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Release the Brakes

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If youre new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 10: Release the Breaks

Our own limiting beliefs hold us back more than any other obstacle on our journey to success. Canfield relates these limiting beliefs to the emergency break on a car:

Have you ever been driving your car and suddenly realized you had left the emergency break on? Did you push down harder on the gas to overcome the drag of the brake? No, of course not. You simply released the brake… and with no extra effort you started to go faster.

I struggle to see myself clearlyOnce you have created a plan the first person to try to stop you from achieving it will be yourself. The self doubt will kick in and you will begin to question your ability to achieve your goal. More than anything in life, we are held back by what we believe is either possible or impossible for us to achieve.

Many of these beliefs were formed during our childhood and adolescence. At a very young age I developed a belief that there was fundamentally something wrong with me. I was shyer than all of my classmates. The thought of speaking to one of pretty girls in my class was unheard of. If they ever talked to me my voice would crack, Id sweat, and generally say something pretty foolish.

Throughout high school I carried the belief that I was never going to kiss a girl. And throughout high school that belief held true. I took that belief with me into college. The first semester in college I was the only guy in my fraternity not getting laid (not even hooking up.) This further increased this deep held belief that I had.

It was until the winter break going into the Spring Semester of freshman year at college that I decided I had to do something about it. I realized that while I was at college with my new friends, my confidence tended to be higher, as these friends saw me in a more positive light. It was when I visited my friends from high school that all of the old feelings and beliefs came roaring their ugly heads. These high school friends were quick to remind me of my horrible track record with women.

I finally decided that I had to distance myself from them.

It was only then that I really began to slowly transform the belief that weighed me down for so long. It is these beliefs that we must first recognize and then overcome before we can fully realize our potential.

Some of the other self limiting beliefs I have held over the years that have dragged me down:

  1. I just have a bad metabolism. Its impossible for me to lose weight.
  2. I was born introverted. I cant change how God made me.
  3. You have to come from moneyto make money.
  4. I need alcohol to be social.
  5. Im not capable of having a one night stand.

What are some of the limiting beliefs that have held you back?

I suggest writing a list of these beliefs so that you will be able to really analyze them and come up with the next step… which is replacing them.

Get out of your comfort zone

Think of your comfort zone as a prison that you live in- a largely self-created prison. It consists of a collection of cant’s, musts, must nots, and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have accumulated and reinforced during your lifetime.

There are three different ways that you can change your comfort zone:

  1. You can use affirmations and positive self-talk to affirm already having what you want, doing what you want, and being the way you want.
  2. You can create powerful and compelling new internal images of having, doing, and being what you want.
  3. You can simply change your behavior.

We continue the endless loop of reinforcing old limiting beliefs through our complaining and self talk. The more we talk about and complain about our lack of money, the more our mind focuses is on it, and we will continue to attract lack into our life.

In order to end this vicious cycle, you must focus instead on thinking, talking, and writing about the reality you want to create. You must flood your unconscious with thoughts and images of this new reality.

One of the quickest ways to get yourself out of your limiting comfort zone is to simply change your behavior. Last night, I visited the Toastmasters meeting to break through my belief that I can’t speak well in public. You won’t belief how quickly you adapt to a new environment when you force yourself into it.

Change your self-talk with affirmations.

This is something that every top motivational coach preaches. And for good reason, it has proven effective for the people that consistently implement it. It is possible to stretch your comfort zone by bombarding your subconscious mind with new thoughts and images. These images can be – a hot girlfriend, a big bank account, a muscular body, an exciting career, or memorable vacations.

One way to do this is utilize affirmations. An affirmation is a statement that describes a goal in its already completed state, such as “I am living in a large house in Malibu with my beautiful wife” or “I am feeling completely alive after getting a standing ovation for my speech in front of two thousand people.”

Below Jack Canfield list the guidelines for creating and using affirmations.

The Nine Guidelines for Creating Effective Affirmations

  1. Start with the words I am.
  2. Use the present tense.
  3. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
  4. Keep it brief.
  5. Make it specific.
  6. Include an action word ending with -ing.
  7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
  8. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
  9. Add or something better.

A Simple Way to Create Affirmations

  1. Visualize what you would like to create. See things just as you would like them to be.
  2. Hear the sounds you would be hearing if you already achieved your vision.
  3. Feel the feelings you want to feel when you have created what you want.
  4. Describe what your are experiencing in a brief statement, include what you are feeling.
  5. If necessary, edit your affirmation to make it meet all of the above guidelines.

How to Use Affirmations and Visualizations

  1. Review your affirmations one to three times a day. The best times are first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and then around bed time.
  2. If appropriate read each affirmation out loud.
  3. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as the affirmation describes.
  4. Hear any sounds you might hear when you successfully achieve the described affirmation.
  5. Feel the feelings that you will feel when you achieve that success.
  6. Say your affirmation again, and then repeat this process with the next affirmation.

If you are serious about using these success principles to change your life, then you owe it yourself to give affirmations a shot.  I would say make a commitment to do them for 90 days.  It takes minimal effort on your part to make this a new habit.  But the rewards can be endless.

Give it a shot!

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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