A belief is something we hold to be true about ourselves and the world – it is not necessarily true. Many beliefs come from our childhood, often heavily influenced by significant figures in our lives – our parents, family members, perhaps our teachers at school. We also develop our own beliefs based on our experiences. If these experiences are not always positive, or if others influence us with their own negative beliefs, our perceptions about what is or is not possible may hold us back.

If you want to take up a new challenge, positive and empowering beliefs are worth their weight in gold. When you are preparing to step out of your comfort zone, you may find yourself in need of re-examining or even changing a belief that has become limiting in order to break out of any boxes you find yourself in. Beliefs are notoriously difficult to change through typical rules of logic or rational thinking. The first step is to recognise the limiting belief and develop a new, more empowering one to take its place.  When you want to abandon or replace a limiting belief, use the power of your mind. Try the new belief on for size and behave AS IF you already believed it. Take a look at the examples below:

Limiting Belief: I don’t have much chance of winning when I play tennis

  • I don’t bother to exercise because there is not much point.
  • I know what will happen. My opponent will play much better than me and I can imagine the outcome when I lose and I feel dejected.
  • I feel unmotivated.
  • I play half-heartedly.
  • I notice particularly when I play a bad shot.
  • I decrease my chances of winning and I lose the match.
  • I prove my belief to myself.

Empowering Belief: I have the potential to win any tennis match I play

  • I exercise and keep fit because there is a purpose to this.
  • I can imagine myself winning the match, see myself smiling, shaking hands with my opponent, saying “Well done, I enjoyed that!, knowing that I have won.”
  • I feel confident.
  • I put my full energy and attention on the match.
  • I notice when a play a good shot.
  • This increases the chances of winning and I often do win.
  • I prove my belief to myself.

Empowering beliefs have the potential to drive you forward and fuel your success. Holding beliefs of excellence is one of the common denominators of people who are successful: at communication, as leaders and managers, in sport, as artists and at taking up new challenges. They hold beliefs and act accordingly in a way that underpins their ability to excel and achieve. Developing beliefs of excellence will help you to challenge your perceptions and achieve excellence when it comes to your own goals and challenges.