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IMGCA Article - Championship Thinking


Overcoming Limiting Beliefs and Influences

Garry Zancanaro

The environment that we grow up in, and the influences we are exposed to as children, have a substantial and lasting impact on our thinking, even if we aren't aware of it.

The greatest initial source of influence on us is our parents, and any older siblings, as these are generally the people that we spend the most time with as young children.

This usually continues as we grow into teenagers, and adults, with an ever widening range of influence also affecting our thinking. Of course, as we grow and develop as individuals we develop our own opinions and outlook on life. However, there's no doubt that, to some degree, the opinions of our family and friends affect our beliefs, our expectations, our opinions, in fact the very way we live our lives. So do countless other external sources, such as education, religion, television, films, books, magazines, newspapers, radio and many more.

It's hard to say what percentage of our beliefs and values have actually come from our own thoughts and experiences, and how much comes from outside influences that we have accepted as fact without even actively thinking about them. This also varies considerably from person to person, as some people are more readily susceptible to outside influence than others.

Some of our most positive and constructive personal attributes and values develop as a result of external influences, but so can negative character traits and beliefs.

Some people can become so conditioned in their thinking that, although they want success and to make something of their lives, their deeply held beliefs and conditioning can actually sabotage their best efforts.

If, for example, you grew up in an environment where money is always scarce and making ends meet was a constant battle, you can easily come to believe deep down that this is what you can expect in your life.

You may seriously desire much greater success, and even work hard towards it, but at a subconscious level, you can actually hold yourselves back by imposing self limiting beliefs and expectations on yourself, without even being aware of it. It can be almost as if you believe deep down that you don't deserve to be prosperous and successful.

The media compounds these beliefs. How many books and films are there featuring stereotypes such as 'poor but honest and hard working folk' who have been used and abused in some way by the 'rich and corrupt millionaire''? Everyone loves an underdog and these stories can be very entertaining, but they also tend to reinforce the belief that financial success and sound moral values are mutually exclusive.

But this can also work in the exact opposite way. Many people become successful because they are so determined not to live the way their parents had to live, that this becomes their driving force. They either totally believe they have the right to be successful, or they overcome any conditioned beliefs that could hold them back.

As we grow up and get older, the influence of the family may lessen as we spend more time with other people. The people we choose to associate with can also have a great effect on our lives and our thinking. More often than not, we aren't even aware just how much influence other people can have.

Do you associate with people who have a positive outlook on life and are trying to make something of themselves and their lives, or are you mixing with negative people with little or no ambitions? I think it was Brian Tracy who said 'you can't expect to fly like an eagle if you hang out with turkeys' or words to that effect.

Could you be spending time with people that could influence you to move forward in the direction of your goals? What other outside influences or conditioned beliefs could be holding you back?

Being aware of, and overcoming any limiting beliefs or influences, can be one of the most important actions we ever take for our success and happiness. And this is not just about financial success; this applies to whatever your idea of success and happiness is.

Possibly the most important belief anyone can develop is to firmly believe that you can do anything that you commit to.

If you genuinely, positively, believe that you can do something, if you are determined and committed, and make the plans and take action, there's no doubt you can do it.

But it also works in reverse - if you believe you can't do something, you're also right.

It really is as simple as that. It starts with knowing exactly what you want, and then having a big enough 'why' for wanting it, developing a burning desire to achieve it, and having total belief that you can achieve it.

Then you will find, or develop, the resources and skills needed, make the plans, and take the actions necessary to succeed.

You may well have to overcome conditioned beliefs and external influences, and be prepared to swim against the tide, but it will be more than worth it to.

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief"
- Gerry Spence

Garry Zancanaro is founder of (visit to claim a FREE Think and Grow Rich), and creator of, a collection of the Best Success Resources.

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