One of the biggest problems I see with people who attempt to make big changes in their life is a total lack of belief in themselves. If you set out to accomplish a big goal like losing weight or …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 99 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. I can’t believe we’re at 99 episodes already, how fun is that I got something special coming for episode 100. So be sure to check that one out.
Today I’m talking about overcoming your limiting beliefs. One of the biggest problems I see with people who go and attempt to make some big changes in their life is a total lack of belief in themselves, they just don’t think they can do it.
So if you’re one of these people, and you’re setting out to accomplish some big goal, like losing weight or running a faster marathon, whatever it is, it’s going to require you to believe that you can do it.
Instead, what most people do is they have all these beliefs about why they can’t do it. They say things like, Oh, it’s too hard for me, I always fail, I can never do something like that. And these are called limiting beliefs, their beliefs that absolutely limit your ability to reach your goals.
So in this episode, I’m going to take a deep dive into limiting beliefs, I’m going to explain what they are, how they’re keeping you stuck. And I’ll offer up some practical tips on overcoming your limiting beliefs.
But first, if you like this podcast, you have to come check out the Running Lean podcast community on Facebook. And just a heads up beginning on Thanksgiving Day, I believe that is the 25th of November, we are going to start the running through the holidays challenge we did this last couple of years. And it’s a lot of fun.
And basically what it is is a challenge for you to run every day between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. So I believe this year, it’s going to be a total of like 38 straight days of running. And I’ll talk all about the sort of rules around this. There’s not really rules.
But you know, there are some guidelines that I want you to follow. And I’m going to do a Facebook Live in the Facebook group this Sunday at 4pm. Eastern Time, and I’m going to give you a rundown on what this challenge is all about and invite you to join in the fun. Okay, so just search for Running Lean community on facebook and join us and definitely join us for the running through the holidays challenge. It’s a lot of fun.
And then here’s a message I received a while back from Kathy, I just wanted to share this with you guys. She said, “I found your podcast and Facebook group a little over a month ago and absolutely love them decided to watch your training video. And I think it is such a great breakdown of what we all need to hear and do to become fit and healthy in our body and mind. That is what I love so much about your podcast and your training is that you address the state of mind as well as what we need to do. Physically. Thank you again, I feel like you’re talking directly to me, every time I listen to you. Cheers, Kathy.”
Thank you, Kathy, you’re very, very sweet for for sharing that. And I love getting messages like this because it helps me to see that the message is resonating with you guys. And I love doing this, I’m having a lot of fun.
And then people ask how they can get more how they can work with me. And there’s two ways to do that. There’s the Running Lean coaching group. And this is a group that meets once a week, we do a group Zoom call where you can ask questions, you can you know get support, get help get guidance.
And then of course you get access to all my online training materials. I have the weight loss training course for runners, I have a new course I just created called Getting It All Done. It’s all about planning everything in your life so that you accomplish all of your goals. Achieving the impossible is another course that I have in there. That is all about setting big, huge impossible goals for yourself and then how to accomplish them. So there’s tons of learning material in the group.
And the really the aspect that everybody loves most about it is the the group calls where we get to do a little coaching and teaching but we get to support each other here, what’s working, what’s not working, what did we do to overcome issues and things like that.
So the Running Lean coaching group is a great way to get through and accomplish these big goals that you want for yourself. So if you’re interested in learning more, just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join.
And then if you’re looking for a little more help, a little more one on one coaching. That’s what I do. I can offer you the expert guidance, support, encouragement, accountability, tough love to help you reach whatever health and fitness goals that you want for yourself.
Whether it’s losing a bunch of weight, or running a faster marathon, or just becoming the most badass version of yourself, I can help you get there. So just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply, you can apply for coaching you and I will jump on a Zoom call.
We’ll talk about the coaching program and just see if this is a good fit for you. Cool.
Alright, let’s get into this topic today overcoming your limiting beliefs. So first of all, what are beliefs, what are beliefs? In general beliefs are just thoughts that you keep thinking over and over again. So beliefs are just things that you have been thinking in your mind over and over again, for years or decades that this is just what a belief is, okay?
