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Self Development

Are You Limiting Your Business?

Perception creates reality. Are your self-limiting thoughts getting in the way of your business success?

Alison Job




What limitations have you put on your personal or business success? What goal have you not pursued because of a perceived limitation?

We’re all aware that we accumulate certain preconceived ideas and behaviours over the years. What we don’t always realise is how these may be limiting us in both our personal and business lives.

If we don’t believe we’re capable or worthy of success, chances are it won’t come our way. Henry Ford expressed this perfectly when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

We’re all conditioned by various things in our life based on our expectations of ourselves and others. Because of this, we’re programmed to behave and think in a certain way.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to change old established patterns of behaviour and thinking.

Why change what’s working?

The saying goes, why fix something that isn’t broken? But ask yourself this: Are your current behaviours and thought processes really working in your favour, or are they preventing you from reaching your – or your business’s – true potential?

It’s not necessary to accept the self-limiting beliefs that are largely foisted on us by society. It’s entirely possible to replace bad habits with good habits. In fact, you can even dare to chase goals you previously thought were impossible. Here’s how.

Three steps to a new you

According to Wayne Dyer, US author and inspirational speaker, in order to change any limiting beliefs or behaviours, you need to be aware of them and why you have them. Only then can you set about replacing them with new thoughts, attitudes and even behaviours.

By doing this you’ll embark on a journey of self-exploration, from unconsciousness to awarenesss to self-awareness.

1. Interrogate

The first step is to identify what your preconceived perceptions are and to establish what it is that you believe about yourself and your business – and your capabilities. Beliefs are mental notions and assumptions we have about ourselves and the world around us. They are formed through our experiences and interactions with the world.

So you may believe that you have an ability with words – because you did well in English at school – but are weak when it comes to numbers, for example.

Perhaps you think you’re a poor public speaker – because public speaking makes you nervous – but great in one-on-one situations. All of these beliefs will impact how you operate in business and could well prevent you from taking that next step towards success.

Sit down, and write a list of everything you believe, no matter how big or small. Be totally honest with yourself.

2. Deconstruct

Next you need to challenge the self-limiting beliefs that you have. Question why you have these preconceived ideas, where they came from and how they are limiting you. You can’t change what you don’t understand.

3. Reconstruct

Only then can the journey to change begin. In order to adopt new perceptions you may need to shed some old ones. Be aware that in order to really integrate a new, more empowering belief, you’ll need to spend time cultivating it.

Write down the changes that you want to make in your beliefs or behaviour. Read through this list every day to remind yourself of where you’d like to be. By changing our beliefs, thoughts and actions, we can change the end result. At the end of the day, you need to retrain your brain so that it adopts new thought patterns and sheds the old, self-limiting ones.

And who knows, you may turn out to be a financial whizz after all.

Related: Why You Need Mental Strength as Much as You Need a Business Plan

Let Ben show you the way


The language might be dated, but the ideas certainly aren’t. Try them today.

300 years ago American statesman Benjamin Franklin developed an approach to changing behaviour that still holds true today. He listed 13 character traits that he felt were desirable — but which he lacked. He felt that nurturing these habits would bring about positive change in his life.

Establishing new behaviours

Franklin spent exactly one week working on each virtue.

  • In the morning he thought about how he would reinforce the new habit throughout the day.
  • During the day he looked at his notes to remind himself of the new habit.
  • At the end of the day, he counted how many times he fell back into the old habit. He worked through his entire list in a thirteen-week cycle, and completed four such cycles in the space of a year.

13 virtues to live by

Franklin tried to follow these principles in his life, although he wasn’t always successful. However, the positive intentions were there. We’ve left Ben’s old-fashioned words intact as we love their charm and quirkiness.

  • Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  • Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  • Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • Chastity: Rarely use venery (sexual indulgence) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  • Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.

Self Development

The 5 Gut-Check Questions Confronting Entrepreneurs Every Day

The day you forget why you began is the day you’re done.



Entrepreneurs make an astounding number of decisions daily. They are faced with choosing which opportunities to move on and must solve problems big and small.

By setting up a framework of questions to ask yourself daily, you’ll give yourself some markers to help guide you through these difficult situations. Knowing where you stand on these questions will empower you to make good choices that ultimately lead you to your desired outcome. It will give you a deeper understanding of your motivations and your feelings about your business, and can help you clarify future plans.

Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs should ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently moving toward their goals and making the best decisions for themselves and their business. Ask yourself these questions with an honest and open mind, and see where they take you.

1. Why are you doing this?

What makes this one little question so powerful is that it forces you to examine your desires and impulses, and helps you chart how those motivations change over time. It forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Asking yourself this question every day reaffirms your ambitions and the mindset behind why you are doing what you’re doing. If you don’t know why, you’re in trouble!

Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles

Asking this question opens the door to a plethora of other questions that will give you food for thought. What is the reason for launching your business? Why are you passionate about doing this? Are you the right person to run this business? These answers may change over time. At first it may seem difficult to truly nail down the “why” behind your motivations. Maybe there are competing interests that are driving you. But when you really think about it and drill down into this question, there’s probably a simple answer. Just be sure you’re being truthful with yourself.

