“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

This quote from Henry Ford acknowledges the fact that our beliefs have a very real impact on our results in life, whatever the endeavor.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for our beliefs about ourselves to be negative or limiting in nature, hurting our efforts to achieve our goals.  Business magnate and motivational speaker Tony Robins has stated much on this subject:

“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.  Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.  We all develop emotional habits, or patterns, that influence how we perceive our lives. And the states that we are in most often become the most powerful filter of all, determining whether or not we find the strategies necessary to succeed or whether or not we create stories that empower us.  Limiting beliefs affect how much action we take, which then affects the results we get, which, in turn, reinforces our limiting beliefs. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in which we are our own worst enemy.”

But just as limiting beliefs create a downward spiral on our results, empowering beliefs can aid in creating an upward spiral for success:

So how does one go about replacing their limiting beliefs?  Psychology Today recommends starting with these four steps:

  1. Write down the limiting belief.  You cannot address the problem until it is clearly defined.
  2. Acknowledge these as beliefs, not truths.  They can be changed.
  3. Create a new positive belief to replace the limiting belief.  “I’ll never succeed?  No, I can and will succeed.”
  4. Take action that will reinforce your new belief.  “I will study.  I will work harder.  I will seek new business.”

To again quote Tony, “The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”

So what limiting beliefs do you have?  “I don’t belong here.”  “I’m not as good as they are.”  “My services aren’t worth that much.”  “I’m a procrastinator.”  “I don’t have time.”  “It’s too late to change.”  “I could never be physically fit.”  Think about the things you say and think each day, and determine if those things are actually hindering you.  Keep in mind too that you may have some beliefs that you may not realize are “limiting” in nature, but in fact are.  Here are a few examples, each followed by a quote to help you change your mentality on each:

  • Success only happens overnight.
    • “…if you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
  • Success comes without failure.
    • “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
  • Success hinges entirely on natural talent.
    • “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Tim Notke
  • Success is a zero-sum game.  Others must lose for you to succeed.
    • “You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

In closing, it is entirely possible to overcome limiting believes.  Identify and target them, and don’t be afraid of seeking support in your peer groups and professional networks.  And for a few more examples of limiting believes and ideas on defeating them, check out this article from Success Magazine.



Jeremiah Clark, M.A., is a healthcare IT consultant with six Epic Systems certifications. He is also
a partner at Appalachian Digital, a local web development agency, and a founding partner of
MHQC LLC Real Estate Development. He and his wife Erin are natives of Kingsport, TN.