And I would say the #1 ongoing problem that I have (I keep it under control but I’m very mindful of this problem), and that other business owners I come across with have, is the thing called…
It’s because of “limiting beliefs” that you stop your car at a red light: you believe that if you run that light, you might get killed, kill someone, or at least get an expensive ticket from a traffic camera. You don’t commit murder, you don’t steal or hurt others for thousands of reasons.
BUT having limiting beliefs in the wrong place means you don’t always achieve your peak potential, you hold yourself back, and you don’t get what you want or deserve.
Anchoring, Conflict, Sabotage
It’s a way more serious issue than you’ve been led to believe. Here’s how it happens:
Step #1: Your “bad behavior” (procrastinating, not finishing what you start, not making progress) gets anchored. How?
When you hang around the wrong people, their own destructive behavior rubs off on you. Haven’t you ever dealt with a friend, or maybe a family member, who always seemed to be miserable? Who seemed to complain about everything? Complaining about the world made that person feel smart and relevant, and bringing others down to their level made them feel significant.
I don’t want to get too personal, but during my teenage years and early twenties I have dealt with people who (unknowingly) punished me for success and rewarded me for failure. This is exactly why that saying “your income is the average income of your 5 closest friends” exists.
Step #2: Now, you start to experience “inner conflict” — the nerdy term for this is cognitive dissonance. This is where you hold multiple beliefs that contradict each other. The easy one for most of us to point out is…
“I want to make lots of money, but I also feel like making lots of money is a bad thing”
Step #3: And the result of that is “self sabotage” — some people label this as driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake.
You start a business, setup a website, send emails, pay for advertising… but when it comes time to make some sales… you drop it and you’ve moved onto the next thing.
You launch a brand new live class, and at the last second when it’s time to open the doors, you chicken out and price it at $17 dollars instead of $997 or higher… worrying about being yelled at, people refunding, or not delivering on your claims… when in fact, none of that has happened yet!
If I wanted to, I could tell you stories about refunds I received on my birthday, on the day I quit my job, on Christmas morning BUT I choose not to worry about 1% of returned DIGITAL sales — it’s just as silly as not getting a cat because it will die in 20 years, not getting married because you might get divorced, not having a kid because it might grow up to hate you, not going to school because you might flunk out, not taking a job because you might get fired from it, not buying a house because someone might break into it, not buying a new car because someone might steal it!
Let’s break down the three types of limiting beliefs: hopelessness (global beliefs), helplessness (personal beliefs), and worthlessness (future beliefs)…
Limiting Belief #1:
This is where authority figures tell you something is impossible. Growing up it might have been a parent or mentor, nowadays it might be the news or a friend.
I like to keep in touch with my subscribers and every now and then I hear the excuse that “no one is making money during this economic downtime” (which I read from my iPhone, sitting in my car, in line at a Del Taco drive thru, surrounded by brand new cars). I hear that “online marketing doesn’t work” and yet everyone is buying more books, movies, plane tickets, and music online than ever before.
It makes it very tempting, easy and REWARDING to not take any action! There’s no point in me learning, doing, or perfecting my internet business because it’s all a big lie, right?
Limiting Belief #2:
This is where you might see that something is possible, but it’s just not something you can do. During my early years in college, I had a middle-aged mentor from England who kept telling me about his $1,000 and $2,000 days… almost every day.
He kept giving me these numbers, and I was happy for him, but it made me think why I wasn’t making that kind of money at the time. Then I’d try to justify it in any way possible!
In reality, if you’re looking for a “cop out” reason to not take action… you’ll find it.
Here’s the thing. If you take anyone’s workshop and have the “wrong” attitude going in, you’re never going to get the results you want. I remember in an earlier stage in my life, if I’d read an article or a book, and if I didn’t already know or agree with what was said, I thought it was a waste of time! How silly. Likewise, in a different stage of my life, if I wasn’t blown away by tons and tons of new material, I’d think the product was a waste of time.
One Piece of Information…
But now, if I attend an offline event, join a membership, or even attend a webinar or teleseminar… and even if it’s a bad one… if I can get one takeaway piece of information, it’s worthwhile.
People with the “helpless” limiting belief tend to take some action, but there’s no follow through. I can’t tell you how many students we’ve had who came to us with the “same” story of spending 40 thousand, 60 thousand, 100 thousand dollars on other peoples’ courses. And in a couple weeks we got them to setup their business and many times make their first sale. And then, they’re gone… dropped off the face of the earth and I never hear from these people again because their limiting beliefs kept them from actually making some money online.
Limiting Belief #3:
You might not believe you deserve to make a million dollars, or $10,000 a month, or to pay off your house, whether you admit it or not OR whether you even realize it or not.
They might have started a business or two, and earned $1000 or $5000, but kept quiet about the results, didn’t repeat the process, and didn’t improve. These are the people who tell themselves they’re “happy” making $500 a month while still working at their day job that they hate, because it’s easier.
