Limiting Beliefs In Business: An Outside idea

Limiting Beliefs in Business: An Outside idea

Limiting beliefs in business

In business, limiting beliefs are like invisible anchors tied to ambitious entrepreneurs. They whisper things like “You can’t sail that far,” or “The waters are too treacherous.” And while these things may have been true at some point in life, they don’t hold water now. All they do is hold you back from pursuing your dreams.

Let’s talk about the story of the elephant and the rope…

A man was walking through a zoo when he noticed an elephant tethered by a tiny rope. It amazed him that the elephant didn’t just pull itself free, so he approached one of the workers and asked.

The worker said that the elephants were secured with the same bit of rope since childhood. They could never break free as children, and they grew up believing that the rope was unbreakable. A limiting belief!

Imagine how many things we subconsciously hold back from because we’ve been wired to believe that’s just the way things are and they could never change. How many ropes are holding you back? And how can you untether yourself?

3 Common Limiting Beliefs in Business

As business owners, we sometimes have similar limiting beliefs that hold us back from things that we’d like to do. Here are 3 common limiting beliefs in business:

1. Fear of Failure

Did you know that more than 90% of startups fail?

Many times, successful entrepreneurs are those who have tried and failed, used their mistakes as lessons and started again.

Your fear of failure makes you believe that your work is never good enough. It holds you back from delegating work to other people. You become too hard on your team members and they lose motivation. Sometimes, you end up taking over everything and doing it yourself. In the end, you feel burnt out.

So don’t be afraid to get it wrong. It’s part of the entrepreneurial journey. Remember, failure is part of success. When you do fail, pick up the lessons as fast as possible and move on.

It could be said that when you have this limiting belief, you’re playing to lose, not playing to win. These sorts of feelings can make us fearful of taking risks (however calculated).

2. Comparison

It’s hard, if not impossible, to avoid comparing yourself to others.

There are people who just seem to be doing better than you. It looks easy from the outside. Everything they touch turns to gold.

But here’s one thing about life and specifically business. There will always be another business similar to yours that’s doing better than you. But there will never be a business exactly like yours.

Comparison makes us lose focus on our own ambitions. We end up feeling inadequate and insecure, making less progress on our goals.

Sometimes we can shield ourselves by only making decisions and taking actions that have worked for us or other people in the past. This is limiting because it stops us from trying new things.

So always remember that no matter how many people are doing it better than you, they can never be you and that is your power.

3. Impostor Syndrome

“I’m not doing good enough”

“I should be further along”

“I have to be perfect”

As a business owner, you will probably have these thoughts at one point or the other in life.  And if there’s anything that I know for certain, it’s that THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.

If you think you’re not doing good enough, you’ll actually not do good enough.

So how do you deal with impostor syndrome? First, understand that you’re not alone (loads of people have it). Talk to someone about it, and remember and be proud of your achievements.

Here’s an interesting phenomenon….Real impostors don’t experience impostor syndrome. If you are feeling impostor syndrome, it’s enough proof that you aren’t an impostor.

You experience impostor syndrome because you are used to setting goals, working diligently towards those goals, and challenging yourself.

Actual impostors have a delusional perception of themselves, believing in their own lies. They haven’t experienced genuine success, so they have nothing to lose.

5 Ways to Overcome Limiting Beliefs in Business

1. Identify the Limiting Beliefs

Do you have a rope that’s holding you back? Is there something or multiple things holding you back? If there is more than one, start with the biggest, or the one that is having the most impact on your life.’

You know what they say, acceptance is the first stage? You can’t solve an issue if you’re not willing to accept it.

Once you’ve identified them, it becomes much easier to think up a way forward. You’ll now be more conscious to stop yourself from these limiting beliefs.

Here are two practical ways to identify your limiting beliefs:

  • Self-Reflection

Spend time thinking about different aspects of your life and your business. Consider the areas where you feel stuck, hesitant, or doubtful. What big dreams do you have in mind but can’t go after? And what are the reasons why you’re held back from going after them?

  • Notice the Patterns

If you pay attention, you will be able to see that there are re-occurring beliefs and thoughts you have about yourself and your business. Examine your past experiences that may have influenced your beliefs.

In business, these could be missed opportunities or areas of regret. Find out the root cause of your decisions and the underlying beliefs.

2. Think of Solutions

What could you do to untether yourself from it? 

Look at it squarely. Don’t be intimidated by it. Recognise that it’s just a belief. Understand it, and how it became so ingratiated within you. Question it – when did it become part of you? Is it factual? Have you always thought about this? Is it helping you?

Here are a few solutions that you may find useful:

  • Take Small Steps

It took years for negative self-beliefs to become a part of your life. It won’t take a day to undo all of it. So, you have to give yourself grace.

Start taking small actions that challenge your limiting beliefs. Each success will build evidence against the negative beliefs.

  • Seek External Feedback

The people who love and support you probably see you in a different light. They can help to give you reassurance and a different perspective.