When we talk about the beliefs, I need you to understand something, because people fight me on this all the time. And I have to tell you, your beliefs are true for you. They’re not necessarily true for everyone.
So your beliefs come from your model of the world. Your model of the world is your past experiences, your upbringing, your family of origin, has an influence on your model of the world, the culture that you live in the geographic location that you live in, all of these things combine to create the way that you see the world. Your reality is created by the way you see the world.
I want you to understand this, I’m going to say this, again, because this is very, very important. Your reality is created by you. Your reality, the way you see things, is not necessarily the way other people see things, the way you see things is unique to you based on your past experiences, your upbringing, your geographical location, your model, your upbringing, your family of origin, all those things, your model of the world determines your reality, and your model of the world determines what you believe.
Alright, so now that we understand that, you have to understand that you are creating your own set of beliefs, okay, they’re not necessarily true for everyone. So I just want to make sure that we are both, we are both on the same page, you and me are both on the same page with this concept, okay.
So there are basically two types of beliefs. And the two that I’m going to talk about here today would be empowering beliefs. These are beliefs that help you, they’re what we would consider to be positive beliefs, they help you to become more they help you, you know, reach your goals.
They help to give you agency over your own life. And these could be things you believe about yourself about others about the world. These are beliefs that give you power.
And then we have limiting beliefs. limiting beliefs are things that you believe that hold you back, that prevent you from reaching your goals that prevent you from moving forward that prevents you from growing and learning. These are beliefs that keep you stuck and move you further away from your goals.
Okay, empowering beliefs. We want more of those limiting beliefs, we need to address these and this is what I’m talking about today, here. Okay. And then I found this quote that I super love from Henry Ford, you guys have probably heard this before. He says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
And I’m going to paraphrase this a little bit and say whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right. Same thing. So you get to believe what you want. If you believe you can do something, you most likely can do that. If you absolutely believe you can’t, you’re going to be right in that instance as well. Okay.
Now, there are three kind of areas where we have limiting beliefs. So we have limiting beliefs about other people, what we believe about other people. We have limiting beliefs about the world in general. And then we have limiting beliefs about ourselves.
So let me let me talk about these a little bit here. So limiting beliefs about other people. What you believe about other people can affect you negatively. And this, this goes to the topic of like comparing ourselves to others when we’re comparing ourselves to others.
And we’re coming out on the losing end of that comparison, which happens very, very often, then we are choosing to believe something that is limiting us limiting our potential limiting our growth, you know, and limiting how we see ourselves.
So if you’re, if you’re looking at other people and thinking, Oh, they’re better than me, they run faster than me. They can do things that I can’t do, they’re thinner than me, or prettier than me or more fit than me, they make more money than me, they’re more successful than me, like, all of these things are just limiting your beliefs about yourself, that you’re putting yourself down with all of these comparisons, right?
So you have these limiting beliefs about others, that really affect you negatively, okay, we also do the same thing about the world in general, you know, you might think, like, you may change your diet and start eating, you know, you stop eating sugar. Let’s give that example.
Okay, so let’s say you stop eating sugar. And you’re getting this feedback that this is not normal, according to the world, right? This is not the way you’re supposed to do things. Right? Or, you know, maybe it’s, it’s in a relationship, and you’re just thinking, like, Oh, I’m supposed to find an amazing partner, fall madly in love, get married, have kids, blah, blah, blah, but I’m finding myself single. So I’m not doing things the way I’m supposed to, according to the world.
You know, you’re basing your life on what you believe, is true about the world in general about what the world wants for you. I want to have this perfect body according to what you’re, you know, you’re seeing on social media.
And I have to tell you, this one sort of breaks my heart because there’s this, like barrage of stereotypes that we’re being forced fed, you scroll through Instagram, and all you see is, you know, quote, unquote, like perfect bodies.
