Your mindset exerts a huge effect on your business (and your life).

When I talk about mindset, many people think it’s all about positive thinking. Though positive thinking is a nice thing, what I’m talking about goes much deeper.

The fundamental thing that can make or break your success in business is your deep-seated beliefs about yourself, other people, and the world.

To a great extent, your beliefs govern your life. They control what you’re willing to do (or not do), how you approach problems and challenges, what you expect from yourself and others, how you relate to success…the list goes on.

Beliefs can empower us or hold us back. The ones that hold us back are called limiting beliefs. Oftentimes, they’re unconscious.

Everyone has limiting beliefs. It’s part of being human. I want to share a story with you about how limiting beliefs operate.

A few years back, I had a client who had a dream of owning a boutique hotel. She had had her dream since she was 15. At the time I met her, she was in her late twenties. She had been working as a graphic artist, and had only recently taken the first step toward fulfilling her dream: She took an entry-level job as a front desk clerk at a small hotel chain. She hired me to help her figure out a plan for getting from front-desk clerk to hotel owner. She had no idea what to do next.

At our first coaching session I gave her an assignment to talk with three people at her hotel’s corporate office and ask them what advice they had for her. How could she set herself up to get where she wanted to go? What was the career path? Did she need to go to back to school? My client agreed to do these interviews.

At our next meeting, I asked her how the interviews went. She blushed. She told me that she had the interviews, but they didn’t go well. When she sat down with the people she wanted to talk with, she had trouble speaking. She felt like she had dropped 20 IQ points. She stumbled through the interviews and felt she made a bad impression.

This didn’t sound like the person I was talking to. To me she was bright, articulate, and charming. What had gone wrong?

I discovered she was harboring a limiting belief that was getting in her way. The belief stemmed from her childhood and it went something like this: “What I have to say isn’t important to anyone in a position of authority.” That belief had been with her for years, completely outside of her awareness. Undoubtedly, the belief had stifled her in many, many situations over the years.

Part of my job as a coach is to help people get ‘unstuck.’ I took my client through a process to eliminate the belief. It took about 15 minutes. At the end of the process, looked like a different person. Her eyes were brighter and she was glowing. She told me the belief was gone. I asked her to find three more people to interview and she readily agreed.

At our next meeting, she happily reported that she had done the assignment and gotten a ton of useful information. She had made such a favorable impression that two of the people she interviewed offered her positions in another division of the company. She also told me that the VP of the corporation had come into the hotel lobby and she had come out from behind the front desk and introduced herself and had a conversation with him, something she would never had done in the past before we eliminated her limiting belief.

Once we got rid of her belief, she became much more proactive. She went through a directory of boutique hotels and started calling the owners to get advice. She made such an impression that one of the owners offered to mentor her at no charge.

As I said earlier, everyone, no matter how successful, has limiting beliefs. Mostly they stem from messages we received as children. Some common limiting beliefs are: “I’m not good enough.” “I’m a fake, a fraud or a phony.” “I don’t have what it takes.” “I’m not worthy.” “Money is the root of evil.”

Take a look at the areas where you continually struggle. Could there be something you believe that blocks you or gets in the way? Maybe it’s time to do something about it and unblock the road to greater success and fulfillment. As a business and sales coach, I work with people on “unclogging” their belief systems so they can move forward with greater energy and ease. If you’re ready to find out how, contact me.