Ever notice that you talk to yourself in statements that are often negative?
Here are a few common ones I’ve heard from clients over the years:
I can’t do that.
That’s just not for me.
I don’t know how.
That would take me forever to learn.
Nobody is interested.
I don’t want to interrupt or bother people.
I have heard all of these and more from clients. When we make a statement that is, in fact, only a belief, we tend to believe that statement even more.
It becomes the truth for us and it’s very hard to oppose that truth. So, we stay stuck in that limiting belief. And we don’t take action.
And, opposing the belief directly doesn’t really work either.
“I don’t know how,” becomes, “I know how.” But no matter how many times you might say that, you really don’t believe it, so your old belief remains firmly in place.
So, is there a solution to changing beliefs? Yes, a very simple and powerful one.
Take your statement and then ask a question instead.
“I don’t know how,” becomes, “How can I learn how?”
“Nobody is interested,” becomes, “Where could I find some interested people?” or even, “How could I make my message more interesting?”
Questions act very differently on the mind than statements. Statements reinforce beliefs. But a question automatically puts the mind to work to answer the question.
When you ask, “How can I learn how?” the mind may come up with a lot of answers that will get beyond the “I don’t know how” belief.
You might come up with, “I could ask someone to show me, I could look it up online, I could see if there are any videos that will show me.”
Now, you’re not stuck in a belief anymore. You are searching for (and finding) answers, instead.
Asking questions when you are stuck in a belief has many other benefits:
√ Questions help you shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
√ Questions prompt critical thinking and problem-solving.
√ Questions help you become an active participant in finding solutions.
√ Questions promote open-mindedness and curiosity.
√ Questions help provide a roadmap for progress and success.
√ Questions promote positive self-talk.
√ Questions encourage continuous learning and personal growth.
√ Questions can help reduce anxiety and overwhelm.
Like anything, asking yourself questions takes a little practice. And if your mind says, “This is too much work,” you could ask, “How could I turn this into a game?”
I asked ChatGPT to come up with a series of limiting statements and corresponding questions related to accomplishment. And boy, did they deliver!
Look through the list and see if you are stuck in any of these limiting beliefs and then try out the question in response. Or come up with your own question.
50 Limiting Statement of Belief and Corresponding Questions.
1. I’m not smart enough.
What steps can I take to enhance my knowledge and intelligence?
2. It’s too difficult for me.
How can I break down this task to make it more manageable?
3. I’m too old to learn new things.
What new skills or knowledge can I acquire at my age?
4. I don’t have the talent for it.
How can I develop the necessary skills and talent for this?
5. I’ll fail if I try.
What can I do to increase my chances of success in this?
6. I’m too busy right now.
How can I manage my time to make space for this?
7. I don’t have the resources.
What resources do I need, and where can I find them?
8. I’ve never done it before.
How can I gain the experience needed to start?
9. I’m not skilled in that area.
How can I acquire the skills required for this?
10. I don’t have the experience.
How can I gain the necessary experience?
11. I don’t have the money for it.
How can I find the financial resources to support this?
12. I’m too scared to try.
What steps can I take to overcome my fear of trying?
13. I’m not creative enough.
How can I tap into my creativity to approach this?
14. I’m not confident in my abilities.
How can I build confidence in my capabilities?
15. It’s too late to start now.
What can I start today to work toward this goal?
16. I’ll embarrass myself.
How can I handle potential embarrassment gracefully?
17. I have too many responsibilities.
How can I manage my responsibilities alongside this?
18. I don’t have the support I need.
Where can I find the support and guidance required?
19. I’m too introverted for that.
How can I leverage my introverted qualities to succeed?
20. I’m not outgoing enough.
How can I improve my social skills for this?
21. I don’t have the connections.
How can I expand my network for support?
22. I’ll make a fool of myself.
How can I handle potential embarrassment effectively?
23. It’s just not in my DNA.
What traits can I develop to excel in this?
24. I have too many other priorities.
How can I align this goal with my existing priorities?
25. I’m too lazy to do it.
What motivates me, and how can I use that motivation?
26. I don’t have the time.
How can I create time by eliminating or delegating tasks?
27. I have a family to take care of.
How can I balance family responsibilities with personal goals?
28. I’m not strong enough.
How can I improve my physical strength for this?
29. I’m too shy to do that.
How can I build social confidence gradually?
30. I’m not the right gender for it.
How can I break gender stereotypes to pursue this?
31. I’m too anxious about it.
How can I manage anxiety and stress related to this?
32. I don’t have the willpower.
How can I develop discipline and resilience?
33. I’m too disorganized.
What organizational tools or methods can I use?
34. I’m too pessimistic.
How can I cultivate a more optimistic outlook?
35. I’m too afraid of rejection.
How can I handle rejection positively?
36. I’m not a risk-taker.
How can I start taking calculated risks?
37. I don’t have the energy.
What lifestyle changes can boost my energy levels?
38. I’m too self-conscious.
How can I build self-confidence and self-acceptance?
39. I don’t have the patience.
How can I develop patience in pursuit of my goals?
40. I’m not in good enough shape.
How can I improve my physical fitness for this?
41. I’m not a natural leader.
How can I acquire leadership skills and qualities?
42. I’m not the right race for it.
How can I break racial barriers to pursue this?
43. I’m too indecisive.
What decision-making strategies can I adopt?
44. I’m too cautious.
How can I balance caution with necessary action?
45. I’m not good at public speaking.
How can I improve my public speaking skills?
46. I’m not a people person.
How can I improve my interpersonal skills?
47. I’m too uncoordinated.
How can I work on my coordination and motor skills?
48. I’m too hesitant.
How can I overcome hesitation and take action?
49. I’m not disciplined enough.
How can I develop discipline and consistency?
50. I’m too perfectionistic.
How can I prioritize progress over perfection?
Well, that covers just about every belief about why we can’t have something or make something happen! Find your favorite ones and start asking those questions!
What’s the main question you need to start asking yourself?
P.S. If you work on this and try it enough, it will become a habit, and you’ll find that anytime you make a statement of belief, you’ll then find yourself asking a question. It works. Try it!