And we compare ourselves to that and think that we don’t live up to that ideal, and that you know, what other people in the world are doing, and the way they look is good. And what we’re doing and the way we look is bad.
And so we do this thing, where we look at the societal norms, and we compare ourselves and we come out on the losing end of that. These are beliefs that you’re choosing about the world, about what’s normal. And this can be very limiting and very damaging to our mental well being, and really holds you back from becoming the person that you want to become.
And then we have limiting beliefs about ourselves. I hear these all the time, when I’m working with people, you know, I hear people say, you know, I’m just not I’m not a real runner. I could never do that I could never run a marathon, I could never run an ultra marathon. I can never lose weight, every time I try to lose weight, I fail. This never works for me. I’ll never be that way again. You know, I’m too old. I love that one. I’m in the best shape of my life. And I consider myself to be kind of an old guy, you know, 55 years old now.
And then you know things about relationships, I’ll never find a partner, I’ll always be alone. You know, whatever it is that you’re saying about yourself. These limiting beliefs that you have about yourself are absolutely keeping you stuck. And they’re keeping you from achieving your goals. And they’re keeping you feeling terrible about yourself and about your abilities.
And I know there’s things that you want for yourself, there’s goals that you have for yourself, maybe you want to lose some weight, maybe you want to run a faster marathon, maybe you want to find the love of your life, whatever it is, whatever you want for yourself. These beliefs that you have are just keeping you stuck and holding you back. That’s why they call it limiting beliefs because they’re limiting your potential.
So why do we have these limiting beliefs? Why do we even do this? If it’s not good for us? If it moves us away from our goals and keeps us stuck and feeling terrible, why do we do this? Why do we have these limiting beliefs?
And really, this is just you just goes back to your brain wanting to protect you. You know, your human brain wants you to be safe and happy and wants you to experience pleasure and to avoid pain once to keep you comfortable and avoid any kind of discomfort.
And limiting beliefs can be a way that you sort of protect yourself from pain from hurt from disappointment from failure from feelings of unworthiness. Limiting beliefs can keep you from trying, so that you don’t have to worry about failing.
Because if you don’t try, if you just say, I could never run a marathon. And, and so that’s a limiting belief that you have. And so you don’t even have to try, then you don’t have to worry about failing.
So limiting beliefs that can give you an instant out, you can just say like, you know what, I’ve tried to lose weight before it never works for me. So boom, I don’t even have to try. It’s more comfortable. Because trying something, experiencing that discomfort of trying something. And then what if you fail? Hmm.
So when you limit yourself, you don’t even have to try. Or you know we’re talking about relationships a little bit to here. So let’s say you’re like, I’ll never find a partner who loves me unconditionally. Nobody ever accepts me the way I am. Why even bother?
In reality, what you’re doing here is you’re just, you’re you want to avoid the pain of being hurt. If you never make yourself vulnerable in a relationship, you’ll never have to experience rejection, you’ll never have to experience hurt feelings. You know saying that you could never run a marathon, you know, is just a way of avoiding all the pain of like training, and the possibility of failing.
Because when you train for a marathon, there’s a lot of pain and discomfort involved, right? Got to get up early, you got to do these long runs, you know, maybe your knees hurt, maybe you got to run in the cold, and wind in the rain. And if you just say, you know what, I could never do that, then you don’t have to experience any of that discomfort, you can just avoid all of that by just telling yourself, you know, it’s too hard. I could never do that.
But is that what you want for yourself? Is that really what you want for yourself? Because the beliefs that you have about what you can and can’t do, might be holding you back from doing the things that you really, really want for yourself.
I want you to ask yourself this question like, what is it that you really want for yourself? And how are your limiting beliefs keeping you from achieving that or even starting?
Now, I want to say this, because I’ve kind of get some pushback on this sometimes from people they’re like, well, I don’t really have a desire to run a marathon, okay, fine, then, you know, if you don’t have any desire to do that, then, you know, telling yourself you could never do that isn’t really a limiting belief. This has to be around things that you actually want for yourself, okay.
