Welcome to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast! In today’s episode, our host Scott McCarthy delves into the crucial topic of self-limiting beliefs and their profound impact on leadership. Drawing from his 20 years of military experience as a senior Canadian army officer, Scott shares personal anecdotes and insights to shed light on the destructive nature of these beliefs. He emphasizes how limiting beliefs not only hinder individual growth but also have the potential to hold back entire teams and organizations.

Through engaging examples and practical strategies, Scott demonstrates how to overcome these beliefs and foster confidence. He highlights the power of reflection and the importance of developing processes to combat limiting beliefs effectively. By empowering listeners with actionable advice, Scott aims to equip leaders with the tools needed to achieve peak performance in themselves, their teams, and their organizations. So, join us as we explore the transformative journey from limiting beliefs to unwavering confidence in leadership.

Timestamped Overview

– [00:00:00] Introduction to the detrimental effects of self-limiting beliefs in leadership

– [00:01:29] Defining self-limiting beliefs and their impact on personal and team performance

– [00:03:22] Scott’s personal experience with self-limiting beliefs despite his prior achievements

– [00:06:07] The role of reflection in overcoming limiting beliefs and developing a growth mindset

– [00:10:10] Addressing a client’s limiting belief and practical strategies to overcome challenges

– [00:16:20] Building confidence through recognizing wins and embracing the journey

– [00:19:24] Implementing strategies to overcome limiting beliefs within a team and fostering a culture of growth and success

– [00:21:59] Encouraging listeners to share the episode with others to help them elevate their performance

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:
If we strive for our limitations, we’ll always succeed. I had a supervisor tell me that often. Once upon a time, I gotta say, he was a great boss. Right now, scratch that. Boss is a dirty word around here. He was a great mentor and supervisor, and that’s what we’re gonna go after today. What he was talking about is our limiting beliefs in the fact that we ourselves believe we’re not capable of achieving something or achieving less than what we’re truly are capable of. Now let’s get that out of the way.

Scott McCarthy [00:00:40]:
Let’s tackle that crap and throw it to the side. Alright. Are you ready for this? Let’s do it. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast, A weekly podcast series dedicated to helping you hit peak performance across the 3 domains of leadership. Those being leading yourself, leading your team, And leading your organization. This podcast couples my 20 years of military experience as a senior Canadian army officer Sir, with world class guests bringing you the most complete podcast of leadership going. And for more, feel free to Check out our website at movingforwardleadership.com.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:29]:
And with that, let’s get to the show. Yes. Welcome, 1, and welcome all. It is your chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy, and it’s so good to have you in today. And we’re going to just Kill and crush this topic today. And that topic is self limiting beliefs, shall we? And you’re probably wondering, okay, Scott. What has this got to do with leadership? And the thing is everything. You see, Limiting beliefs will hold you back.

Scott McCarthy [00:02:13]:
It’ll hold your team back because your team will have those as well. And if you’re you and your team hold yourselves back because of these limiting beliefs that you can’t achieve something, then what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna develop a culture of that within your organization, and your entire organization will actually get Held back. So the more of the stories here, limiting beliefs are evil. They wreck people. They hold them back, and it stops people from truly achieving what it is they set out to achieve whether it’s a daily, monthly, weekly, yearly basis. It doesn’t matter. But most stories, limiting beliefs are just Atrociously horrible thing that we need to just get rid of In the role of leadership, we need to get rid of in the world altogether reality. So First off, what I’ll tell you is, yes, in the past, I definitely had limiting beliefs.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:22]:
I didn’t think there was imposter syndrome. I didn’t think I was as capable as what I actually was, and therefore, I would go and place these limiting beliefs on top upon myself. I would think that I wouldn’t be able to lead such a large team that wasn’t capable of handling extremely high stress situations. And here’s even funnier part was that I’d already gone through leading large teams. I’d already gone through extremely intense, high stress situations. I’ve already done all that. When I was young, I was, like, 24, 25 years old. I was leading a team of 84 soldiers as a platoon commander.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:10]:
That is a lot. That’s bigger than many, perhaps, your company. You, the listener, right there. Your company, your business, your organization might not even be 84 people. And here at this young age, I was running A team that size. High, intense, stressful situations. I spent 7 months Embedded with the Afghan National Army in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where every day was a stressful event, where I didn’t know who the good guys were, and I didn’t know who the bad guys were because they were all the same. And yet, here I was embedded living with the Afghan National Army and, yes, we found out later that some of these people we were with the training were actually the enemy, and I spent 7 months embedded with them, training with them, treating them like we were Brothers.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:13]:
So the whole story is here. Yes. I have had my own limiting beliefs despite the fact of all the things that I had achieved at that time. So I guess the most important thing for you to understand right now is What are limiting beliefs? And it’s pretty self explanatory, really. It’s that thought that you are Unworthy or incapable of achieving something. K. So for example, when the 1st sub 4 minute mile was ran, suddenly, there were many more people running the sub 4 minute mile. Now why is that? Because people began to believe that it was possible.

Scott McCarthy [00:06:07]:
Prior to it actually happening, everyone believed it was impossible. It couldn’t be done. So it held them back. It held them back from being able to run that. Now I didn’t think of this story before I hit record, and I don’t want to go and take time right now to Stop and get the names and the actual numbers because reality is it’s not important. But the moral of the story is this, is that once it was achieved, Then others began to believe that it was achievable themselves as well. My argument is is that these people who did it after the 1st person did it could have done it themselves earlier. There’s no reason why they couldn’t have done it.

