We may not think about it too much daily, but our brains are extremely powerful and play a huge role in pretty much everything we do. They can be the number one thing cheering us in the direction of our dreams, or they can be the number one thing holding us back. This often happens without us even realizing it.

It all comes down to our mindset, which is a direct result of our thoughts and beliefs. The more we think something is true, the more our brains will start to believe it as a fact, and the more it’ll look for confirmations to prove it. The part that makes this so challenging is that it happens on a subconscious level, meaning more likely than not you won’t even realize it’s happening. For example, if keep telling yourself that you only date questionable people, your brain will begin to believe it and look for confirmations to prove it. In other words, you’ll be more likely to pursue or stick with people who aren’t so great when you subconsciously believe that’s who you are or what you’re worth.

Today we’re going to talk about 3 specific areas where your mindset could be holding you back, but it’s important to remember that this is just the surface. Use this as a starting point to dive into your own individual needs, and then go from there.

Also read: 10 Mindset Hacks

Are You Telling Yourself You Can’t Do It?

There’s this Henry Ford quote that’s still extremely applicable today that goes, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” The thing about our mindset is that the things we’re saying actually matter way more than we probably realize. Whether you’re saying it as a joke or not, constantly telling yourself that you can’t do something will eventually trickle down into your subconscious, where it’ll hang out as a belief. Let’s break this down using popular examples.

Are you telling yourself that you don’t have the knowledge or expertise?

Sometimes this belief that you can’t do something shows up by believing you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do so. If this happens, ask yourself what that knowledge or expertise is – put a name to it. Is it a certification? Is it some sort of experience? Once you’ve identified it, ask yourself if it’s true: are you actually lacking this knowledge or expertise? We tend to be our own worst critics, and sometimes will downplay our own skills or accomplishments more than anything else. Finally, if you don’t currently hold the knowledge or expertise, is it something you can gain? There are tons of ways to learn and gain experience in 2021, sometimes you just have to take the first step in acquiring it.

Do you fear failure?

Our brains are extremely primal and are designed to keep us safe from any potential threats. This means that when we step outside of our comfort zones or do something foreign or different, our brain sends out little alerts that are basically saying, “danger, danger! What are you doing?” Fearing failure is a pretty common response to doing pretty much anything outside of our comfort zone. The problem, however, is that’s where growth typically comes from. If you find that you’re fearing failure, focus on unpacking why. Are you fearing the failure itself or the unknown? Are your fears of failure likely? If so, what would be the process for dealing with it.

Are You Telling Yourself You Aren’t Worthy?

Even though we may dream of success, happiness, and living a fulfilled life, we can also get stuck into a mindset that we aren’t worthy of it, which frankly just isn’t true. People generally say that we’re so close to our own superpower that we can’t even see it. Meaning, we get so focused on the things that we think we’re not good at that we fail to see all of the things we are amazing at. Or, we assume if we’re good at it, so is everyone else. These feelings can quickly make us feel like we’re not worthy when that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Do you feel like you don’t deserve it?

We tend to be our own worst critics and will likely find countless reasons why we believe we don’t deserve something. Look at the situation externally – would you say this to your 5-year-old self? Would you say this to your best friend? Would you lecture your 85-year-old self about why they never deserved this level of success, happiness, or joy in their life? You deserve happiness and success, just as much as anyone else in this world. 

Are you listening to bad advice from unsupportive people?

The people who love us the most don’t always see our vision. This is typically coming from a place of love but can sometimes feel unsupportive and possibly leave you feeling like you aren’t worthy. It’s important to remember that when you step outside of your comfort zone, you’re generally stepping out of the comfort zone of others, too. And while you may have already gone through the process of evaluating your own concerns, the people we love may not have had an opportunity to do so yet. Or, even if they’ve had time to process it, their own fears or insecurities may be holding them back from supporting you entirely. This isn’t to say that what you’re doing isn’t worthwhile. Do your research and be confident enough to formulate your decisions for yourself, and do not let someone else hold you back from the life you want to live.

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Are you telling yourself there’s not enough success to go around?

Talking about success can bring up a ton of different feelings. When we feel as though there isn’t enough success to go around, we begin to fill our minds with limiting beliefs. “Well, nobody ever really makes it,” we may say, or “what about all of the people who fail?” Yes, failure can happen, but as Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Do you ever experience imposter syndrome?

Oh… imposter syndrome. That nagging feeling that you don’t belong, aren’t worthy or are a downright fraud. To some extent, many people will always experience a version of imposter syndrome. When you advance or level up, you’re basically just met with a whole new set of concerns or challenges. There are, however, a few things we can do about imposter syndrome when it arises. Firstly, check in to see if there’s any accuracy in your feelings: is there some sort of training or experience you need to gain? Next, check in to see if these thoughts and feelings are your own, or are they someone else’s concerns? Meaning, are you concerned about this, or are you internalizing your best friend’s concerns? Thirdly, hype yourself up. Have a solo dance party, recite affirmations, watch something motivational: do whatever you need to do to hype yourself up.

Do you have a scarcity mindset/limiting beliefs?

A scarcity mindset comes from a place of believing that there isn’t enough to go around. For example, if your grandparents grew up in the depression, they likely were very conservative with food growing up and fear of wasting it. Likewise, if you struggle with believing that there’s enough money to go around, you may find yourself struggling to close sales. Or, if you believe that there are no new or innovative ideas left, you’ll be less likely to pursue your dreams. Rewrite these scarcity mindsets/limiting beliefs into mindsets and beliefs that promote abundance and opportunity instead.

is your mindset holding you back?