For example, I have no desire to go bungee jumping. I have no desire to sing opera on stage. So for me, to avoid these things, it’s really not a limiting belief. You know, I can say to myself, like, I don’t believe I’ll ever be an opera singer. And that’s not a limiting belief, because I don’t want to be an opera singer. And trust me, you don’t want me to be an opera singer, either, okay? You really don’t. Nobody wants that.
But for this thing to be a limiting belief, I would have to want that for myself. So let’s say I really wanted to, and I was, you know, this is my dream is to sing opera on stage, or to jump off a bridge, you know, bungee jump, or whatever. I have no desire to bungee jump, you guys.
So I just want you to know that no desire, you know, the fear that’s involved with that is just a little too overwhelming for me. I just don’t want to do it. And so I might say, like, you know, what, I just don’t want to do that I’m afraid or, you know, scary and fine, no big deal. It’s not a limiting belief.
So just understand that, you know, these are things that you want for yourself that you’re choosing to believe, that are holding you back, and you’re choosing these beliefs that are keeping you stuck there choosing beliefs that are keeping you from starting, those are the kinds of things I’m talking about here, okay.
And listen, I’ve had my share of limiting beliefs. I believed at one point that running 100 miles was impossible for me, I couldn’t do it. There’s no way I could do it. I even was doing some ultra marathons. I was doing a bunch of 50K’s and I even ran a 50 miler, and after that 50 miler, I was like there’s no freaking way that I will ever be able to run 100 miles, it’s just too far. It’s too hard.
50 was almost impossible and I’m just too old, this training would be too much. I don’t have the time, blah, blah, blah. And, and then one day for whatever reason, I don’t even know why.
But I just asked myself a different question. I was like, what if I could run 100 miles? What if I wasn’t too old? What if I made the time for the training? And just making this little mental shift of like, what if I created a shift within myself, and I started to believe, some different things.
I started to believe that maybe I could do this, maybe I could make the time for the training, maybe I could, you know, show up and do the work. And I could actually accomplish something huge like this, something that seems absolutely impossible.
For me, something that has seemed impossible for me for years. And now I’m starting to think maybe, just maybe I could, that little shift in my belief about my potential changed everything for me. And I did.
I set out to do the training. And I put in the work, and I had to believe in myself in order to accomplish that. And I want this for you, too. When it comes to overcoming your limiting beliefs, that takes a bit of work.
The beliefs that you have about yourself, especially when you’re like, you know, I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work for me. These kinds of beliefs are hardwired into your brain. These are things that are deeply rooted, they’re things that you absolutely believe to be true about yourself.
Because you’ve been thinking these thoughts over and over and over and over for years and decades. And you’ve probably never questioned them before, you’ve just always said, I can’t do it. I’m not good enough. I’m not capable. It never works for me.
But here’s the thing, I want you to start questioning all of these beliefs, your beliefs about the world, your beliefs about other people, and especially the things that you’re choosing to believe about yourself, because you get to choose what you believe about everything.
You choose your beliefs, they’re not thrust upon you. THis is probably something you’ve never thought about before. But I want you to know that this is absolutely available to you to choose what you believe. You’re doing it anyway, you’re choosing all these beliefs about yourself.
Anyway, everything you believe, is a choice. And you’ve probably never, like really thought about this before. And that’s fine. But listen, your beliefs, our decisions, everything you believe, is something that you are choosing to believe.
So with each belief that you have, there’s probably some moment in time where you made a decision to believe it, you know, could have been when you were a kid, maybe you got bullied, and you decided you would never speak up again, you want to stay small, and it’s safer that way. And so there’s no risk involved. And, you know, that’s just one example. Right?
So even today, you know, you’ve been believing this your whole life, it’s just better to stay small and don’t speak up. Because it’s safer. One of my coaches used to say, whenever I’d say something like, oh, here’s what I believe this is the truth. This person would say, when did you decide that?
