“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” ~W. C. Fields

beliefSome people think that the only time belief shows up in their lives is for Christmas and Easter. (Feel free to substitute the holy days most familiar to you.) They believe the rest of the year they only deal in cold, hard facts, especially in business. Oh, you caught that too? That’s right, even that opinion about facts is a belief.

One dictionary defines “belief” as: “trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.” Do you trust your suppliers, have faith in your staff, have confidence in your methods? You, my friend, are a believer. Evidently we couldn’t get through our day without belief.

There are inverse beliefs that are just as important to you too: a distrust of a particular customer, doubt about an inexperienced contractor, or a lack of confidence in an untested process.

As important as beliefs prove to be in your business, surely you chose them all thoughtful and carefully. Oh, not really? The fact is most of them just sort of showed up. That’s not to say they showed up with no good reason. In many cases there were more than enough good reasons. It’s just they were not created in a state of awareness.

While this lack of awareness isn’t always a problem, it is often a problem. Most of us are carrying around beliefs that have never risen to the surface yet we are using them to view our world and to make important decisions.

Let’s label these beliefs that do not serve us as “limiting beliefs”. What might those limiting beliefs be? Let’s trot out a few examples:

  • We can’t sell in that market.
  • We have to have live 24 hour customer service.
  • There aren’t enough qualified, employable people to hire.
  • I’m too busy to hire and train someone.
  • Our prices cannot be raised in this economy.
  • We tried that before and it didn’t work.
  • Our prospects don’t use social media.
  • We’ve always done it this way.
  • I can’t {write, speak, manage, direct, teach, train, mentor, learn}.

This is just to get the juices flowing. You will have a host of beliefs of your own. So think of a belief of yours that comes with a lot of restrictions, boundaries, and limitations. Now consider:

What if you didn’t believe that?

I’m not asking you to change any facts on ground, just imagine that you had the facts but not the belief. How would things be altered? What different choices would you make? How would your decisions be impacted?

Now that it is under the bright light of scrutiny, your beleaguered belief will be crying out for you to look at all its supporting “facts”. Go ahead and look. But consider the possibility that these are not the only facts. Perhaps they are not even the most important ones. Is there a possibility that someone with the same facts could draw a different conclusion?

Chances are there is someone who  already has. They are called “competitors”.

To date everyone has some limiting beliefs. But we don’t all have the same ones. There may be millions who share your most limiting belief but chances are there is someone who just doesn’t. Their freedom from this belief is what is making the impossible possible.

So take the next step in our musing. What would happen if you didn’t believe that limiting thing hanging around you? Maybe:

  • A whole new market is available to us.
  • Other companies are doing fine with 12 hour customer service desks.
  • We can afford to alter our job prerequisites and pay structures to attract new talent.
  • I can commit to training one new employee per quarter.
  • We can repackage our offers to justify higher price points.
  • We can try again (with some new tweaks).
  • Social media opens the way for us to reach new markets.
  • We have some new ideas to test out.
  • I can get good enough at just one more important thing.

“What if you didn’t believe…that? You know the one I mean…” click to tweet

Questioning your beliefs doesn’t lead to the crisis of faith many with untested beliefs would fear. Rather, it strengthens your worthy beliefs and sets you free from the limiting ones. Own the beliefs that serve you and spur you on to higher heights. Discard the limiting beliefs that have shackled you and held you down. It really is as simple as that: make a choice to let go of limiting beliefs. There is no long, drawn out process. (By the way, if you are questioning that last statement, you have just uncovered another of your limiting beliefs.)

It can be a little dismaying when you start to realize how many limiting beliefs you have hanging around. But don’t despair. Knock down just one and business and life get better. Then it is easier to take on the next one — and the next one. Before you know it, you will really have to search to find a limiting belief.

What limiting beliefs have you uncovered? Tell us about it by commenting below.

Photo credit: Jason Taellious

What If You Didn’t Believe…That?
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2 thoughts on “What If You Didn’t Believe…That?

  • Permalink

    I’ve tried getting rid of limiting beliefs before. But they just keep showing up again. It’s like I can’t shake them. I can’t figure out how to get rid of them for good even though I want to.

    • Permalink

      Perhaps you were too ambitious at the start. No one can get rid of all their limiting beliefs at once. Or sometimes someone attempts to start with their most entrenched limiting belief. So start more modestly. Begin with a limiting belief to which you aren’t as attached. Once you experience removing a limiting belief, even a small one you will be better equipped to move on to more difficult ones.


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