Updated: Dec 21, 2020
We all have limiting beliefs. When you're trying to parent, grow as an individual, or start a business, they have a nasty habit of derailing your progress.
When I stepped into the business world, especially as a stay-at-home mom, I had a lot of limiting beliefs. I was excited, but I was also pretty terrified. I have started quite a few businesses but most of them I abandoned along the way because I wasn't passionate about them or I didn't have a "why" behind what I was doing.
I cannot make money doing ______.
For me, it was fiber art or just art in general. For a long time as an artist, you hear starving artists. Oh, artists can't make money doing what they're doing. You have to have an additional job. Society for some reason tells you that if you are an artist, you can't make it or you can't make it on that one income. You have to have other side hustles or other part-time jobs. As a stay at home mom, my daughter is my full-time job. So I have pretty much two full-time jobs working on my fiber art and then raising my daughter. When you think about the amount of time and energy that is spent in that other part-time or full-time job, it's hard to imagine that you can make money doing what you love, but you can. Let go of that limiting belief and reframe it to. I can make money and I can make an abundance of money and one day I will be financially free.
There's another limiting belief that I feel is very common, which is kind of an abundance versus scarcity mindset, which is something that I think is hugely important. People believe that there are too many people out there already doing what I'm doing. I know there are a zillion photographers out there and I know there are, you know, a bunch of makeup artists and tattoo artists. I don't know what your lane is, but you may think that there are too many people out there already doing what you're doing. The truth is, there are a lot of people probably out there doing exactly what you're doing. You can make your business unique to you by creating a brand rather than a business focusing on who you are or what you believe, what you love, what you're passionate about. You are creating a business that's going to last. Anyone can have a camera, but the person who turns that into an experience rather than just a photoshoot will succeed. How can you change the person's life that is behind your camera? What can you do to empower them? If you can give value to your customers and set yourself apart in a small way, people will hold onto that.
I don't want people to think that I am ______.
I still struggle with this one. Ultimately it comes down to you're worried about what people are going to think about you. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about you, you do, you. Whatever that looks like, whatever your passion is. If you are driven and dedicated to making that thing happen and you put in the time and effort to make it a reality, I truly, truly believe that it can happen no matter how crazy the idea. If you love it and are passionate about it and it works it, you can make it a reality and you can make it happen. It doesn't matter what people think or say about you. Often as you grow, you're gonna have haters come in the way and tell you that, you suck. Be okay with not pleasing everybody, but rather tuning in to your own internal compass and going from there. Stick to your true north. Especially with social media, when you start comparing yourself to the work and creativity of others, it's very easy to just naturally progress in their direction. Beware of falling into that trap. Do what you love. Do what you're passionate about. People will see that and they will follow.
You are just one person. Your dream is too big.
That's a lie. That's a big, fat phony lie. Cause yes, you might be just one person, but your dream is never too big. You might start off as one person, but that can grow with time and effort and strength and perseverance. It can grow into a bigger dream than you could have ever imagined.
Imposter syndrome. I don't know if I would call this a limiting belief, but it's definitely something that has held me back in the past. Imposter syndrome is essentially where there is a disconnect between who you are right now and who you want to be. When you are beginning a business, this almost has to happen because in order for you to reach the people that you need to reach you have to step outside your comfort zone. Whether that's putting your face out there on social media more or advertising or going to events.
It may be uncomfortable for you at this time because you're still in a smaller mindset. Once you begin doing that more, your training your body to be okay with it. Just like public speaking. The more you do it, the more comfortable you're going to be. In the beginning, you might feel like an imposter. But one day you will turn around and you will look back and you'll say, "oh my gosh, like I'm not I don't feel that way anymore. I am this person. I am the person that I have been working towards." So don't let that get in the way of your dreams. Don't let that hold you back. Don't tell yourself, "oh, I'm a fake. No one should listen to me. I'm not worthy of this. There are so many people out there who are much more skilled at what I do." That is the route to failure. You need to take hold of that and say, you know what? Yes, I have so much to learn. And there's an endless amount of growth that can be had. But I am pursuing my dreams and there is going to be discomfort in that. But I am worthy of this and I will make it happen.
Who cares that I make fiber art? Who cares that I am passionate about helping people live their best life possible? Who cares what I have to say? I'm just one person on this planet and there are zillions of people out there. Yes. Honestly, I think that there is some validity to that. No one necessarily needs to care about what I say, but I do think that you are doing the world a disservice if you are going into your business with that mentality. If you have a "why" behind what you're doing, it doesn't matter if 99 people out there don't care, because if there is that one person who hears a message or gets a product or an experience as a result of what you do and it changes their life, that's what matters.
The world is a big, vast place and sometimes it can feel impossible to overcome the obstacles and difficulties. You may look at the people around you, some people are more successful than you are. Don't belittle yourself by saying, "who cares what I have to say?" There are people out there who need to hear exactly what you have to say or need the product that you are making for that service that you deliver, whatever that is. There are people out there. You are doing them a disservice if you don't have the strength to say, it doesn't matter what those 99 people say. I care about that one person.
The fear of selling
It goes back to not knowing your worth and your value when it comes to pricing your work.
Putting yourself out there is vulnerable because this is something that you're passionate about and it means a lot to you. When someone says "no" to a piece of art or a service that you provide, in the beginning, it's probably going to hurt a little bit. Over time, as you build your brand and hone in on your "why" and you keep that Northstar true to you, you will overcome the fear of selling and it will transform into, "I am selling because I care about the people who are buying from me, I'm not just selling because I need to make money in order to survive." Your mindset changes from I have to do this too I want to do this passionately because I care about others. I don't know what your "why" is, but if you hold on to that, then it can help you overcome that fear of selling to others.
Find a way to sell in an authentic way that's true to you. It doesn't have to look like what everyone else is doing at the time. Often if you blaze your own trail and it looks different than the current marketing techniques and advertising, then you're going to do better than the people who are following that path. There are still people now who are still paying for TV commercials or radio commercials. Things are transitioning towards, social media platforms. You have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and not allow that fear to hold you back, but to rather look at that fear and say, I see you, I hear you, but I'm doing this anyway.
Want to learn more about crushing your limiting beliefs here is another article by the NLP center https://inlpcenter.org/five-step-process-for-releasing-limiting-beliefs/