If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. Find out how to flip the script from inner critic to your own champion.
IF YOU WANT TO BE UNSTOPPABLE, YOU NEED TO TACKLE THE THOUGHTS THAT ARE HOLDING YOU BACK
Self-limiting beliefs live in our conscious and subconscious minds and can prevent us from pursuing our goals and dreams. Many of us have negative self-perceptions that have been ingrained since childhood manifesting as self-doubt, fear, uncertainty and indecision.
People might look at what I’ve achieved and think I’m infallible but I’ve struggled with limiting beliefs in the mountains and in day-to-day life. Over time, I’ve learned how to upgrade my internal software so I can adapt, improve, and strive towards my goals and dreams despite the barriers I face.
Achieving success is not about being unwaveringly positive and resolute. It’s about overcoming challenges with a willingness to grow that inspires action. It’s about identifying our limiting beliefs and knowing how to flip the script so that our internal narrative propels rather than paralyses us.
WHEN WE REALISE OUR ABILITIES ARE NOT FIXED, WE OPEN THE DOOR TO OPTIMISM AND PERSONAL EVOLUTION
Professor of Psychology, Carol Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Dweck summed up the difference between the two as follows:
“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.”
Dweck’s ground-breaking book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success looks at how our conscious and unconscious thoughts impact our ability to improve. Her work shows that our beliefs strongly affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it. When we replace “I’m not smart enough to solve it” with “I haven’t solved it YET” we believe we can improve so we strive to prove ourselves right.
Recognising self-limiting beliefs and rewriting our internal dialogue is key to a growth mindset. And a growth mindset is the foundation for unlocking our untapped potential. You might not believe that you have a reservoir of potential to unlock but you do! We all do! Believing that is the first step in overcoming the self-doubt that is holding you back. It’s the first step in improving your mental resilience and wellbeing.
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT FROM CRITIC TO CHEERLEADER IS ALL ABOUT REFLECTION AND PERSPECTIVE
There have been many times when I’ve looked up at a mountain and despite all my preparation thought, I’m not ready. Instead of allowing that voice to immobilise me, I’ve learnt that I can use it to propel me forwards. I reframe the story in my head and, in doing so, reframe my reality.
In 2008 I successfully climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. It was the realisation of a dream I had held since childhood. It involved lots of blood, sweat and frozen tears. All the brutal training, focus and mental resilience came at a cost, literally and figuratively. I had self-funded my expedition so returned to sea level with a depleted bank balance and sky-high credit card debt. I knew I had to find the highest-paying job I could land (as an IT consultant in which I was formerly qualified). I applied for a senior position in London and was asked to come in for an interview. I remember walking into the impressive office building, feeling overwhelmed and thinking,
I’m not going to get the job.
I haven’t prepared enough.
What if I say something stupid?
It would’ve been easy to keep these negative thoughts on replay. Instead, I pressed stop. I started to reflect on everything I had achieved in my life up until that point. I was a cautious kid with chronic childhood asthma, flat feet and spinal issues who had grown into an extreme adventurer. I had just climbed the highest mountain in the world, passing renowned climbers on my summit push. And here I was, freaking out about a job interview! I changed my internal script to:
I’ve proven many times that when I put my mind to something, I can achieve it.
I’ve done my homework and
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
Will it be disappointing if I don’t nail this interview? Yes.
Will it kill me? No.
My friend, Dicky, reminded me that the people on the interview panel wanted me to succeed. And if I didn’t, the world wasn’t going to cave in. It was a job interview not a parole hearing.
EVERYONE CAN REWRITE THEIR SCRIPT AND REFRAME THEIR REALITY
If you tend to have a fixed mindset and indulge in lots of negative self-talk, you can do something about it. It all starts with recognising the mindset and self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Ask yourself:
- What story am I telling myself?
- How is this belief serving me? Is it true? Is it kind? Is it helpful?
- What if I’m wrong?
- What could I achieve / who could I be if I let go of this negative thought?
The most important words you’ll ever hear are the ones you tell yourself. True validation comes from within. You owe yourself kindness, perspective and positivity. Every day is a new opportunity to write your own story. Make it a bestseller!
WHAT ADVENTURE CAN WE TAKE YOU ON NEXT?
Daniel Bull is a 3x world record-breaking adventurer and inspirational speaker. He specialises in empowering leaders and teams to become more resilient, fulfilled and successful, whatever challenges they face.
Focusing on resilience and grit, peak performance, and the power of mindset, Daniel inspires audiences with his passion and authentic presence. His spectacular footage combined with the latest digital technology creates an exhilarating and highly interactive experience.
As a keynote speaker who’s headlined both live and virtual conferences, Daniel inspires audiences to find their own summits and tackle them with confidence.