“That was too easy”

“You didn’t work hard enough on that”

“You got lucky that time. Luck never lasts.”

These are the things that I believe about my work, myself, and my business. These are the words that kick me in the back of the knees as I try to move forward.

These are limiting beliefs. And limiting beliefs are poison, success-limiting inner mantras that almost everybody carries with them.

How Limiting Beliefs Truly Limit Success

My dad has always been a workhorse.

He sometimes wakes up at 4:00 AM and leaves for work by 4:20. He works long and hard for every dollar he earns through his business.

On family vacations, he’d spend hours on the phone closing deals. Out to dinner? Answering client calls. On weekends? Advertising, selling, processing.

So, growing up, I came to believe that earning money had to be hard work. It required long days, early mornings, and late nights, and that success doesn’t come easily.

I didn’t realize how much of that belief I carried with me, how heavy that anchor was.

My limiting beliefs have caused stress and stagnation as I build my businesses. And building this website has uncovered just how limiting those beliefs are.

If a post only takes me two hours to write, I don’t publish it. My limiting belief is telling me I didn’t work hard enough on it. It doesn’t deserve to be a success because it only took two hours to write. Those things that come naturally to me are garbage – they aren’t good enough.

So I write and I write and I write, and instead of measuring quality, I measure quantity – quantity of time spent toiling over a post.

And if something comes easily to me, and becomes well read and popular, I feel like a fraud. Like it was luck or chance and it will never happen again, and I actually hope sometimes that it won’t, so that people won’t find out the truth: that I didn’t slave over the piece for hours on end.  

Sounds crazy, right?

But I bet you have some limiting beliefs that hold you back, too.

I’ve listed over sixty of the most common limiting beliefs from an analysis of hundreds of comments on limiting beliefs across the internet.

Do you think any of these things?

63 Limiting Beliefs that Hold You Back from Massive Success

  1. I’m not somebody who follows through
  2. I’m good at starting projects but I can’t finish them
  3. I’m not an expert
  4. Nobody cares what I have to say
  5. I’m not perfect. Why would anybody listen to/buy from/hire me?
  6. I didn’t work hard enough on this
  7. I’m not worth it
  8. I don’t deserve [money, recognition, success]
  9. I don’t have time
  10. My family isn’t entrepreneurial (“Smiths don’t start businesses!”)
  11. People will judge me
  12. I’m a creative
  13. I’m notcreative
  14. I’m a procrastinator
  15. I’ll sound stupid
  16. Somebody has thought of this before
  17. Other people can do it better than me
  18. Nobody is interested in my ideas
  19. My idea is weird. It’s not the norm
  20. If I succeed, I won’t be able to sustain it
  21. I don’t have the skills
  22. I’ll never be creative/analytical/mathematical/good at selling enough to be an entrepreneur
  23. People who have something to sell are evil
  24. Nobody would want what I have to offer
  25. I don’t know enough
  26. I’m not a [numbers, business] person
  27. The people who are successful in this are out of your league
  28. You’re not going to be successful so there’s no point in trying
  29. I’m too old
  30. I’m too young
  31. I owe it to others to always work forthem
  32. I’m beneath these people
  33. I’m a quitter. I don’t finish things. I don’t persist
  34. I’m lazy
  35. Entrepreneurs are sleazy
  36. I’m  not original enough
  37. People like me don’t … (build businesses, become entrepreneurs, become successful)
  38. People won’t take me seriously because I’m..(female, male, young, old, fat, thin)
  39. I’ll look foolish
  40. I don’t feel like I could give enough value
  41. I’ve tried it before and failed, so I’ll fail if I try again, too
  42. I can’t because I have kids. I can’t because I..
  43. Regardless of how hard I might work at something or how well I might do, I’ll never measure up
  44. I will always avoid pursuing goals that matter to me
  45. What is meant to be will happen
  46. I can’t ask for anything. I’ll be rejected
  47. I don’t/wouldn’t know where to start
  48. The only way to success is to go to college, get a degree, and work your way up the corporate ladder
  49. I don’t have the willpower
  50. I’m just not motivated
  51. I’m happy with how things are now
  52. I’m not smart enough
  53. I can’t do that
  54. There is no point
  55.  I don’t have enough money
  56. I don’t have enough support
  57. I don’t have the connections
  58. I’m too shy
  59. I’m too scared
  60. That’s just not “me”
  61. I’m not tech savvy
  62. I don’t know what I want
  63. Now is not the time.

The First Step to Beating Your Limiting Beliefs and Empower Yourself to Accomplish More

The first step to beating these limiting beliefs?

It’s pretty easy.

And you’ve probably already taken it:

Gain awareness.

Because you can’t fix a problem you don’t know exists.

After you’ve gained awareness of your limiting beliefs, you can start defying them. That’s what I’m doing right now.

This post? It only took me two hours to write. It came naturally. The words flowed from my fingertips. It’s not crap, just because I didn’t labor over it. And for now, at least, I’ve come to accept that hard work is not necessarily good work, and good work doesn’t have to be hard.

If you just read through that list and found even one of these beliefs resonated with you, you’ve taken the first step.

So acknowledge these beliefs you hold with you. And when they crop up, beat them down. Prove them wrong. Flip them around.

Because as Henry Ford has said,  “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

By Sarah Peterson, Founder of Unsettle.