Stunning Motivation

Getting the Motivation You Need for Success

Mental Conditioning: How Most People Get Trapped By Limiting Beliefs


Do you know that your life is greatly influenced by what you believe? What you believe will shape your life. If you believe that you are destined for big success, you are right. If you believe that you are a good for nothing person and won’t amount to much, you are right, too.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford

You don’t have to take in everything people tell you as truth. If your teacher or your parents told you that your math is lousy, should you believe in them?

Well, most people will take it and believe so. However, if you think about it, why would your parents or your teacher say so in the first place?

Is it maybe you fail your math test? Or maybe you just can’t do well in math at school? Does that mean that you are not good at math?

When you believe in something, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you make it real.

When you believe that the economy is bad, you will never want to put in more money into advertising. And as a result, your sales suffer and this makes your beliefs stronger, believing that the economy is bad.

So how did our beliefs shape us in life? Through mental conditioning.

The Barracuda Story

Scientists used to do this experiment to the Barracuda fish. They put a Barracuda fish into a big fish tank. This Barracuda swam freely in the tank.

After awhile, the scientist put a glass panel in the middle of the tank to split the fish tank into half. The Barracuda was at one side. At the other side, the scientists put in some small fishes.

At first, the Barracuda saw the small fishes, and it swam over, trying to eat the small fish. However, the Barracuda was blocked by the glass panel.

No matter how many times the Barracuda tried, it failed to reach the small fish. Eventually, the Barracuda stopped chasing after the small fish.

After some time, the scientists took away the glass panel. This time, the small fish and the Barracuda were able to swim freely passing by each other. There was nothing there to block the fierce Barracuda.

Surprisingly, the Barracuda did not try to chase after the small fish to eat them. It had bought into the idea that no matter how many times it tried, it can never reach the small fish when the glass panel was there blocking its way.

Are you acting like the Barracuda?

The Elephant Story


Have you ever wondered how the circus people trained the elephants? Elephants are the biggest animals on land. They can push down trees with their trunks, and they are powerful.

Well, the story is almost the same as the Barracuda ones. When the elephants are small and in baby size, people chained their legs.

And because the baby elephant is small and has yet to develop its strength, it can’t escape from the chain on its leg. No matter how many times the baby elephant tries, it has not enough strength to break the chain and free itself.

This will go on for days. After that, the baby elephant will slowly buy into the idea that as long as the chain is leased on its leg, it can never break free.

Even after the baby elephant has grown into a big, gigantic animal, it still has that limiting belief with it. Hence, as long as the chain is on, it will never try to break it and escape. It believes that the chain is there to stop it.

Are you acting like the elephants?

What Can You Learn From Les Brown?

Well, you probably can’t relate to animals, but we are acting exactly like animals. Like the Barracuda and the elephants.

Now, let me share with you the story of Les Brown, the motivational speaker.

When he was young, Les was an active boy, but he has short-attention span. Thus, he cannot focus much when it comes to doing his homework and study.

As a result, he did not score well in school. His teachers labeled him as EMR, education mentally retarded.

And guess what, like the Barracuda and elephants, young Les Brown buys into the idea that he cannot do well in school.

Luckily, one day he met a teacher, and also his mentor, Mr. Washington that one day changed his life. He told Mr. Washington that he was education mentally retarded and he can’t do what Mr. Washington has asked of him.

Mr. Washington then looked at young Les Brown and told him, “Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.”

These words changed Les Brown’s life forever. He started to dream big and wanted to build a successful life.

After Les got out of school, when he was looking for jobs, people around him told him to work in the post office or the sanitary department. Why? Because he did poorly in school and most people, think that he can’t amount to much.

So these people suggested Les Brown take a job that has something to do with his hands. Some even asked him to join the army.

Fortunately, with a lot of dedication, commitment, perseverance and hard work to his dream, he ended work as a DJ. And eventually, Les Brown used his talent and passion in speaking to transform himself into a motivational speaker.

Les Brown is considered one of the most prolific motivational speakers today and has inspired thousands of people around the world.

Imagine what would happen if young Les Brown believes in what others told him about working in the post office or sanitary department.

Sometimes, what others tell us can impact us. The same when we tell others our opinions.


Are You Trapped By Your Own Limiting Mental Conditioning?

You can choose to believe whatever you want. You can choose to believe that you are smart, clever, handsome, cool, talented, a good writer, hard working, someone who never give up on his dream, destined for big success, etc.

On the other hand, you can choose to believe that you are not good with writing, you can’t speak English because it is not your first language, your math is not good, running a business can be hard, the economy is soft now, things are difficult, etc.

Whatever you choose to believe, it will become real to you.

Why do you think Steve Jobs spent millions into developing products from Apple? This is because he believed that his products work and people wanted them.

If he did not believe in his products, probably he won’t be spending millions of dollars on building and growing Apple.

The same goes when it comes to investing in the stock market or real estate. Most people buy real estate because they believe that the market is doing well or that they have found a piece of good investment.

If they don’t believe that the property they found is a value buy, do you think they will buy? Of course, they won’t.

Please understand that your beliefs are only real to you.

A company once sent two staff to India to do a market research on selling shoes. One staff comes back reporting to the company that there is no market because most people in India don’t wear shoes.

After a few days, the other staff returns with good news, reporting that there is a huge untapped market because most people in India are not wearing shoes.

Can you see it now? Same incident, but with different beliefs and thinking.

When you think that it is hard to start a business or too competitive to sell your products, think again, there will be someone out there who thinks otherwise.

If you want to be successful, you must adopt beliefs that will empower you to reach your goals and live your dreams.

Picking up limiting beliefs will only slow you and stop you from achieving what you want in life.

Question Everything

If you want to break free from limiting beliefs that stop you in life, you have to shake those beliefs by questioning them.

Challenge what you think is stopping you from moving forward to reaching your goals and dreams.

Here are some great questions to start:

  • What is limiting me from moving forward and realizing my dreams? What is stopping me from going farther and growing to the next level? Am I too afraid? Did I fear to fail? Am I not good enough? Is money an issue that is stopping me?
  • Why do I have this limiting belief? What is causing me to think this way? Did someone tell me that? Did something happen before? What is the reason I’m afraid to proceed? Why did I think I’m not good enough?
  • How do these limiting beliefs have stopped me so far? What decisions and actions I let go because of these limiting beliefs?
  • What would happen if I continue to believe in these limiting beliefs? What would it cost my life; financially, spiritually, in relationship, in my career and my personal life?
  • What if these beliefs are not true and I can change them? What if I can become the person I want to be, achieve all my goals and make all my dreams come true? What can I be more successful than I ever thought possible?

These are just some questions you can ask to shake your limiting beliefs.

Try to question everything.


People are limited by their beliefs. You become who you are because of what you believe in. Therefore, choose to believe in something that will empower you and move you forward.

Choose to believe in something that will support and enrich your life.

What limiting beliefs do you hold? What do you think about this article? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

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About Shawn Lim

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Active Goal Setting? Don't forget to do so. :)

3 Replies

  1. Pj

    So true – thank you

    1. shawnlim

      Yea, too often, we forgot about these mental conditioning that limit us in life. 🙂

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