Talk yourself
into failure

Say Good Bye to your limiting beliefs

October 1, 2018

Say Good Bye to your limiting beliefs

October 1, 2018

In Collaboration

Back yourself. Life is simply too short not to. Even when you are way out of your depth, the odds are against you and you are well inside your comfort zone. The only risk is you may just surprise yourself with what is possible. ‘I could never do a pull up.’, ‘I can’t run.’ or ‘I am just weak.’ – I have heard these negative statements a thousand times and in fact, I used to tell myself similar things. But are they actually true? Rarely.

After completing my second ultra-marathon recently I told a good friend confidently that I am ‘not a runner’. Considering what I had just undertaken, the ridiculousness of this statement dawned on me and I realised that I was selling myself short by falling victim to my own limited self-belief.

Every time we put ourselves down, we lose the opportunity to be great. We will always fall short of our potential, if we don’t believe in our own ability.

I find that people often use these throw away claims as excuses. So when they fail they can revert back to it like a safeguard, ‘I told you, I have never been a runner’. It is not always easy, but: even if you do fail you will get much closer to your goal than you would have if you had never seriously tried in the first place. These failures mean that you will grow in ways that will set you up for success next time. If you’re ready to go all-in and shed your limiting beliefs, start with being real about the situation.


Unpick the story.
When did you make the decision to internalize particular negative beliefs about yourself? Find the root of your belief.


Find the truth.
Recognise that while it may have been true in the past – this no longer is the case and you have the power to change it. To move forward you need to let these beliefs go. It’s true that you will never be stronger or faster if you don’t train consistently. It’s true that if you want to lose body fat or gain muscle mass but don’t prioritise quality nutrition, it will be hard achieving these goals. And it was true for me that if I never put the time and effort into speed work and hill repeats, I would (have) never take(n) myself serious as a runner.

Make the switch.
Consciously reframe the limiting belief with a new empowering belief. The question remains, are you actually putting in the work to get the result that you are after? If the answer is NO, it’s time to take action:

  1. Change your actions to reflect what you want. (e.g. commit to three strength sessions per week)
  2. Change your wording to reward the effort you are putting in. (e.g. ‘Yoga is a constant practice for me.’)


Get comfortable with failure.
Practise a growth mindset which recognises failure as a normal part of everyday life. With this mindset you will see challenges as an opportunity to learn and develop.


Surround yourself with positivity.

Be mindful of the type of people you choose to spend your time with. Surround yourself with those who encourage you to tackle new challenges and motivate you to work for your goals.


Stay mindful of your inner dialog.

Why do we waste time feeding our mindset negative thoughts? Often people who believe they can’t achieve something great unfortunately prove themselves right because the mind-body connection is so strong. As Laird Hamilton, American big-wave surfer says, “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”


Remember: there is nothing so easy and yet so completely unsatisfying as letting yourself off the hook and taking the easy option. What we tell ourselves matters. Obliterate those limiting beliefs and back yourself. Life is too short not to.


Image by iStock/littlehenrabi

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