Self Limiting Beliefs That Won’t Let You Succeed

Self Limiting Beliefs That Won't Let You Succeed
Self Limiting Beliefs That Won’t Let You Succeed

By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)

We all have a lot of big desires out of life and wish to achieve our  goals and yet we often come up with self limiting beliefs about success that make us fail. Most of these self limiting beliefs have come into existence because of social conditioning. When things don’t go our way we often come up with an excuse of why we can’t do them and most of the times the excuses we come up with make it seem like nothing is really under our control and that we are poor victims being manhandled by life.

The truth is that a lot of what you want out of life is under your control even if there a lot of things that are not. So let’s take a look at these false beliefs about success that are killing your chances to achieve it. Rectify them and you will be amazed.

There are two things things that hold you back from success, one – circumstances not under your control and second – your own self limiting beliefs. Fortunately most of the things stopping you are your own beliefs which when changed will help you discover your real potential and make you become the best version of yourself. So crush these beliefs, go out there and make it happen.


Self Limiting Belief 1.  Success requires time and I don’t have enough time. I am too busy. 

It seems like we never have enough time to want to do what we want to achieve. Guess what it is an excuse.

I remember when I was making my movie Carve Your Destiny featuring 18 famous achievers, I did approach some celebrities who were destined not to be a part of the film and one of the reasons they always stated was that they did not have enough time. They said they were extremely busy with their work as if they were the President of The United States or the Prime Minister of India and had no spare time. I knew those excuses to be false because I would see the same people’s photographs in the newspaper choosing to do things that were not work related in anyway at all.

Does it mean they did not have time? No, they basically did not consider it a big enough priority to spare 20 minutes for an interview and thought spending the entire night partying was a better use of their time.

But I don’t blame those people because the project was mine, not theirs. The sad thing is I see a lot of people doing the same even with things they want to do and use the ” I have no time excuse”. Do you really? I think you just don’t desire it enough. A lack of time is one of the top self limiting beliefs and excuses. If you gave it a high enough priority you would find a way one way or the other. A lack of time almost always means a lack of will or priority.


Self Limiting Belief 2. The timing needs to be perfect before I go after my dream

Most people who have a dream claim they are not old enough or do not have the right experience or or need to wait for the time before they go after the dream. They keep procrastinating and telling themselves that. After a few years, when they are older or married they say they are building a family and cannot afford to take a risk with their jobs or they claim the market still isn’t ready. When the children grow older they say they need to save money for their children’s education and marriage and thus need to maintain their stable job. Finally when the kids themselves get married, those people say their time has now gone by because they have now become old and no one will take them seriously. This lifetime of tragedy is mostly a result of a lack of courage and a surplus of excuses.  You can see how the need for perfection can quickly become one of the top false beliefs about success that leads to failure.

Remember there will never be a perfect time to start something but now is almost always the right time. You may succeed or you may fail but even if you fail, at least you won’t be bogged down with the regret of not trying.



Self Limiting Belief 3. I am not lucky. I will fail anyway.

If you are reading this blog post you are luckier than 60 percent of the people in the world who have no access to the Internet. If you have access to a refrigerator, a television , have your basic needs taken care of I will bet you are luckier than half the world.

While there is indeed something called luck which ensures some people have more opportunities than others without putting in any effort, the truth is there are also a lot of lucky people who really hard at trying to get lucky. The makers of Angry Birds had to endure 51 flop games or 51 instances of being unlucky before they finally delivered a hit. The founder of KFC, Colonel Harland Sanders was unlucky 1000 times (rejected by restaurant owners) before someone finally said yes to his recipe and it became a major hit. What if these individuals also accepted self limiting beliefs that most people have that only lucky people succeed?

Luck is not entirely under your control but it is not entirely out of your control either. One thing is for sure, if you think you are not lucky, you will assume you will always fail and thus never put in the effort to be lucky and consequently never become lucky.

Self Limiting Belief 4. Life only gives you one chance. If I don’t get it right, I am destined to fail forever.

