What's holding you back? Is it lack of money, lack of fame, lack of power? Do you need a wider network, or more time in the day? What is really in the way of your success?

Surprisingly, the one thing that is really stopping you may just really be...you.

Think about the things that limit you from accomplishing your goals. Now assess whether or not these limits are actually self-imposed, rather than real and true. Consider what other beliefs are holding you back, especially in the realm of career success.

According to James J. Messina, Ph.D., irrational beliefs are "counterproductive ways of thinking" that give comfort and security in the short run, but actually exacerbate the problem in the long run. An irrational belief can lead to a "self-defeating" way of acting, and, on the surface, such a belief appears appropriate for a given situation, but actually irrational beliefs will result in neutral or negative consequences.

If you're unsure what habitual ways of thinking are irrational, check out this list of subconscious irrational beliefs that are common today.

  • "If my life is not easy or enjoyable, I cannot enjoy living at all."
  • "I can still be fulfilled even if I avoid my responsibilities and dealing with life's difficulties."
  • "Everything and everyone should be better than they are, and if not, then they are awful."
  • "All the people who matter to me must love me and approve of me or it will be awful."
  • "I shouldn't be frustrated in getting what I want, and if I am, then it will be terrible."
  • "When faced with the possibility of something frightening or dangerous happening to me, I should obsess about it and do all I can to avoid it."
  • "I should condemn those who behave badly, including myself."
  • "There is nothing I can do about life if things are tough and I am under pressure."
  • "My past is the most important part of my life and it will keep on dictating how I feel and what I do."

Based on the work of psychologist Albert Elli--creator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy--these irrational beliefs should be replaced with positive truths that will spur you towards powerful, life-changing actions.

We all have the power within us to succeed and be happy. We just need to use it.

Published on: Jan 18, 2020
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.