Self-doubt. Second-guessing our instincts. That voice in our head saying, “You’re not good enough.” or “Someone else would have a better plan.” I have stared down these gremlins myself and see them all the time in my work with other women entrepreneurs. While we each have our own version of negative self-talk, the good news is that these limiting beliefs can be overcome. To achieve and maintain success in business and in our personal lives, we have to get out of our own way. This requires a change in mindset that will free us up from the distraction of the negative voices so we can do our best work.
The five most common limiting beliefs I have seen in female entrepreneurs through my work with women learning to fundraise and interviews for my book Million Dollar Women include:
- “If I fail it will be of epic proportions, so I won’t risk too much.”
- “I can’t run a multi-million-dollar company, because I don’t have the business experience (or money, or leadership qualities, etc.).”
- “I won’t be able to have a personal life if I am the boss.”
- “I couldn’t do something big like that alone. I would need a co-founder to take the business to scale — ideally a man who’s good at the numbers side of things.”
- “Someone else would do a better job than I would.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?
Here is a way to get started on busting your own limiting beliefs: Write down the limiting beliefs you have — use some of the above examples if you have trouble getting started — and come up with their positive opposites. For example, replace a limiting belief like, “I shouldn’t be too outspoken or people will think I’m too aggressive” with a positive version, like: “I am bold and confident.” There is something about seeing them on paper makes you realize they are merely ideas you’ve held on to and taken as gospel. Once you begin to see your limiting beliefs as just words on the page, you can begin to take away their power.
Here are the are four essential steps to busting self-limiting beliefs:
- Acknowledge the beliefs that are holding you back.
- Get the self-limiting beliefs down on paper, out of your brain and say them aloud to trusted friend, coach, therapist or mentor
- Fill up all the newly freed up space with the positive opposite beliefs of the ones you got rid of.
- Get active around becoming the person you want to be once you are on the other side of these limiting beliefs (and get ready to go outside your comfort zone!)
Replacing limiting beliefs can be done with a coach, peer group, therapist, or mentor, and will definitely be intimate soul-searching work, so choose your confidants carefully. Having a trusted circle of other entrepreneurs or close friends who believe in you will help you bust those beliefs quicker. And then you can get back to what you love – building your business and creating a life filled with Money, Meaning and Mobility!
Until next time,