Success means something different for every single one of us. But whatever it may be, there are inevitably things that stand in our way.
And there are times when our very own beliefs are what’s holding us back.
If you want to do something about that and help yourself succeed, here are 10 beliefs to look out for—if you have them, you’re holding yourself back.
1) “I’m not good enough”
Do you often feel like you’re not smart, talented, or capable enough to make your dreams a reality?
Newsflash: Most of us do.
And those among us who rise up to success are those who have learnt to ignore—or even eliminate—that voice telling them that they’re not good enough.
The secret is that we’re never truly ready for anything— be it starting a family, a business, or a revolution.
So go and take the first step, then the next, and then the next. So long as you don’t stop, you’ll eventually find yourself at the finish line.
2) “I’m too old to work on my goals”
I used to feel like I was too old to work on my goals.
I was 21 then. When I was 28, I used to feel stupid for thinking that I was “too old” at 21, but at the same time felt that 28 was definitely too old.
Now I’m 38, and I simply can’t help but laugh at how silly I was for being so stuck up about feeling old.
Age is, in the end, just a number—free yourself from the notion that you must start young to achieve great things. There’s nothing stopping you from working on your goals, no matter your age.
Sure, Zuckerberg might have founded Facebook when he was 19, but he’s an anomaly. The average age for startup founders to achieve success is between 35-45.
And even if you’re over 45, you’re still in good company. Many of the most successful people we know only became highly successful after 40.
3) “Money is evil”
Many of us have unhealthy views on money. Some of us believe that money is everything, while others swear that it’s evil.
Money is many things, and it’s true that it has driven many people into unreasonable acts of cruelty and evil. But that does not make money evil all by itself.
While it’s not ideal to think of money as the only thing that matters (that’s how people get “corrupted” by it and become greedy, miserable, and shallow), but if you treat it as fundamentally evil, you’ll be holding yourself back.
If you’re an artist, it’s probably alright to “sell out” so you can do more art.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s fine to make crazy amounts of money—well as long as you do it responsibly.
In the end, it’s HOW you acquire it and HOW you use it that counts. So if success means having more money for you, go ahead!
4) “Asking for help is a form of weakness”
Do you hesitate from asking others for help? Does it make you feel like you’re dumb and that you’re just being a bother?
Hate to break it to you, but we all need help to succeed in life.
Even those who seem like they just “made it” on their own grit and hard work only got there because there were people helping them out every step in the way.
So if you want to succeed, you should learn to reach out and ask for help when you need it.
If you feel you’re working too hard and you’ve reached your limit, collaborate with others or loan money so you can hire people.
We need people. People need us. It’s totally okay—in fact, expected—that you’d reach out to ask for help from time to time.
So acknowledge what you need, acknowledge your limitations, and gracefully reach out to others for help.
5) “I’m just faking it”
Well, aren’t we all just faking it—at least at the start?
Feeling like you’re a fraud at everything you’re good at—also known as impostor syndrome—is something that not only hinders growth, but can even pull down people who have already “made it.”
Thinking that you’re just “winging it” and “faking it” can easily shatter your self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
So try changing it up for something more positive. Say “I’m good, and I’m working on becoming great” or “I’m a work in progress” or “I have great potential—and that’s a good start.”
6) “I have to be perfect!”
Do you often feel like you need to be perfect before you should even start? Well, that kind of thinking would set you back by 10 years or even 50.
How are you going to get better at something if you don’t take that crucial first step, after all?
If you love to paint, for example, then you shouldn’t wait until you’re “perfect” before you start promoting your work. Just put yourself out there and keep on painting until you achieve success.
I’ve known some perfectionists who have never achieved anything because they’re so fixated on making everything perfect before they go all in…and any sign of “imperfection” would frustrate them and demotivate them.
Manage your expectations. Live with imperfection. Learn as you go along.
7) “I can never be like them”
Do you sometimes look down on yourself when you compare yourself to others?
Do you say things like “Bah, I can never be as great as my friend who earns a 6-figure salary” or “Bah, I can never be like my cousin who has written a best-selling book before the age of 30”?
Well, you can never be like them, that’s for sure. And that should be okay!
You have your own path, your own definition of success, and your own set of challenges. That is to say that you’ll never be them because you’re not them—you’re you.
Who knows, you can even be much better than them.
So focus on YOU— pursue your dreams your own way at your own pace.
8) “I should just be content”
Do you feel like desiring success works against your happiness, peace of mind, and mental wellbeing?
Then you’ll not achieve it…simply because you won’t even try.
First, you have to have a better definition of success. Does it mean earning from your passions? Does it mean being really good at what you do? Does it mean freedom and flexibility?
“Success” isn’t a dirty word.
And while there are those who see desire and ambition as suffering,here’s the hard truth: If you want to really achieve success, you have to live with being a little bit discontent.
And most of all, you have to live with some level of suffering—but it’s the kind that can lead you to success.
9) “We don’t live to work”
You’re tired of the hustle. You’d rather rest than spend the whole day working in front of the computer. I feel you. I want that, too.
But although having a life that revolves around work is unhealthy, any kind of success is achieved ONLY through hard work. That’s just how it goes.
Success cannot be served to you on a platter. You have to spend at least 10,000 hours to “cook” your own success, so to speak.
If you’re not willing to stay up late to devote time on your goals, you might not be able to achieve them.
10) “I don’t have what it takes”
You don’t need tremendous amounts of talent, tremendous amounts of money, or a million and one supporters to achieve success.
You know what you need? Grit.
And what else? Hard work, consistency, self-confidence.
The good news is that these things are all within your control.
They’re not things you can only get by winning them in some kind of cosmic lottery. You can cultivate them by adapting a more resilient mindset and building habits that could fast-rack success.
It’s inevitable for us to, at one point or another, have beliefs that will hold us back.
Some of these are things others will have taught us, trying to be helpful. Others will be things that our fears and insecurities gave us.
Understanding these harmful beliefs and where they come from is important if you want to do something about them.
So if you find that you do hold some of these beliefs that I’ve described, try to take some time to sit down and think.
It won’t be easy, but getting rid of false and limiting beliefs might just be what you need to finally achieve success.
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