It’s time for a scary fact: only 20% of businesses survive past their first year of operation. While there are many possible reasons a business may fail in its first year, usually the problem comes back around to leadership. Whoever is in charge of the business is naturally responsible for keeping it afloat, but there’s one fundamental problem that CEOs today still struggle to work through. The worst part? Many of the businesses that don’t end up working out really did have the potential to be something great, if it weren’t for this one major issue.

So, enough with the suspense — the problem that results in so many shuttered businesses is limiting beliefs. If the CEO of a business runs into limiting belief after limiting belief and doesn’t know how to work through them, those feelings can quickly translate into a lack of organisation and direction surrounding the business.

If you’re not familiar with the term “limiting belief”, a limiting belief is a thought or opinion that someone believes to be the absolute truth, even if it really isn’t. While it’s generally easy to notice when others are placing too much weight in their limiting beliefs, it can be much more difficult to identify them in our own thought processes.

Today, let’s look at three common limiting beliefs I see new entrepreneurs deal with all the time, and how you can fight them.

Limiting Belief #1: “I should be able to figure all of this out myself.”

A lot of CEOs have a naturally independent streak, which is why we go through all the effort of creating a business on our own terms. While self-education truly is one of the best ways to learn and grow, it may be time to seek outside support or instruction if you find yourself agonising over every small detail when working on your business. Hiring a coach or consultant can mean that instead of needing to do things 100% by trial-and-error, you’re able to get expert advice that will allow you to move forward with confidence instead of indecision. Don’t let stubbornness get in the way of you bringing on support in your business that will  aid in your productivity and decision-making skills.

Limiting Belief #2: “It is impossible to make a lot of money since I don’t have a lot of money.”

I see new business owners deal with this limiting belief all the time. They think that because their family doesn’t have money or because they don’t currently have a lot of money in the bank that they’ll never be able to create the kind of wealth they dream about. Here’s the objective truth: anyone can become rich if they have an idea, a plan, determination, and are providing value to others. It will require hard work, of course, but the idea that you need to have millions in the bank to make more millions is just outdated. Some of the wealthiest business owners on the planet are entirely self-made. Why not you?

Limiting Belief #3: “I’ve failed at X, Y, and Z, so I’ll fail at this too.”

Every business owner you admire has technically “failed”before, I promise you. Maybe they had a launch that didn’t go as planned, or they weren’t able to get a promising business idea off the ground. The circumstances of their so-called failure do not matter, all that matters is that even the best business owners do not succeed sometimes. The reason it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things is because these business owners don’t let one singular mistake define them. Even though they experience setbacks, they still view themselves as winners and use the knowledge they’ve gained from the setback to help them be successful in future endeavours. Thinking of challenges as opportunities for growth and reflection is how you stop labeling them as “failures.” 

All entrepreneurs eventually have to deal with limiting beliefs. Successful CEOs set themselves apart by working hard to identify their own limiting beliefs, reprogram their thought patterns, and ultimately overcome the beliefs. I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my clients, and it can happen for you too — you just have to commit to it.