Have you ever heard the story of Napoleon Hill’s deaf son?
Napoleon Hill, the author of the famed self-help book “Think and Grow Rich,” had a son who was born without ears. Believe it or not, he managed to teach his son to hear and speak like a normal person despite his disability.
Napoleon Hill has never allowed Blair Hill to have limiting beliefs about his condition.
Blair was discovered to lack “any physical sign of ears,” and the doctor said that the child “might be deaf, and mute for life.”
However, Napoleon Hill refused to raise his son differently than kids who were able to hear and speak. He didn’t even allow him to learn sign language. Instead, he sent him to public school with the intention to associate with “normal children” and live a “normal life.” Napoleon even convinced Blair that because of his special circumstances, his schoolmates, teachers, and all whom he met will display “special attention” and “extraordinary kindness” toward him. His father convinced Blair to see his disability as an advantage.
While growing up, Blair somehow managed to hear his father’s wise words, his teachers’ lessons, and music. However, the big moment happened a bit later in his life. In his last year of college, Blair tested an Acousticon hearing aid which was specifically designed for him by Dictograph Products Company. He had tried hearing aids before, but none of them worked. However, this one did – Blair was able to improve his hearing to 100%!
Do you think earless Blair would have been able to speak and hear like any other person if he was raised with limiting beliefs?
I don’t think so. I can really relate to Blair Hill’s story because I am differently abled myself. I had a completely normal life until I fell from a great height. The tragic accident left me paralyzed below the waist. Despite my disability, just like Blair Hill, I live a completely normal life.
In fact, I am living my best life. Wondering how?
I don’t have limiting beliefs. Despite my physical limitation, I am limitless.
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are those that hold us back in some way. You know that little voice that tells you that you can’t do/be/have something? Next time you hear it, ring the alarm!
Limiting beliefs are something that we believe it’s true about us, others or the world. These beliefs may hold you back from accepting great opportunities. Sadly enough, these beliefs can make you blind for the chances along your path or make you refuse gifts offered to you. Lastly, limiting beliefs might make you focus only on the negative circumstances.
Most of the time you are not even aware of your limiting beliefs. However, the ugly truth is that these deeply set beliefs strongly influence your life.
It’s not money, parents, jealous coworkers that’s holding you back… It’s all you and that little negative voice in your head.
It’s your limiting beliefs that don’t let you be the greatest version of yourself.
We hold some of these beliefs ever since childhood days. Interestingly enough, even parents are the ones who plant limiting beliefs in their children’s heads. Limiting beliefs can also come from the environment, society, friends, everything around you. They are buried deep down in our consciousness. It’s time to take them out of your head.
Here are some common examples:
- I’m not beautiful/smart/funny.
- Money is hard to make.
- Only the lucky people succeed.
- This job is more of a guy thing (or a girl thing).
- All men/women are unfaithful.
Do you believe in some of these?
Limitations vs Limiting Beliefs
While limiting beliefs are only in your mind, limitations might actually exist in your life. Take a look at this example to understand the difference:
- Limitation: You don’t have enough resources to go to college.
- Limiting Belief: You think you are not capable of graduating from college.
Often times limitations lead to developing limiting beliefs. Believe it or not, limiting beliefs are way more dangerous for your success than actual limitations.
When one has a will, he/she can overcome any limitation. In contrary, when one has limiting beliefs, he/she might not even dare to try. As I said in my example, if someone thinks that is not capable of graduating from college, no money would help. However, if one thinks that is capable of getting a degree, he/she could seek opportunities to make this possible despite the lack of money.
In my case, my limitation is the inability to walk. Despite my disability, I live a limitless life. The biggest disability, after all, is having limiting beliefs.
We all face limitations somewhere along the road. However, arguing about your limitations won’t help you succeed. If you want to do something, don’t discuss why you can’t do it. What’s the use? Instead, seek ways to make it happen. Figure out HOW.
Don’t discuss limitations – think of possibilities
How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs?
The first step to overcoming your limiting beliefs is to recognize them. These beliefs may date back to your childhood days, so it’s not that easy to discover them in the first place. Luckily, there are a few clues that can help become aware of your limiting beliefs.
- Are you negative?
- Do you often complain and blame?
- Are you anxious/depressed or have other emotional issues?
- How do you talk to yourself? To other people? About the world?
Answer these and ask yourself similar questions. I want you to really pay attention to the tone of your speech. Are you struggling in any specific area of your life? That’s probably where your limiting beliefs are. Start asking yourself more questions, dig deeper and get to the roots of those limiting beliefs. Being aware of your limiting beliefs is a huge step forward! Go through each of your limiting beliefs and ask yourself why you have it. You’ll be surprised how many of your limiting beliefs are someone else’s thoughts that you adopted.
A belief is nothing but a thought you’ve been thinking for too long. You can change your beliefs by changing your thoughts. You have control over what you think.
It’s important to replace your limiting beliefs once you discover them. For example, you can choose a positive affirmation for every limiting belief that you have.
Another way to release your limiting beliefs is to immediately replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. To be more specific, when something negative comes to your mind, imagine what can go right, what you CAN DO. Imagine your desired outcome. Why allow negativity to dominate your mind? Reach for that good feeling with creative visualization. Your mind will reprogram with consistent repetition of this mental exercise. Positive thoughts will start to beat your limiting beliefs!
Live A Limitless Life
Limitations can’t stop you from living a limitless life. Your mind can.
I urge you to acknowledge those limiting beliefs you hold and then beat them down! Despite my physical limitation, I live a limitless life.
It’s your turn now.
Your limiting beliefs are keeping you small. Dream BIG. THINK BIGGER. Erase your limits.