And I always was like, I hate it when you say that. But it’s the truth. When did you decide that? When did you decide to start believing that you get to decide what you want for yourself?
And so I want you I want to encourage you to start making better decisions about everything about what you’re choosing to believe. So these limiting beliefs that we have, have been decisions that we’ve been making over and over and over again, okay.
And here’s, here’s another way of saying this, I love this little quote that I read in a book once and it was like, “You have to believe it to see it, not the other way around.”
So you have to believe in yourself, you have to believe you can accomplish your goal in order to accomplish your goal. But we think it’s the other way around. We think oh, as soon as I accomplish this goal, then I’ll know that I can do it, then you know, I need to see the evidence. I need to see the result in order to believe that I can do something like that.
And we got that backwards. Right? You don’t see it to believe that you believe it and then you’ll see it. You’ve got to believe in yourself, and then you can accomplish your goals. You have to change the belief first.
You can’t expect to accomplish some big goal like this, you want to lose a bunch of weight or run an ultra marathon or PR or you know, run Boston qualifying time, you’re not going to accomplish something like that.
If you have all these limiting beliefs, like it’s too hard, I can’t do this. This has never worked for me, those kinds of beliefs will not get you there, I promise you, they will not get you there. You have to believe in yourself first.
So I want you to think about this. What beliefs are holding you back? How are the things that you believe about yourself, limiting your potential? Or how are the things that you’re believing about others or the world, like, start looking at all of the things that you believe, and I want you to challenge all of them. Every single one.
You get to believe whatever you want, you can choose to believe that you’ll never lose weight, that this will never work for you that this is too hard that you can’t do it, you’re not good enough. But what good is that doing you? It’s terrible.
It’s a terrible thing to believe about yourself. It doesn’t do you any good at all. It’s keeping you stuck. It’s keeping you small. It’s keeping you from reaching your goals keeping you from achieving big things that you want for yourself.
So, since you get to choose your beliefs, why not choose the beliefs that help you, but choose beliefs that will get you to your goals, choose whatever you want for yourself, choose a belief like I will absolutely get to my goal weight, no matter how long it takes. Damn, that’s an empowering belief right there that will get you to your goal, that kind of belief in yourself will get you to that goal.
I am going to PR my next marathon, I’m going to put in the work and get there no matter what. When you believe that you’ll get there. I want you to practice this. And you know like everything else, it takes practice, right?
You can’t just like say at one time, like I’m going to run this marathon and then you’re going to do it. No, you’ve got to practice these things daily. So what is it that you want for yourself?
You want to get leaner, you want to get stronger? You want to run a faster marathon, you want to run 100 miles? What is it that you want for yourself? Do you want to change your relationship with food? Do you want to change your relationship with alcohol? Do you want to have an amazing relationship with a human being?
Do you want to experience deep meaningful love and passion and connection with somebody? Whatever it is you want for yourself? Choose to believe that you can do it. And question all the beliefs you have around this thing.
Ask yourself why you think you can’t do it? This is a good question. Why do I think I can’t do this? What’s holding you back? Why won’t this work for me? What’s stacked against me, these are these are going to start to identify your limiting beliefs, and then start choosing better thoughts. Your beliefs are just thoughts that you think over and over again.
So start choosing better ones. Start with the opposite of these, you know, you have a belief that you know, what’s holding me back, oh, this never works for me, what’s the opposite of that? This will absolutely work for me. You know, like, just start looking at reframing your negative beliefs into positive beliefs.
And practice this, you’ver got to practice this on a daily basis. This is not a one and done, this is ongoing work that we have to do. And these beliefs will come up that it’s you know, in surprising ways. And you’ll you’ll find yourself saying things to yourself like, oh, you know, I don’t know, this just never works for me. So why bother?
Like, oh, wait, wait a minute, what does that look at that question that confront those limiting beliefs and start changing them, okay. The only limits you have in your life are the ones you choose to believe.
I want you to choose to become limitless instead. Okay. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all keep on Running Lean. I will talk to you soon.
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