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5 Limiting Beliefs That May Be Holding You Back

Updated 4 months ago.

It’s all about perspective. Whether you’re facing a business challenge or a physical one, having the right mindset can determine how successful you are. In fact, studies by Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck have shown that the power of mindset lies in whether you have a fixed or growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is the belief that you are who you are, and nothing can change that. This encompasses a level of intelligence, talents, and creative abilities. When you have a fixed mindset, it may lead to feelings of failure if you don’t think you are smart enough or capable enough to handle the obstacles that you will inevitably face as a business owner.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is the perspective that you can continue to learn and adapt to different situations that may arise. Even if you fail, you tend to learn from those failures and turn them into future successes. People with growth mindsets are curious and actively seek to keep learning, a characteristic that is necessary for success.

While a growth mindset is more conducive to a successful business, it’s not always easy to change your mindset. The first step in changing how you view yourself and the world around you is identifying what limiting beliefs you may have that are holding you back.

What is a limiting belief?
A limiting belief is a false belief that something is impossible based on one’s own limitations and abilities. Limiting beliefs often keep you from pursuing or setting bigger goals for your business and is a mindset that can hold you back from reaching your potential.

Here are five examples of limiting beliefs that you can identify and overcome.

1. “I can’t compete with [INSERT a COMPETITOR for you].”
Maybe your product or service isn’t the first of its kind. There may be hundreds or thousands of competitors out there. But guess what—none of those are founded by YOU. When you focus on how to do something better than your competitors in the same way they’re doing them, you lose out on the potential to be uniquely you and attract clients who connect with your voice and brand.

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. But take a step back and ask yourself, are you motivated by your competitors, or do you feel defeated by them before you’ve even started? If it’s the latter, here are some strategies for fostering healthy competition and using it as fuel:

• Delegate competitor research to someone on your team. Let a team member analyze the competition and deliver insights that are useful to your business. That way, you can benefit from the end results without feeling discouraged and without comparing yourself to others.
• Ignore the competition. Maybe not the most common business advice, but by ignoring what others are doing, you’re creating a space for yourself to truly focus on how you want to grow your business, your way.
• Compete with yourself instead. The healthiest competition is one with yourself. Set incremental goals for your business, and once you reach them, celebrate, and then set higher goals!

2. “I’m not an expert in that field.”
Imposter syndrome is something that everybody faces at some point in their lives, usually more than once. Who are you to speak about your industry when you don’t know everything there is to know about it? And yet, you may know more than you think in any given scenario!

The trick is to adapt to a growth mindset and never stop learning. If you learn something new that contradicts what you’ve said in the past, be transparent and share what you’ve learned. It doesn’t make you any less respectable—in fact, many people have increased respect for people willing to admit they were wrong.

3. “I should be able to figure this out by myself.”
Delegating tasks can be scary because that means relinquishing some control of your business. As you grow, however, it’s necessary to learn how to delegate to others, and your business will be better off for it.

Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to push your business forward, and delegate areas of weakness to someone else who sees it as a strength. Your time will be better spent on things you are good at, and you definitely don’t need to be good at everything.

Download my Free Delegation List Sample Exercise to help you identify more activities to delegate, by going to

4. “My product/service needs to be perfect before launch.”
As Winston Churchill said, “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” The more time you take to perfect your product or service before launching it, the less confident you may feel in launching it at all. Other negative effects may include lower team morale overall and more pressure felt to attain perfection because of the boss’ example.

Once you’re aware of your perfectionist tendencies, you can reframe your mindset and approach it with a learning mindset. Learn from the imperfections and make some adjustments based on feedback. Your business will be more successful for it.

5. “I can’t show weakness to my team members.”
Being vulnerable is not considered a weakness—it’s what makes us human. While you may feel the need to put on a front of overconfidence and knowing everything, it can actually create a company culture of dissatisfaction and toxic hierarchy between you and the rest of your team.

Demonstrating vulnerability increases the approachability of a leader and can create more engagement across your business. A good leader knows that they can’t succeed alone and knows when to ask for help.

Limiting beliefs do just that—they limit your potential, your company’s success, your ability to grow as an individual and as a leader. What are your limiting beliefs? How do they hold you back? Write down what your own limiting beliefs are, so you can be empowered to break them down and cultivate a growth mindset that will propel your company forward to your next level of success.

For help with overcoming limiting beliefs, you can always reach out to me and schedule your complimentary consultation.

Aim for what you want each and every day!
Anne Bachrach
The Accountability Coach™
The Results Accelerator™

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As an experienced accountability coach and author of 5 books, I help business professionals make more money, work less, and enjoy even better work life balance.

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Author of Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule, Live Life with No Regrets, No Excuses, and the Work Life Balance Emergency Kit, The Roadmap To Success with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard, and more.