Why you do something also gives rise to the question: what do you hope to achieve? You need to know what your end game looks like, and what success means to you. Is it about attaining a certain level of wealth? Is it about being the top in your market? Is it about earning respect? Are you looking to rule the world (or at least a niche market), or are you simply hoping to earn a living doing something you love?

Start your day by asking yourself this question and see where your answer takes you. By spending a few minutes pondering this, you’ll gain clarity that will help you steer your career in the direction you want it to go.

2. What is your company’s purpose?

purposeSee if you can answer this question in a single sentence. A good place to start is with your mission statement: what are the formal aims, goals and values of your company or organisation? This should be clear and concise – it should get to the heart of what your business is about.

Your company’s purpose is the foundation that all else is built on. It should have enough flexibility to grow and allow for change, but be specific enough to be meaningful and relevant. Ultimately, this question should help you understand what the heck you’re really doing here.

This question should be at the forefront of your mind when making important decisions. Ask yourself whether this new venture or idea would reinforce or logically contribute to your company’s overall purpose. Are you staying true to your calling?

That’s not to say that your purpose can’t change over time. However, if it does, the change should be purposeful and executed with care. Thinking about this will help you identify your long-term business goals and may lead to bigger questions, such as: What do you want your company to mean to your customers, what is your company’s place in world and what is its ideal market?

3. Where is your business at right now?

The goal with this question is to take both an analytical and emotional assessment of your business. This is a chance for you to take a hard look at where your company sits. Is it on the right track? What seems amiss? What is going right and how can that be reproduced throughout your business?

It’s also important to acknowledge your emotions and to be mindful of how you are feeling about your business. What is your gut instinct saying? Are you feeling anxious or excited about the business? Whether you are having negative emotions or positive ones, it’s important to recognise what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way.

This will give you a chance to better understand your mental state and how that may be influencing your decision making. It’s also about understanding what kind of vibe you are putting out. Are you feeling clear-minded and balanced? Or are you feeling off-kilter and out of sorts?

Being in tune with your emotions and having a clear view of what’s going on with your business will ensure you’re on an even keel. It will help you avoid overreacting or under-reacting to situations.

Related: Attention Black Entrepreneurs: Start-Up Funding From Government Grants & Funds

4. What lessons are you learning?

Every entrepreneur faces an uphill battle to achieve success. Every day you should be learning and growing, and the best way to do this is through a great deal of reflection on the lessons that present themselves each day.

Ask yourself whether you’re learning from your mistakes. Failure is a part of every entrepreneur’s journey. The question is, will your mistakes allow you to learn and grow? If not, you’re liable to fall into the same pitfalls and missteps. Conversely, are you learning when to jump at an opportunity and when to let it go? This is the ultimate lesson every entrepreneur is trying to learn, and it’s never an easy one.

The next time you’re weighing whether or not to take a risk, try asking yourself: “When I’m 80, will I feel sorry if I hadn’t gone for it?” Jeff Bezos does this as a way to crystallise whether he will regret not taking action on something. In the big picture, it’s often what we fail to do that we see as our biggest mistakes in life.

5. What’s next?

If you ask yourself one question every day, this should be it. As an entrepreneur, you always need to be anticipating what’s next. You need to anticipate what’s coming down the road and formulate a plan to take it on. This is the question that forces you to look up from that pile of work on your desk and think about the big picture and next steps for your business.

What strategies will you need as you keep pushing your business into the future? What trends or shifting interests are coming up that may affect your business? How will new technology impact the way you manage the company?

Disruption will happen in every market because change is inevitable. Businesses that survive see that wave coming and start making adjustments early on. So, in a way, change is predictable because it will always come. Innovation and ingenuity will always be the key to success – and those who seize opportunity will ride the crest of the next wave.

So when you ask yourself “What’s next?” make sure you have your blinders off and are looking at things with a curious and open mind. Make sure you’re staying open to new ideas and embracing creative solutions. Keeping looking for the “wow” factor.

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day

In honour of Mandela Day, here are 5 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring quotes.

Casandra Visser



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Bouncing Back


“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

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Self Development

25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior

If the harshest thing you have to say about someone is partly true, say the other part.

John Rampton



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Did you know that in every language, there are more negative words than positive ones? It seems we need lots of words to describe our negative feelings, but we’re content with a handful of positive ones.

For instance, researchers have found that most cultures have words for seven basic emotions: Joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt.

That’s one positive emotion, and six negative

It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time keeping our negative comments in check. Over the past six months I’ve been working on the verbal language that I’ve been using that I don’t even realize hurts others and in some cases makes them feel inferior. I even noticed that I’ve used a couple on my personal and business website. This is a “no-no” that I needed to fix.

This post will list 25 negative words you should avoid…so that you stop hurting, belittling and intimidating those around you!

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