Six Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back
“Shut up Nate. You’re never going to be any good… We’re not good at wrestling and we never will be.” Nate Zinsser’s classmate
By the time Nate became a junior in high school, the wrestling team had its first winning season in decades.
Today, Dr. Zinsser is the Director of the Performance Psychology Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This post is based on our conversation and his new book, The Confident Mind.
Six limiting beliefs that hold you back:
#1. Remember your failures.
It’s better to focus on memories of effort, success, and progress and the vision of the future you really want.
“Put yourself in a position to be more confident about yourself.” Dr. Nate Zinsser
#2. Always be your own harshest critic.
It’s better to reserve self-judgement for times when you can calmly acknowledge your weaknesses without belittling yourself.
#3. Always be logical.
Logic throws out creativity, joy, and the discovery of the things that give life its greatest meaning.
#4. Become really good before you become confident.
Stop thinking, “What else could I have done?” There is ALWAYS more you could have done. Confidence is a choice that you make regardless of the situation.
#5. Worship the experts.
Beware the tendency to overestimate others and underestimate yourself.
#6. Above all else, don’t screw up.
“I have found that nothing erodes and destroys confidence more than the fear of making mistakes in performance.” Dr. Zinsser
(The above list is adapted from, The Confident Mind, by Dr. Nate Zinsser.)
Confidence begins with the first win:
Sun Tzu said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
The first victory is in the mind.
Dr. Nate Zinsser in his own words:
What limiting beliefs do you see around you? In yourself?
How might leaders defeat limiting beliefs?
Has the great Dr Zinsser ever been in a situation where there is a zero tolerance of failure, and then failed? No second chances in a lot of places.
Sad, but true, Mitch. I will say that The Confident Mind, is very practical. And I loved my conversation with Dr. Zinsser. Hope you watch it.
BTW, just because there are places/leaders that don’t tolerate failure, doesn’t negate the fact that focusing on NOT failing hinders our best performance.
Great thoughts today. This really resonates with me and I plan to share it with my son, who is a pretty good high school wrestler. After any loss we always say “You didn’t lose…you learned. Failure should always be viewed as an opportunity, not a setback. Even in a setting like Mitch describes above personal learning is happening. Have a fantastic day, Dan!
Thanks Eddie. I admire anyone who chooses wrestling. It’s one of the most rigorous sports I can imagine. “You didn’t lose…you learned,” is a powerful mindset. It sure beats, “I’m a loser.”
Best to you.
I love the analogy in sports when you are struggle the last few meters. The moment you look at your opponents (and not forward to the finish line) you lose. Same here.
Thanks dirk. Powerful lesson. Focus on your race. 🙂
Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…” This goes along with your quote from Sun Tzu. We have to determine who we want to be. Do not allow others to determine who you will be or you will never grow beyond that. Be hungry!
Thanks Gene. People often say, “Be yourself.” Perhaps it’s better to say, “Be your aspirational self.”