04 December 2022 |

How leader’s can overcome limiting beliefs


When my dad took our mom to the hospital, my brother and I would stay across the street at our friend’s house.

He called and told us we needed to come home early. It was a shorter trip than expected.

We tried to talk our dad into letting us stay longer, but we could tell by the sound of his voice something was wrong.

My mom had brain cancer when I was a toddler. They performed a successful surgery and thought she would live a normal life, but almost a decade later, she started getting spells.

We left our friend’s house and hurried back home across the street. As dad let us in, we saw mom crying on the couch.

“Mommy’s gonna die.”

Those words completely shifted my worldview and how I saw my own potential.

I looked just like my mom. People would often comment about how alike we were. She was going to die by the time she was 32, and I believed I would suffer the same fate.

In high school, I started partying, and people told me they liked me better when I was drunk. They said drinking transformed me from the conservative, shy guy into the confident, fun guy.

I believed it was my path to being accepted. Unfortunately, I let these beliefs limit my potential until I was 30.

Limiting beliefs will:

  • Stop you from pursuing something you want.
  • Prevent you from seeing opportunities that come your way
  • Keep you from appreciating your own talents, strengths, and self-worth

They trick you into thinking you are not good enough.

As William James puts it, “You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.”

This matter because 95% of the 75,000 thoughts you have are repeated daily. These beliefs get repeated so often we start to believe them.

And as leaders, we not only have to be aware of our own limiting beliefs but also be intentional about understanding the limiting beliefs of the people around us. We can do this by recognizing their value to the team and taking time to understand the life experiences that shaped their values.

Some people wake up on empty each day with no confidence or understanding of their potential. As leaders, we have the opportunity to find ways to pour into them and help them understand the actions they can take to find success.

You can change a person’s life by taking the time to recognize these limiting beliefs and help find a way to break them.

Here is an activity a mentor once showed me that helped me work past some of my mental roadblocks and gain clarity on the path forward I needed to take.

  • Step 1- Write down 5 personal goals you want to accomplish in 2023.
  • Step 2- Pick the ONE goal that would have the biggest impact on your life
  • Step 3- Write down the limiting belief that will prevent you from getting started if you let it
  • Step 4- Reframe your limiting belief by listing out the steps you will take to achieve your goal
  • Step 5- Find a coach or mentor to share your goal and plan with (I’d love to see them as well if you are okay sharing them with me)

Reflection Questions:

  • How will reaching this goal impact your life/career/business?
  • How can reframing your limiting belief help you reach this goal?
  • How have limiting beliefs impacted your life? I’d love to hear from you.