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“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” For years the thought of completing an Ironman filled me with terror. There was no way a mere mortal like me could ever complete something like that, but it was something I really wanted to do: a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike…then a marathon. Madness! So I signed up. Over the following year I followed a training plan, read everything I could and watched all the videos…and soon enough I began to see changes in my ability that allowed me to believe it might be possible, and then eventually to believe and then know that it is possible. 

Limiting beliefs are the recurring thoughts you  have  that  tell you can’t do that thing you’d love to do. They remind you of all the reasons you’re not good enough, qualified enough or connected enough, and fill you with anxiety, excuses, apathy and fear. But   they are lies. These false assumptions about yourself form a glass ceiling that you will never break through unless you identify and replace them. Limiting beliefs keep you safe inside your comfort zone, but most growth and achievement happens when you go to the edge of your comfort zone and beyond. You’ll still need help, strategy and hard work, but knowing that you can get there is the most empowering realisation you’ll ever experience! 

It typically happens as follows…you might be able to recognise the process by looking back over the ideas you or your mentee recently had: 

  1. You have an idea and feel excited about it. 
  2. After a while (could be two minutes, could be two weeks) doubts and deep-rooted beliefs limit your progress and discourage you. 
  3. Here you have a choice. Do you accept those limiting beliefs? Does this lead to either D or E? 
  4. Procrastination, giving up, deferring to others, self-sabotage. 
  5. Creating a strategy, learning and growing, making progress, acquiring help. 




You can’t just get rid of a belief. Most of the beliefs we hold took root before we were 6. Therefore, you have to replace it with a more positive belief. Create a new affirmation that you can repeat to yourself like a mantra, eg turn “I don’t know how” into “I can learn”; “I never get more than 60 per cent in tests” into “I won’t   give up until I’m a 70 per cent student”; “I can’t overcome limiting beliefs” to “I can achieve anything I want to achieve”. 

  • What negative beliefs do you have about yourself? 
  • Do you really, actually believe this is true? 
  • Where do these beliefs originate from? 
  • What is the opposite of these thoughts? Which is better or healthier for you to believe? 
  • What does God believe about you? What do your friends believe about you? 
  • What kind of person would you be without these thoughts? 
  • What could you replace them with? 


How can you use all this to aid your mentee? 

Supporting documents

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