They won’t re-market an old product to their existing list of subscribers because some of them already own it. They worry about which blog theme to install this week, what’s the best time of day to email, and what to price their product… when none of these things matter! Taking action and following through does.
Maybe I’m talking about you and you don’t even realize it! I don’t know. But I do know that if someone came to you and asked what your plan is to make $10k this month, or $100k this month (or whatever your next milestone is) and you’re instantly angry, frustrated, and self-defeating… you’ve got a serious problem and you can either let it own you, or you can get it out of the way and move past it.
Now, how do you overcome your limiting beliefs and achieve your peak potential?
“Ask Better Empowering Questions”
The first thing I want you to do is be very aware of the words you use over and over to describe yourself as a person, where you are in life, others around you, and how you deal with adversity.
Here’s what I mean. If you’re the kind of person who constantly asks themselves, “Why does this always happen to me?” Or, “Why am I such a screw up?” Or, “Why is everyone out to get me?” Then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
On the other hand, if you ask yourself…
- What are at least three things that will make me feel better today?
- What am I excited about today?
- How can I learn from this problem?
- What isn’t perfect yet and how can I move at least one step in that direction?
- How can I enjoy the things I’m going to do today?
- What parts of my life do I enjoy the most and how do those things make me a better person?
- What will I lose (or miss out on) if I don’t take action right now?
- What is the next step I need to take today?
- What’s one thing I was going to do later, but will instead do right now?
Tony Robbins made this “empowering question” technique famous although I was using this before I’d heard of Robbins. I actually learned this from a course about “how to write a bestselling book” a decade ago which told me to phrase book chapter titles as questions. The truth is, when a question is asked, your subconscious has to answer it, whether you realize it or not… so why not apply it to real life instead of just writing?
Garbage in, garbage out! Ask negative questions and you get negative answers. Ask BETTER questions and you’ll get better answers.
“Model Successful People”
Now that you’ve asked yourself better questions, or even if you’re having trouble thinking of better questions, use your imagination to have someone ask it for you.
- What would Will Smith think about your current problem and how to fix it?
- If Opera launched a e-commerce site and it didn’t make a bunch of sales right away, what would her next step be?
- How about George Clooney, Betty White, Michael J. Fox, Sandra Bullock? Would they think twice about mailing their list, contacting a joint venture partner, or setting up a new landing page?
Armand Morin calls this “Success Leaves Traces”, Christians call this, “What Would Jesus Do” and NLP calls this “Modeling.” It means, find a mentor who is where you want to be, look at what they do, find out what they did to get there, and follow their system. Tom Cruise wouldn’t be afraid of running a 1-hour webinar, so why are you?
“Just Do It”
This sounds like the cheesiest statement ever, but as soon as you stop “trying” to market your product and just market your product, you’ll actually make sales.
Stop thinking about it so much and just “fail forward.” Steve Jobs never intended to make movies, but after being kicked out of Apple, losing half his life savings on NeXT, and losing even more money on Pixar, he finally stumbled on creating movies — $7 billion from 12 movies.
There’s no way I would have begun putting out products, selling web sites, webinar classes, or even iPhone apps if I hadn’t “failed” through a bunch of different business ventures.
“Have a Goal and Put a Value on Your Outcome”
Every month where I’ve set a clear goal about how many new clients that I wanted, or how much money I want to make that month, I’ve made more money. Funny how that works.
Can I tell you something else? Once I made of my mind I quit my day job of being a dental hygienist for 22 years and went full time in my own business. I can travel and spend time with my family on my own terms. I don’t worry about retirement because, I am building an asset in my own business for my future.
Why did all this happen? I wrote down all the things I wanted to have. (This is what books like “Think and Grow Rich” are all about.) Next, I figured out what it would take to make those things happen… making more deals, launching more products, marketing more aggressively to my list, getting more traffic, building a bigger list, charging more money, writing better sales copy, the usual stuff!
Now that I knew what my goal was, and what actions I needed to take to achieve those goals, I could compare the pleasure versus the pain. Pain being time, effort, possibility of failure, moving out of my comfort zone, social awkwardness, putting myself out there. And pleasure being money, happiness, a relationship, comfort, security, peace of mind… all that good stuff.
And now I was aligned just right… moving AWAY from the pain and TOWARDS the pleasure, instead of self-sabotage.
Think in terms of small roadblocks (and little objections) instead of impassive barriers. The reason you don’t have what you want, and the reason why you’re not taking the actions you should, a real reason or just an excuse?
If there was just one thing holding you back from choosing your business, what would it be? What about what’s holding you back from creating a new business? Is it something as simple as not knowing what software? Let’s say you could only choose one thing.
I know I just threw a lot at you, but I think it’s going to help. Tell me below, what’s your current limiting belief and how is it holding you back? Or, what’s a limiting belief you used to have and how did you overcome it? Please tell me below right now.