Are you in a place where you really want more financial freedom - for example, maybe you want to earn a lot more than you do right now, but you just can’t see how this is actually possible?
Because no matter how hard you try, you just haven’t been able to crack the ceiling on your current earnings. Or maybe you just can’t seem to stick to a budget. You really WANT to save a heap of money for [insert your financial goal here] but you just can’t stop spending the money!
What may be happening, is that you are self limiting your OWN growth and progress, so as to stay in an area that is comfortable to you.
Reaching your own upper limit
You’ve reached your upper limit, and you won’t raise any higher than that limit, until you identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you there.
Gay Hendricks explores this in depth in the book The Big Leap. He says:
“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”
At any time in your life you are experiencing as much as your upper limits will allow. If you want more, you’ll need to raise those limits. To allow yourself to experience more.
What your upper limits may affect
Your upper limits affect a heap of different things - things like:
- Your financial situation - how much you earn, how much you save how much your spend, how much debt you are in;
- Your physical self - how you present yourself, how much you push your body, how you treat your body;
- Your mental and emotional health - what you think about on a daily basis - and remember, your thoughts are the [beginning of everything].
- Your relationships - how close you are to others, how deeply they understand you and how well your loved ones treat you.
- Everything! Your upper limits affect everything.
How your upper limits affect your personal growth
What type of limits are we talking about, and how do these limits prevent us from growing and making progress on our goals? Here are some examples.
- If your creativity is limited, you can’t imagine doing, being or having much more than you already have. You’re blocked from seeing this. If everything begins with a thought, if you can’t imagine it, how can you make it happen?
- Similarly, if you have limiting beliefs about what is actually possible, then they may prevent you from even entertaining a thought - like, if you honestly believe, that it is not possible for you to climb Mt Everest, then why would you attempt that?
- Your past experiences may be limiting you. You may look at past experiences and decide that because something has happened in the past, it’s likely to happen again in the future. You attach probability to a past event.
- What you’ve been told about yourself - especially, repeatedly - helps to form your beliefs about yourself and what you’re capable of.
- Your observations of others success or failure can limit you. If you’ve seen someone else fail and you are seeking to confirm a limiting belief, you’ll happily take that as confirmation that your belief is correct.
- Your fears may cause you to attach meaning to events, such as ‘that was really difficult - if it was meant to be, it would have been easier’.
- Your insecurities may limit you from trying something, for fear or failure or embarrassment.
- Other people’s fears and insecurities may limit you. Other people may not want you to succeed because if you do, it may shake up their own belief system, and cause them some discomfort. For example, if they have chosen not to pursue a goal because of (whatever reason), they will have gone through that process of seeking out confirmation, that their beliefs and decisions were correct. They’re not going to want you to prove them wrong, because that’s just totally not in line with their thinking.
- Past hurts and unresolved issues can make us fearful of moving in a certain direction.
- Poor self esteem can limit everything!
Well how can you raise these limits?
The first step is awareness - think about what you really want - for example, your next financial goal, and then think about all the things that you think will prevent you from achieving it.
You need to get to the root cause of these thoughts, to understand if they are just limiting beliefs or in fact truth. And if they are truth, give yourself a chance to come up with some solutions.
Let’s take one example: you think that you’re not smart enough to be able to build a highly profitable online business. You know that this is one way for you to triple your current income and reach that big financial goal you have, but you don’t believe you are capable of actually doing it.
So we begin to pick it apart
Firstly, you state the goal:
I want to: build a highly profitable online business.
Next, you state the belief:
But, I believe that: I'm not actually capable of building a highly profitable online business.
Then, you ask the question:
For what reasons do I believe that?
And you list the reasons (no filtering, just jot them down):
- I'm not smart enough, because I didn’t go to university.
- Because I’ve never done this before.
- Because I don’t know how.
- Because I don't know anyone else doing this. All my friends have 'proper' jobs.
Now it’s time to dig deep. Pick a thought and unpack it. Why do you think that thought is true? What can you do to change that belief, if it’s not factually true?
Unpacking the thought
Ok, so the thought that we’re going to unpack is: I’m not smart enough to build a profitable online business, because I didn't go to university.
See this as a dialog with yourself:
Why do you need to have gone to university, to succeed with an online business?
Because it proves that you’re smart.
Ok, a bit of fact checking is needed here...
Is it factually true that only people who have ‘gone to university’ are smart enough to succeed in online business?
Um, well I don’t know I’d have to do some research. Maybe not.
Well, can you seek out mentors and inspirational people that have not been to university, but have succeeded in online business?
Sure! It would take a bit of work but I could do that?
You revisit the thought.
So is it true that you won’t succeed in business because you didn’t go to university?
Maybe that’s not true.
If necessary, keeping asking ‘why’ until you reach the end of this trail.
Alright let’s pick another thought.
I’m not capable of building a highly profitable online business, because I don’t know how.
Have you ever done anything before, that you didn’t know how before you started?
Well sure! Walking, talking, mathematics, growing a vegetable garden.
So, before you learned to grow the perfect lettuce, did you know how?
No, I did not.
So how did you succeed?
I just learned how to grow lettuce properly. I had a few fails, learned from experience, and now I can grow the perfect lettuce. I didn't know how when I began, but I learned.
Is it possible that you could learn how to succeed in online business, in the same way?
Are you getting the hang of this? Let’s pick apart another of those thoughts.
I’m not capable of building a highly profitable online business, because I don’t know anyone else personally, doing the same.
Ok, well why do you need to know other people succeeding in online business, in order to create a highly profitable online business?
Because it helps to be able to see the paths that others have tread, to hear about their failures and therefore learnings, to see what is possible. I think this is valid.
Well, can you find and follow inspirational people on social media, that are doing what you want to be doing?
Of course I could!
So you can see, that you can systematically work through these thoughts that have been limiting your success or even preventing you from taking any action at all.
Yes, you WILL find some beliefs that have some real substance. If you come across absolute facts, ok - at least you’ve explored it. But many of us just let these thoughts sit in the back of our heads, unexplored. And they unfairly limit us - without being subjected to any sort of questioning.
When you think about it, that is really unfair! It’s like a bunch of highly opinionated hecklers in the back row, getting to shout you down whenever you think about doing something new, and outside your comfort zone.
Don't let your hecklers just heckle
They shouldn’t just get to do that, right? Let’s ask these hecklers up on stage, to explain themselves!
Are they expressing real possible risks and dangers? Or are they just simply heckling.
I want you to identify and call out these hecklers. I don’t think it’s fair for them to continually hold you back from being, doing and having what you truly desire, without being questioned.
You need to call out your hecklers. It's not fair for them to continually hold you back from being, doing and having what you truly desire, without being questioned!
I will warn you though, that your fearful brain - your hecklers - will battle this hard! If you are really limited by a particular thought, you will find many reasons to support it. Your job is to bring these to conscious awareness and question every thought critically. If you let them be, they will continue to limit you.
Does this feel like a lot of work? Well, I’m not going to sugar coat this - it is. But remember, nothing ever grows inside your comfort zone. These sorts of techniques will cause you some discomfort, and therefore, some growth.
Your hecklers aren’t all bad - really, they’re just trying to protect you from discomfort. Mostly we allow them to do this and we get on with life.
But if you want to achieve something big, something that you’ve never been able to achieve before, then you need to be prepared to do more, than you’ve ever done before.
Use the Calling Out Your Hecklers worksheet to work out what might be limiting your progress on a particular goal.
Then use the Belief Reframing worksheet, to positively reframe beliefs you have identified as being limiting. You can find out more about this technique in this post:
Get stuck in!