Overcoming self-limiting beliefs

 In this week's tip, we'll look at how to recognise and overcome self-limiting beliefs as a leader. Before you work on your team vision, it’s important to remind yourself of what you’re capable of, and to remove any self-limiting beliefs.

A self-limiting belief is a belief you have about yourself which puts an artificial ceiling on what you can achieve, by draining your own self-confidence in your role. Self-limiting beliefs can come from many places, such as:

  • Past experiences
  • Comments by others
  • Values we inherit
  • The media & social media
  • The way we compare ourselves to others
Breaking down the term into its component parts, it can be defined as:
  • Self: Something which impacts you yourself
  • Limiting: Something which restricts your ability to thrive
  • Belief: Something you hold to be true with no supporting evidence
It’s important to recognise when you have a self-limiting belief, and to take steps to address it before it holds you back in your career.
Self-limiting beliefs can be anything. A few examples are:
  • I'm too old or too young
  • I've got too much on my plate
  • I'm not the right sort of person
  • I don't have the right experience
  • I'm not as good as someone else
None of these are true, and if you hold these beliefs or others, then you need to challenge them and overcome them.

Overcoming self-limiting beliefs
At Navanter, we recommend a 5-step process to overcome your self-limiting beliefs:
  1. Identify the belief clearly
  2. Look for evidence of others “less qualified” than you who have succeeded in your field
  3. Find a new belief which it would be useful to hold
  4. Think of ways to adopt this new belief
  5. Take action!
This is not a one-off exercise. You should stay alert to self-limiting beliefs and address each of them as you discover them.


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