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How Your Beliefs Can Sabotage Your Business

by Dr. Vesna Grubacevic

  • Do you wish you could stop the cash flow roller coaster and attract more customers?
  • Are your self doubts and fears holding you back from the success you desire?
  • Is your negative self talk distracting you from starting or growing your business?
  • Would you like to create your own luck in business?

One of the major ways that business owners sabotage their success and their luck is via their limiting beliefs.  In this article, we focus on limiting beliefs – what they are, how to identify them so that you can address them, and so that they stop limiting your business success.

What you believe becomes real

All our behaviour in business and in life is driven by our thoughts and our feelings.  Our thoughts are driven by our values, beliefs, memories, etc.  If our beliefs (what we know to be true about ourself and the world around us) are positive (e.g. I am a successful person) they support us in creating a successful business.  If our beliefs are limiting (e.g. I can’t trust people) then these can limit our success in business and in life.  Whatever you believe, whether positive or negative, becomes real because it affects your behaviour and how you respond to situations.

While many of our beliefs were developed during our childhood, early schooling and early adult life, they can significantly limit our success today.  Therefore, it is important to change any limiting beliefs.  Below  are a couple of examples to illustrate the power of limiting beliefs and how they can limit a business owner, until they are addressed.

A business owner with three retail outlets sought help.  He admitted “I am the biggest procrastinator” and kept putting off a key business decision.  He calculated that this procrastination cost him $10,000 per month plus much emotional stress.  While he knew that, he still procrastinated about the decision.  We discovered that he had several limiting beliefs that caused the procrastination.  Once we helped him to address those limiting beliefs, he stopped procrastinating and took action.  This saved him $120,000 each year, dramatically reduced his stress levels and freed up his focus and energy to grow his business.

A salesperson found herself struggling financially, and working really hard to make money in her career.  She was discounting her company’s products and services and panicking about money.  We discovered several limiting beliefs that held her back.  Once these beliefs were addressed she reached her targets for the first time, and started to exceed them within a couple of months.  She also started to attract higher quality clients, her income increased significantly, and she created a much better work life balance.

Identifying limiting beliefs

Before you can address your limiting beliefs, first you need to identify them.  One way to identify any limiting beliefs is to look at your behaviour because your beliefs are reflected in your behaviour.  Here are some examples of limiting beliefs and how they could be reflected in various behaviours.  Please keep in mind that there are many possibilities and these are simply examples which may or may not be relevant to you.

  • being a perfectionist can have the business owner rework things so often that they end up putting off the tasks for so long, sometimes totally missing the deadline.  Alternatively, it can lead to unrealistic expectations of themselves or staff, so never being happy with their own or others’ performance.  It may even result in a hesitation to delegate, outsource, set up alliances, etc.
  • fear of failure can have the business owner pursue activities and business strategies which lead to a series of failures as a result of the fear i.e. the fear becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.
  • fear of being judged by others can have the business owner avoiding doing things that have them and their business stand out from the crowd, can have them avoid expressing themselves easily, can have them avoid giving presentations, networking effectively, etc
  • a limiting belief of not trusting themself can have the business owner also procrastinate about making decisions, can have them be less trusting of staff and other people, can have them questioning their own decisions, etc

Another way to identify if you have any limiting beliefs is to consider all aspects of your business (e.g. strategy, finance, marketing, sales, operations, people/HR, etc) and look for any behaviours that you are unhappy with.  For example, do you find yourself avoiding sales and marketing?  If so, what are your beliefs around sales and marketing, and your ability to do these effectively?  For example, one business owner I worked with believed that all salespeople are sleazy and therefore avoided selling, which had a hugely detrimental impact on his cash flow.

Do you have a pattern of putting off calling late paying customers?  What are your beliefs around doing that?  Another business owner refused to chase up late customer payments which severely affected the cash flow in her business, because of her limiting belief around being judged by other people.

Addressing limiting beliefs 

Once you have identified your own limiting beliefs, it is important to address these so that they stop limiting your business success.  Because our beliefs are stored at the unconscious level, the most effective way to address them is by working with the unconscious mind.  This way the limiting beliefs will stop limiting your success once and for all, and you will be freer to create your own luck and the business success that you desire.

Read about how one of our clients stopped limiting her business success.

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