Replace Limiting Beliefs With Success Stories

By: Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Two of my recent Forbes posts centered around busting limiting beliefs about what is possible in your career by featuring real-life stories of successful career change:

[Related: Remembering This Simple “Lost Art” Could Land (or Cost) You a Job, Says This Co-Founder]

Limiting beliefs hinder career success. Focusing on real-life examples of success is the best way to stretch beyond your limiting beliefs, because they show you that the unexpected is doable. If they can do it, why not you?

Ask yourself:

  • Why can’t you do something dramatically different?
  • Why can’t you earn more money than you have before?
  • Why can’t you break into a new industry?

[Related: Four Ways to Get Unstuck at Work (and in Life)]

In the last five years, I have bought 13 investment properties, even though I didn’t have a real estate investment background or any family connections in the field. But I made sure to read books about investing (which were replete with success stories), join associations full of people excited about real estate, and notice the people from all sorts of backgrounds — including non-real estate, corporate-only backgrounds like mine — finding success in real estate. I replaced my limiting beliefs about needing lots of cash, waiting to amass special expertise, and being too risk-averse with new positive stories of success.

If you are looking for a job and find yourself getting frustrated, pay particular attention to people who are getting jobs. Congratulate them. Celebrate with them. You don’t even have to get advice from them to have their good fortune benefit you — you will get inspired and feel more confident paying attention to good news.

If you are thinking about a career change, find as many examples as you can of people who have changed careers, even in different industries and roles than you are targeting. A bonus will be that you see how many different paths there are to make a change. Mostly, you will benefit from getting more comfortable with the idea that, hey, this is doable. People are doing this at all levels, in varying industries, in different roles.

If you want to start a business, join a co-working space or attend an Ellevate Innovator event. Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs. Keep your relationships with former colleagues, but recognize that most will likely play up your limiting beliefs, not help you conquer them.

The fastest way to defeat limiting beliefs is to replace them with other, more productive thoughts. When you surround yourself with success stories related to the goal you’re trying to achieve, you will have more thoughts about success. You will have more confidence that change can happen. You will strengthen your belief that you can make change happen.

[Related: Embrace the Changes in Your Business and Personal Life]

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career change expert with SixFigureStart. She writes a weekly advice column on Forbes. Her latest career change is running real estate and travel site

Originally published at

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