Science has studied the psychology of success related to our conditioned beliefs from childhood and self-esteem related to socioeconomic stereotypes. There are practical solutions to overcoming preconceptions that keep you from excellence.

Neuro linguistic training, influential mentors, engaging in regular physical activity and having a healthy lifestyle are just some of the tactics to breach your self-limiting beliefs and tap into your infinite potential. If you currently subscribe to these preconceptions you can apply the scientifically supported techniques to blast through the barriers of the mind and conjure excellence.

1.You Doubt Yourself

Self doubt is a form of cognitive interference. Self doubt is anxiousness about your ability to cope that has a negative motivational effect and thereby reduces your ability to process information. Self limiting beliefs can be overcome with simple techniques such as identifying people who break down your self-esteem.  For example, when you surround yourself by people who are positive and encourage you, you will have more mental energy to focus on excellence.

It’s important to first pinpoint if you are harboring self-limiting beliefs about your abilities. Next you can take action to get the training you need to accomplish your goal. Whether it is a certification, a training book or a new degree, you can seek the education you lack once you candidly clarify why you feel unqualified.

2. You Don’t Believe That Your Goals Are Achievable

A study reported by The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed that avoidance motivation is less likely to bring you success than promotional thinking. In layman’s terms this means people that believe they are taking steps towards an achievable goal are more likely to succeed than people taking steps to avoid an undesirable outcome.

For example, someone who decides to drive two hours one way for a career fair is more likely to get a job than someone who focuses on the fact that there will probably be traffic, the freeway is dangerous and the gas money might not be worth the trip. It’s important to take risks and remain focused on potential positive outcomes such as landing an incredible job.

3. Bad Grades Predict A Lousy Career

When you think of yourself in terms of a stereotype, whether you associate with a certain socioeconomic class or had a reputation in school of skipping class and goofing off, anything people have said about you can shape your preconceptions about your own success.

Actively focus on your positive traits by making a list of them and brainstorm a list of jobs that these skills give you the upper hand in. Maybe you are a poor mathematician but you can brilliantly construct words and write compelling stories that are perfect for an editorial position. Remember Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were all college dropouts. Just because you have a different learning style than the conventional school model, doesn’t mean you won’t succeed.

4. You Think The Competition Is Too High

When you think of yourself as a miniscule pawn in the tenured corporate world, you promulgate a negative belief system that you will not succeed. You need a role model to look up to and model your actions after. People that have mentors are able to learn how to stand out from the crowd. Many people use neuro linguistic programming (NLP) to break the cycle crippling negative thinking patterns and increase performance.

Some people have preconceived notions that their race or gender will keep them out of certain jobs. If you focus on statistics, that is one less minute you can spend diligently pursuing your career. Change is more common than anything else and it’s a waste of time to think about the supposed barriers you face in your career based on stereotypes.

5. You Accept Your Low Focus

As we grow up, we are molded by the opinions of others. The Harvard Business Journal’s article titled How Successful Business Leaders Think states the ability to hold two ideas at once is a distinguishing factor of successful leaders. This skill is called ‘integrative thinking’. Accept your style of thinking as a strong point instead of something holding you back.

A healthy lifestyle can greatly improve the ability to focus. Reading instead of watching TV can also improve the ability to focus. Gluten, refined sugar and excessive caffeine reduce your ability to focus. Physical activity, especially yoga, has been proven to improve cognitive abilities such as focusing, retaining information and thinking clearly. Yoga can also help you succeed in life because it helps builds self-esteem and helps you maintain a positive outlook because of the endorphin release. To reduce scattered thinking, don’t look at your phone so often.

Finally, get yourself a professional goal journal to track your goals and practical action steps. Write down the positive traits others have mentioned about you, write down what you know you are good at and the things you are going to learn. When you complete actions you have planned out, it will build confidence and momentum that will change your perception of yourself.


Sarah Williams is a passionate life coach who enjoys helping people see the beauty in life and have fulfilling relationships. You can read articles from Sarah at her blog - Wingman Magazine.

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