You could also engage a business coach to overcome common limiting beliefs. They can support and guide you through your decisions and help you to form new empowering beliefs.

3. Challenge this belief

What would you do if you couldn’t fail? Challenge the self-limiting belief. What would your life be without this limiting belief? What could you do? Picture your life without limiting beliefs.

There are people who walk around believing that they can achieve everything they set their minds to. Whether or not they have the capabilities, they end up accomplishing things just because they believe they can.

So how do you challenge your beliefs?

  • Question the Validity of the Thoughts

Most of these negative thoughts stem from experiences we had years back that confirmed them to be true. If you look into it, they are probably entirely false in the present moment.

What evidence supports or contradicts these thoughts?

By questioning the validity of the thoughts, you will learn to stop believing everything that you think.

  • Replace with Empowering Beliefs

When you are aware of what your limiting beliefs, you can catch yourself and reframe your thinking. For example, if you catch yourself thinking that you’re not good enough, ask yourself why you think that.

Oftentimes you’ll find that you don’t have enough evidence for your limiting beliefs.

Reframe that thought to “I am capable of learning and growing.”

4. Learn New Tricks

Finally, change your mindset to a new belief. Once you’ve identified what it is that’s holding you back, you can put strategies in place to change your perception. Start small, and work on it. 

If you believe that you are lazy and can’t go after your goals,  try exercise. Start with small regular workouts, and build your way up.

If you keep putting off sorting your books out, put a default diary in place to help you tackle them one step at a time. And make yourself accountable.

Here are two ways to learn new tricks:

  • Make Promises to Yourself

If you’re going to challenge your beliefs, you have to develop a healthy relationship with yourself. When you tell yourself that you’re going to do something, make sure that you do it.

If your limiting belief is that you are not good enough to start a podcast, for example, just do it. Do it scared. Make small steps every day and by doing so, you start to believe in yourself.

  • Build new Habits

Like I said, habits are formed over time. They don’t just happen. If you want to reframe your brain and overcome limiting beliefs in business, you need to build new habits.

You have to stop procrastinating and trying to be perfect. Additionally, you have to challenge your impostor syndrome by proving it wrong. Lastly, by succeeding over and over again you’ll stop believing.

5. Use positive affirmations

Your inner voice is important. And what you tell yourself subconsciously can translate into reality. If you want to change the way you think, it’s important that you replace these beliefs with affirmations.

One great way of doing affirmations is to verbally speak to yourself in the mirror. You say it out loud and believe wholeheartedly in the things that you’re saying.

Some examples of affirmations are:

“I am good enough. I belong here.”

“My business is a huge success”

“I believe in myself and trust in my abilities to succeed in all that I do.”

“Success, money and happiness come easily and naturally to me.”

“I will achieve all the goals that I have set for myself in business.”

Here are two practical ways that you can make sure you are affirming yourself consistently:

Set Reminders Throughout the Day

Reminders are a great way to ensure that you re consistent with your affirmations. You can even put affirmations on your alarm, such that whenever it goes off, there’s a positive message waiting for you.

This will play a great role in challenging your limiting beliefs in business.

Remember, affirmations need to be short and precise. You can create your own or find inspiration from the internet. You’ll be surprised just how much they can change your life and business.

Use an App

With all the technology we have nowadays, we just have to take advantage!

There’s an affirmations app called “I am”, available on both Android and Apple. 

Once you install it on your phone, it comes with a bunch of beautiful affirmations that can help you gain confidence in business.

You can even decide the theme of the affirmations you would like to receive.

Accountability and Limiting Beliefs

Accountability to others makes you take ownership of a task. It means you have to step up and take responsibility. It means you’re going to do a great job, on time, every time – if you don’t you’ll have to explain why. You’ll set time-bound expectations that you have to live up to. It makes your goals, which were perhaps just sat with you (probably in your head), bigger, it gives them a larger purpose, with a certainty that they’ll be fulfilled.

If you could do with a dose of accountability to keep you on track, get in touch – or why not try one of our Mastermind Group taster sessions? Here you will see the true power of a Mastermind, and how with a sense of teamwork, support, encouragement, and yes accountability, you can eradicate these limiting beliefs and achieve the success you want.


In conclusion, you need to start identifying your limiting beliefs and how they are holding you back from prosperity.

Once you’ve identified them, the 5 things you can do about them are:

  1. Identify the Limiting Beliefs 
  2. Think of Solutions
  3. Challenge this Belief
  4. Learn New Tricks
  5. Use Positive  Affirmations

“Being insecure is too expensive. Imagine how many decisions are rooted in lack. Imagine if every decision you made was rooted in knowing your worth and really valuing who you are as a person.”

Onwards and upwards my friend,



Related Posts

Thanks for checking out our blogs!

Outside ideas is an entrepreneurial business growth company, & we're on a mission to help people & businesses grow.

Offering 1-2-1 Coaching, Mastermind Groups, Networking & access to a kick ass community – as well as business workshops & free resources.

Here's our upcoming events...

Here's some more of our latest blogs...