Limiting beliefs; are they really the villain of the piece?

The other day I realised that what we are normally told is not entirely true. Personal Development people consistently tell us how limiting beliefs hold us back, and get in the way of us ever achieving our full potential. While they may be right about purely personal matters, I now believe that in the business context they are totally wrong.

Let’s just be clear about what the term means, to avoid any misunderstandings here. If a person believes that they cannot do something, or cannot do it well, that is a limiting belief. We all know that Roger Bannister shattered the perceived wisdom of the day, by setting a world record time of under 4 minutes to run a mile. History then shows that new ever faster times came within a few weeks of that momentous day. That is the negative power of the mind at work. Which was readily understood by Henry Ford when he famously said:
“If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

But I suggest that limiting beliefs are far from being the villain of the piece in the business setting, where examples may be “I’m useless at cold calling”, or “I’m not very good at converting a customer to clinch the sale” or even “I’m rubbish at admin paperwork, especially book-keeping”. That is inconvenient possibly, but can be turned to our advantage.

Why did we go into business in the first place? For most of us, because we are good at something, which is the core purpose of that business. Without quality service delivery, no ‘widget fettling’ business could last long, nor could a manufacturer who produced poor product &/or delivered it late. Similarly, no retailer would thrive without having stock to sell. That main purpose largely defines our businesses.

Now why expect to be fantastically brilliant at everything? If we focus our energies on those activities we are best at, and which earn the business revenue, isn’t that the best way for us to achieve success and happiness? This leads us into identifying what activity(ies) we truly ought to be devoting our time to. One technique applied in “Time Management” exercises is to make a list of those activities first, then another that covers what else we might have been doing, and usually not very well. Most of that second list is probably our ‘limiting beliefs’.

Hence I suggest let’s just acknowledge our ‘limiting beliefs’, as a short cut to that second list. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we accepted those limitations, and found other people to do those activities for us? This could either be by delegating to employees with the right aptitude, or by outsourcing to specialists. Which means there are no excuses, whatever the size of your business today.

So I say embrace your business context ‘limiting beliefs’ as your new found best friends, find someone who is good at those tasks, then enjoy your liberated life and watch your business grow!

If this resonates with you, please share your thoughts. If you’d like to discuss how to implement this in your business, please do get in touch.

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