What is stopping you from achieving your big goals and dreams?
These are the questions that are worthwhile to ponder over.
If you can find the answers to these questions, you can obviously remove the obstacles between YOU and YOUR success. Then, of course, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams and goals!
FUN FACT: This article was inspired while I went on a Lion Safari. So, read more, it is going to get very, very interesting!
The Cub & I
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill (one of the pioneers of Art of success)
Can this statement from Napoleon be really true?
While this quote makes everything seem easy, in reality, it is not really the case. In fact, the concept of “beliefs” and the process of how they are formed is very complicated and debatable.
My Lion Safari Story
Now, let me show you a photo from the recent lion safari I took that absolutely shocked me!
Left: My wife, Centre: The lion (of course), Right: Me
Let me guess – your eyes are fixated on the Lion that I am patting, right? But, for a moment, pay attention to the bush behind me.
Can you spot another Lion hiding behind the bush?!
Why is that Lion hiding?!
What happened was – when we approached the lions, one of the lions was scared and therefore chose to hide behind the bush.
This absolutely shocked me!
Interesting Facts about Lions
The below facts about Lions will definitely justify my shock (at seeing the Lion hide behind the bushes):
• They can weigh up to 300 Kgs (600 pounds)
• They can run up to 80 km/h (50 mph)
• Their leaps are as far as 4-10 meters
• They can stretch up to 10 feet long (3m)
Let me state what is probably very obvious by now – lions are definitely superior (physically) to us! Indeed, this lion can effortlessly kill us in a matter of seconds. What’s more, we were absolutely defenceless.
So, what is that Lion afraid of?
Just to clear a possible suspicion, in advance – no humans have behaved badly with these lions before. In fact, I know the owner and he is unquestionably passionate about animals.
When is he interacting with the Lions, he carries no weapons for his defence (even though it is very risky)!
Therefore, the Lion’s fear does not stem from any sort of previous abuse but rather since they were very little, they have only been raised in the company of humans (almost since they were born)!
That's why, these Lions treat humans as superior to themselves. However, not every Lion is like this – it also depends on their personality!
For example, this Lion is probably thinking about its next meal!
This Lion sure ‘likes’ me
Coming back to that shocking photo we were discussing earlier – it is not unreasonable to assume that the scared Lion perhaps had a ‘belief’ when growing up and this ‘belief’ has stuck throughout his adult years.
Even though, the situation is possibly completely different now. The Lion has grown up, and is now much stronger than a human. But it still feels inferior.
The same situation may also happen to us. Just like the Lion, we can achieve much more than what we think we can.
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Your true potential is much more than what you think.”
What Is Truly Stopping Us?
It is our “self-limiting” beliefs that was formed sometime in our past.
Numerous researchers have found that we act within the quadrants of our beliefs. If there are any contradictions, we go out of our way to rectify the inconsistencies and in turn, comply with our beliefs.
This is why it is important for us to review our beliefs and eliminate those that are limiting our ability to reach our full potential.
This is the answer to the question I posed in the beginning of the article…
Even having one self-limiting belief is like driving the car with the hand brake on. We may have many great ideas and perceptions, but even ONE self-limiting belief is enough to hinder our achievement.
Now, let’s investigate these questions:
• What beliefs do you have?
• How were they formed?
• Where did they come from?
A Few Facts About Our Beliefs:
a. By the time we reach adulthood, our belief systems are already formed.
b. Even though we can alter our views, our belief system is quite steady.
As psychologist Peter Halligan (Cardiff University, UK) said:
This means to go to great lengths to reject something that contradicts our position. For example, we might seek further information to confirm something that we already believe in. This phenomenon is called ‘Confirmation Bias’ and is common to all.
How Are Our Beliefs Formed?
In order to understand how we form our beliefs; we must reflect on our childhood.
A Neuroscientist from George Mason University (USA), Frank Krueger had said,
When we are growing up, the people closest to us will inspire our beliefs. This serves two purposes:
• It is the fastest way to learn about the world (as opposed to exploring and learning everything by ourselves)!
• It allows us to be social, have friends and interact with fellow members of the community.
While adapting to a belief system of a particular environment, it allows you to be a member of that particular community. However, it does not prepare you to be a leader of that community.
Many of the beliefs that we imbibe as children allow us to be nice people, but they don't necessarily prepare us to be successful.
Update Your Beliefs
It is therefore, necessary to review our beliefs and update those that require modifications (just like your phone needs to be updated with new software from time to time)!
Keep these questions at the back of your mind while you review your beliefs:
“Why haven’t I achieved my major dreams by now?”
“What has hampered me?”
Think about the beliefs that were formed when you were a child – do these need to be updated or are they still relevant?
Just to put it out there – it is completely normal for us to have some self-limiting beliefs. Everyone has them.
For example, 46.4% of Britain believes in the statement: “My body, or part of my body, is misshapen or ugly.”
Common Examples of Self-Limiting Beliefs:
• Asking too many “What if…?” questions and being afraid to jump in.
• “I’m not good enough for …”
• Only setting small or easy goals; the far-reaching ones seem impractical.
• Having dreams and ambitions but not taking actions towards achieving the same.
• Trying to please everyone.
• “I’m not loved”.
• Relying on you primarily, instead of taking advantage of teamwork and the knowledge of others.
• Believing that leadership cannot be learned.
There are many other examples of self-limiting beliefs.
Dig Deeper and find ones that are actually hindering your success.
Find them and get rid of them.
Here are the steps to follow:
STEP#1 - Detect and Remove:
Detect negative beliefs that are hampering you. Such beliefs are usually those that were formed sometime in the past, and not quite relevant in the current situation.
STEP#2 - Reframe in a Positive Manner:
Devise a counter statement that is positive. For example, instead of thinking, “My body is not ugly,” you can rather use the statement “I am beautiful.”
Another such example is – if the first self-limiting belief (Asking too many “What if…?” questions and being afraid to jump in) applies to YOU, then think, “I am a decisive person” instead.
Or you can always adopt Richard Branson’s (English business tycoon) motto
If you take the above two steps, you will be able to release your hand brake that is hindering your car from reaching full speed.
There are many goals that you deserve to achieve.
Now is the time to just GO AND GET THEM!
You just need to detect what is holding you back, and replace the same with positive counterparts.
This was a guest post by Igor Smirnov
Igor Smirnov is a Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur.
Igor is the founder of KeyToVictory
– popular blog about self-improvement. We share ideas, strategies and inspiration in order to turn your dreams into reality.