“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.”
The things you choose to believe about yourself have a huge impact on your success.
In fact, simply believing that you can do something massively boosts your potential to get it done.
One study even found that students who were taught that their intelligence is malleable consistently outperformed their peers. Notably in the study, the academic performance of girls, even in areas like mathematics where female students tend to under-perform, equaled that of boys.
In other words, because they knew they could improve, they did improve.
But unfortunately the opposite holds just as true. If you believe you can’t—then prepare to prove yourself right.
Not because you aren’t actually capable, but because you believe you aren’t.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—an irrational belief about yourself that holds you back.
Needless to say, these kinds of beliefs can be hugely damaging to you and your business, especially as a fellow businesswoman.
So today I’m going to share an easy technique to help you weed out irrational beliefs before they take their toll.
If you’re worthy of success, then any belief that holds you back is by definition irrational.
Those beliefs usually manifest as tape loops that play over and over in your subconscious.
- “I have to know everything I’m going to say before speaking”
- “Making money is hard work”
- “Each of my projects needs to be perfect”
- “It’s selfish to do nurturing things for myself”
- “If I achieve more material success, then I’ll be taking away from others”
- Or even something as simple as, “I’m not smart enough”
Irrational beliefs like these invariably grow out of past experiences (often from our childhoods) that lead us to judge ourselves unfairly.
As we continue to develop and grow, our circumstances change—but that old belief stays with us. Then whenever we find ourselves in a similar situation, that belief gets triggered, and the tape loop plays all over again.
And remember that whole thing about the self-fulfilling prophecy?
Well, as you repeat irrational beliefs like these to yourself, you systematically undermine your ability to succeed.
So here’s a quick trick to help you eject the tape.
How to Stop Irrational Beliefs
The good news is that in many cases dispelling irrational beliefs can be easier than you might think.
So let’s work with one of our examples above, “I’m not smart enough.”
First off, ask yourself—is this really true?
The answer might be, “Yes, because I don’t know as much as I should about running a business, heading up this project, creating a budget, etc.”
If so—no worries! Time for step two.
Think of 3 rebuttals.
- “I’m smart enough to have gotten this far.”
- “I’m smart enough to ask for help if I need it.”
- “I’m smart enough to learn what I need to know.”
Giving yourself examples of why an irrational belief isn’t true helps shine a spotlight on the negative self-judgments hidden underneath.
If that alone doesn’t help, tell yourself, “I forgive myself for ever judging myself as not being smart enough.”
You may have to remind yourself of your rebuttals, and walk through this exercise more than once. But over time you’ll begin to have a different tape loop—one of confidence—that answers back each time the old one starts to play.
Beliefs Can Change
Beliefs can change, and so can you.
In fact, as you begin to let those old irrational beliefs go, you’ll receive more and more evidence of the person you truly are.
The most important thing to remember is that irrational beliefs aren’t true. It’s only thinking about them and dwelling on them that gives them power.
Believe in yourself, believe in your business, and believe in your ability to reach the stars, and you’ll already be halfway there.
Do you have an example of an irrational belief? Please share in the comments.