire be like. Fill in any rationalization there: “It’s okay for her, she’s young”, “it’s okay for her, she has a tonne of money to throw into her business”, “It’s okay for her, she doesn’t have x-amount of kids”, “It’s okay for her, she has kids” – yes, I’ve heard that last one from some people who feel that they’d have a whole other market of people to sell to, if they too could hang around the school yard with other mothers.
The best way to conquer those limiting beliefs is to see them for what they really are: disempowering thoughts. They stop us from trying, they stop us from becoming the person we want to be, the business woman we so desperately aspire to be. Limiting beliefs hold us back from activities that will help grow our business, from getting new customers. They make us procrastinate indefinitely from sharing our knowledge and passion with the world, because we won’t put ourselves out there on YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live, do speaking engagements, hold workshops and seminars, build courses.
Imagine what your life and business would look like without those limiting beliefs! Just for a moment, stop and think about that. What could you achieve if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Conquering Limiting Beliefs
Okay! Okay! you say, I’m ready to listen. Now what? You have a list of ‘why her’ or ‘why not me’, Now it’s time to make a list of “why me?”. Don’t say there’s nothing on the list, I know you have something unique to offer people. We all have our natural abilities and our unique story that comes from our personal experiences. It’s a matter of not being so self-critical and acknowledging that even what we feel is a disadvantage, can be used as an advantage. Some people say they don’t have that bubbly personality to put themselves out there to promote themselves and their business. Work with that! You’re just the person for many potential customers who just don’t do perky. What is it from your personal experience that you can help others with? And that’s not necessarily just when you’re teaching but also if you’re selling a product. When we share from genuine place and sincere experience it can resonate with other people which helps them make their buying/joining decision.
As you start making your list, if you find yourself being interrupted by limiting beliefs, think about what from those beliefs are real, and which things are genuine. If you’re honest with yourself you’ll probably find that most if not all, of your limiting beliefs are scary stories you’re telling yourself. Remember, for every reason we have for “why not me”, someone else has gone right ahead and done it despite having the same “issue”.
Here’s an example: “I’m too fat” to be on video. No one cares about that, they want to hear what valuable content you have to share. They will resonate with you. They’ll follow you for the value you are giving them. If you want to lose weight then do it because you want to, but don’t let it stop you from achieving what you want to achieve right now. Don’t wait.
Here’s another one: “She’s has tonnes of Facebook likers, of course people buy from her” – having tens of thousands of likers isn’t the ‘be all end all’, it’s so much better to have an engaged audience, people who want to be there to hear your message. That’s a good example of a limiting belief that can inspire you rather than hold you back. Don’t give up because you feel that someone else is so way ahead of you. We shouldn’t compare our beginning to someone’s middle. Look at where you can improve your Facebook page and increase engaged likers and grow your audience. Use what you think you’re at a disadvantage for, as motivation to improve if it’s something that you feel will really help you.
How can you tell if your limiting belief is made up and holding you back? Be honest with yourself. Look at that limiting belief and ask yourself: are you making it up to procrastinate? are you saying it because you’re scared of the work you’d need to put in? Are you worried about what might happen if you put yourself out there? e.g. fear of failure. If you’re still not sure, talk to a friend who you know will be 100% honest with you and not just say whatever is needed to make you feel okay for now. This is where an accountability buddy or mentor will really help. If you don’t already have an accountability buddy, I strongly encourage you to get one, they’re such a great source of not just accountability but also inspiration and motivation.
Your desire has to be bigger than your fears
As you’re reading this, I’ve just finished doing my first Periscope. I can’t begin to tell you how terrifying that is for me. I’m an introvert to start with (it’s okay for others, they’re extroverts), and I’m conscious that I’m not young or slim (it’s okay for her, she’s good looking/young). But what pushed me to do Periscope is that I so very much wanted to reach out to others and help them. I have goals. I want to help women improve themselves and their lives through their business. I want to see people grow and achieve the things they want to achieve. Could I do that without Periscope? Yes sure, but I know that speaking ‘live’ to people is such a great way for me personally to communicate these things. This isn’t just to get my opinion across, what benefit is that to any of us? It’s to connect and really experience what others are feeling and thinking.
Inspired to take some action? Awesome 🙂 My job is done then. To help you a bit more I’ve created a quick worksheet for you. Just enter your details below to download your Conquering Your Limiting Beliefs worksheet right now.