Fear and doubt are two things even the best athletes in the world wrestle with. If not managed properly, fear and doubt can negatively impact performance. Sometimes they can be so limiting that they even hold you back from performing at all. You don’t take that first step. You don’t put yourself out there. You become your worst enemy. That is when your fear and doubt become your limiting beliefs.
In my next post, I will cover how to overcome limiting beliefs, but first I want you to understand what a limiting belief is. A limiting belief is a thought you tell yourself which directly impacts the choices you make and the actions you take. These are the conversations you have with yourself that hold you back. You need to stop them, but first, you need to understand them.[shareable width=”75%”]A limiting belief is a thought you tell yourself which directly impacts the choices you make and the actions you take. These are the conversations you have with yourself that hold you back.[/shareable]
Here are 10 limiting beliefs that could be holding you back from performing at your best or even at all.
1. I’m just too young. This is a limiting belief related to your age and it affects adults just the same (“I’m just too old”). By telling yourself your too young, you are convincing yourself that age matters when it doesn’t. This limiting belief holds you back from challenging yourself against older players even when you have the ability to hang with them.
2. I’m just too small. Similar to the limiting belief related to age, being “too small” is a limiting belief many players use often. You may have a passion or drive to play basketball or be a quarterback, but you convince yourself that because of your size putting yourself out there is not even worth the effort. What if Russell Wilson would have told himself this?
3. I’m just not good enough. This skill-related limiting belief is most present in players that don’t exhibit a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that you will never stop learning or developing new skills and talents. By telling yourself your not “good enough” you’re assuming that all great players started out that way. Don’t compare your start to someone else’s middle.
4. I’m just not strong enough. Most often players who convince themselves that they are not strong enough do nothing about it. Similar to not being “good enough” this limiting belief holds you back from working hard in practice and in the weight room. Just because you aren’t strong enough now doesn’t mean you can’t get there. Make a commitment to get stronger and you will get stronger.
5. I’m just not smart enough. Some athletes think that this limiting belief is actually a good thing. Some, turn it around and say, “I’m just too smart.” If you weren’t so smart than you wouldn’t think so much out on the field, right? Wrong. This smarts-related limiting belief is similar to the other limiting beliefs that end in “enough.” If you need to learn something, go learn it. You are capable. Who cares if it takes you longer to learn it than it takes others.
6. I’m just a role player. There is nothing wrong with being a role player on a team unless it holds you back from working hard to get a starting position. Having this limiting belief can zap your drive for improvement and negatively impact your attitude when you are around your team. A role is simply that, a role, don’t let it determine where you will be in the future.
7. I’m just shy. The sports world is filled with both extroverts (people who are outgoing) and introverts (people who keep to themselves). When your personality becomes the reason for you to not take action it becomes a limiting belief. Telling yourself that your “just shy” is to assume that there are no other shy players that have taken the action it is that you need to take. Your approach may need to be different than someone else’s approach, but that’s ok. Take action.
8. I’m just too busy. This limiting belief holds players back from being productive and prepared. Telling yourself that you are “too busy” is so easy to do. School assignments, practices and games can quickly fill a schedule up. Rather than having your schedule hold you back, be proactive and focus even more on your preparation. Don’t let being busy hold you back from working hard to reach your dreams.
9. I’ve just never done that. Experience is a great teacher, but all experience requires at least one thing before you get it – action. If you tell yourself not to do something because you’ve never done it before you are ignoring that fact. Don’t feed yourself with fiction.
10. I just have a bad coach. I’ve saved the best for last. This limiting belief is way too pervasive in athletics and puts all responsibility for your performance on your coach. Players who exhibit this limiting belief lack personal accountability and most likely have many other limiting beliefs holding them back. Even though all great players have had great coaches along the way, they have also had bad coaches along the way. They just didn’t let them limit their peformance.
As you read those limiting beliefs did you notice which word was present in all of them? It was the word “just.” The word “just” can drive you to action (I.e., Just Do It) or it can hold you back. If your conversations with yourself are filled with the word “just” work to understand if what you are telling yourself is driving you to action or is holding you back.
Don’t be your worst enemy.
Eliminate these limiting beliefs from your vocabulary. In my next post, I’ll show you how.