No it doesn’t. Life gives you multiple chances and opportunities to get it right. It’s up to you whether you want to continue to be open to them. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs have gotten it wrong multiple times before they got it right.

Edison made over a thousand inventions and yet he is only known for the ones that the public embraced such as the light bulb, the sound recorder, the battery etc. Einstein wrote 248 papers and yet he is only known for the one that changed the world, which was the Theory of Relativity.

A man named Kevin Systrom was offered to be one of the early employees of Facebook where the stock options given would eventually make those employees multi millionaires. The problem was Systrom didn’t think Facebook would succeed so he refused. When Facebook hit it big he saw everyone who took up the offer becoming multi millionaires and regretted his loss. The next time he was offered to be an employee of an upcoming company called Twitter. He refused again thinking he while he was wrong the first time he was given a chance, it was just a fluke and decide to not take up the offer at Twitter. Twitter became a billion dollar company.

Now Systrom thought he was really unlucky and the Silicon Valley Millions were really not in his destiny. Left with no other choice, he started a company called Burbn. This company would later become known as Instagram. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for a Billion Dollars.

The man who thought that millions of dollars were not in his destiny because of blowing multiple chances eventually sold a company he started for a Billion dollars.

Life will give you multiple chances. You just need to keep your eyes open and keep trying.

Self Limiting Belief 5. I don’t have enough money so I might as well forget about my dream.

Unless you are born in a rich family or have hit the lottery, nobody has enough money to begin with for large scalable business. That is why there is a group of people called outside investors or sponsors.

This is true even if you are not running a business, if you are a sports person, an artist, a musician or somebody else you may need funding to continue growing and that comes with the help of sponsors or investors.

But is the answer so simple? Of course not. Before you get an investor or a sponsor you need to first prove your worth. You will need to put in the toil by bootstrapping your business and funding your work yourself. You will have to put in the work necessary to get noticed and then if you are good enough you will be noticed.

But at the same time not every business needs alot of money. A lot of online businesses today can be started for very little cash. Even some of the major e commerce giants started off with very little cash and only brought in outside investors and venture capitalists when they wanted to really really scale things up.

My point is that it is not necessary to put in all your hard earned money you have saved up into your dream venture, at least it is not always necessary. What is more important is that you need a way to provide value to others while figuring out what is the approximate amount you need to spend in your business to generate the maximum ROI or Return on Investment. Money is not always required to generate money. Sometimes it is new ideas and value provided to your market that matters much more so focus on that, especially if you cannot afford to lose your savings.



Self Limiting Belief 6) I don’t have the right formal education so my chances of success are zero.

If Your dream is to be an Engineer, Doctor, Chartered Account, Lawyer or any sort of vocation where professional training is a must then you do need formal education. If this is the case and you really want to achieve your dream you could go for a vocational training course. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many responsibilities you have, if that dream is important to you, you will find a way.

Now if your dream is something else which does not require professional training, then it doesn’t matter what sort of education you have. Dhirubhai Ambani was a school dropout and even Edison. But that doesn’t mean these people were not educated. These people were more educated about their field than anybody else in the world. They knew the difference between a school education and the hands on education that is acquired through a relentless study of the craft or field they were involved in. Imagine if they too adopted all these  false beliefs about success, would they achieve anything? Absolutely not.

Remember, you do not need to go to the top most universities or colleges to achieve the success you want in life. Yes, going to those sort of universities will help you land better jobs initially and it will give you the initial push you need. But always remember that hands on, practical education about your field is always greater than school education. If you don’t believe me, just look at the thousands of MBAs from the top most universities working at the top Companies founded by Dropouts.



My final advice to you would to never let your limitations limit your dreams. We have no control over the limitations we have but whether we accept those limitations as our fate or whether we decide to fight and push on despite them is A CHOICE. Henry Ford said, whether you think you can or you can’t you are right either way. A person who feels those false beliefs about success are true and nothing can be done about them will never put in the effort to succeed and thus fail anyway. The person who rejects those beliefs and believes success is always possible will keep fighting and eventually emerge victorious at some level. So keep believing, march on and earn your victory!



The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to 600,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times,, Leicester Mercury and many others.

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