Scott McCarthy [00:06:56]:
It was just the limiting belief that it was Un impossible. Unachievable. So it is those beliefs that hold us back. K. So I talked a bit about my own limiting beliefs and how they weren’t actually Really relevant. Let’s talk about how you can potentially get over them, shall we? And that is reflection. Reflection is a huge, huge Destroyer of limiting beliefs. You see, if you reflect properly, you can go ahead and destroy these limiting beliefs that you have.

Scott McCarthy [00:07:49]:
So how do you go about reflecting upon it? Journaling is a fantastic way to do so. So think about a limiting belief you have Write down what it is and why you believe that is true. And now the next thing you want to do is Start recognizing or looking for The evidence that support that belief. So let’s say you are a super runner, and I’m using this example. And you say, I can’t run a 5 k. Despite the fact, every day you go out and you run 4 k. You would love it. You go, but you say, oh, 5 4 is my limit.

Scott McCarthy [00:08:40]:
Then you start looking at the different evidence. And you ask yourself, well, how exhausted am I after 4 k? Well, I’m a little tired, but am I keeling over, coughing, Gasping, collapsing to the ground. No. How fast am I running? Running about 5:5 minute 32nd kilometer. Well, could I slow my pace down? Maybe I slowed down to a 6 to preserve energy. How would that do? So you start looking at the different evidence. You start going, wait now. And you deliberately attack the limiting belief with evidence that counters that belief.

Scott McCarthy [00:09:29]:
So this comes out from a coaching call which I had today with someone. And they like My team at the leader growth mastermind, well, this specific person is getting ready to take on the 75 heart challenge as well. They’re doing it on with a different group, but we were still having a coaching call. And his limiting belief was he couldn’t drink the gallon of water. Now let me hit pause for a second and back up. If you’re unaware of the 75 hard challenge, it is a mental toughness challenge. People think it’s a physical fitness challenge. It’s not.

Scott McCarthy [00:10:10]:
It’s a mental toughness, mental endurance challenge where for 75 days straight, you have to take on 6 different tasks. The 6 different tasks are well, I just mentioned the first one, the gallon of water. K? Drink a gallon of water. Another one is take a progress picture every day. Another one is drinking no alcohol. The 4th is picking a meal plan and sticking to it. The 5th is reading 10 pages a day of a self help book, no novels or anything, but something which it’s going to help you develop. And then the final challenge or task, I should say, is 2 45 minute workouts.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:03]:
And, yes, they have to be separated. If you go for the true 75 to hard challenge, One also has to be outside. So those are the 6 tasks which you need to complete daily for 75 days. So As I was saying, this client of mine was having a limiting belief of how he was able to take this challenge on. He wanted to change the challenge. He didn’t believe that he could drink. Not that he couldn’t drink the gallon of water, but rather, he didn’t like what the consequences of drinking a gallon of water per day was. You see, this person hedge took on and successfully completed the challenge a few years ago and knew that drinking a yam water equates to getting up and using the washroom multiple times a day or sorry.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:56]:
Multiple times throughout the night, And he didn’t wanna go through that again. He was like, it it exhausted him. He was like, it it ruined my sleep. It made me a zombie because I was getting up 5, 6, sometimes 7 times a night Going to pee because he was drinking this gallon of water. So I said, okay. The what is this? He’s like, what do you mean? I’m like, this is a limiting belief. You can drink the gallon of water without having the negative effects of having to pee So often, throw tonight. It’s all about the systems and processes you put in place to support you.

Scott McCarthy [00:12:46]:
So right now, I am, at the time of this recording, on day 3 of my 75 hard challenge, And I am drinking a gallon of water per day. The systems and processes I have in place To make sure that I don’t have a similar problem, because I felt it too when I did it 3 years ago with him, was that I aim, and I have processes in place to drink the water as quick as possible, early as possible in my day. I wanna get it out as quick as possible. Now Am I sitting there first thing in the morning chugging a gallon of water? God, no. But I will tell you, I get up at 5 AM the workout. By 7 AM, I already have 2 liters, so I’m doing so half a gallon drank. K? So within 2 hours of a 24 hour day, I have half of the water requirement drank Because of the systems and processes I have in place. You see, by my coffee maker, I have a large jug of water, which I keep at room temperature, that is there in my face when I wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Scott McCarthy [00:14:05]:
And the 1st thing I do is drink a liter right out of the gate. I have it there. It’s waiting for me, and There we go. I down a liter of water before I do anything else. And that is the system aspect of it. Right? Having the water there in my face, that’s a systematic thing. I do it every night before I go to bed. The process aspect of it is that if this, then that type of process.

Scott McCarthy [00:14:40]:
So if this happens, then that will happen. In this case, I will add, I’m also a avid coffee drinker. I love coffee. Absolutely love the taste of it. Love the warmth of it. Love everything about it. And at 5 o’clock in the morning, yes, I want a cup of coffee. However, I do not allow myself to have a cup of coffee until I’ve drank 1 liter of water.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:06]:
There is the process aspect of this, and I explained this to him. And immediately, his limiting belief disappeared. It went away. He’s like, wow. You do it. I can do it. So today, for example, my gallon of water was drank by 3:30 PM. All gone.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:29]:
Check mark. Done. And he understood, and he stopped wanting to change the challenge, but rather took the challenge on head on to where it’s meant to be done Because he now believes that he can drink the gallon of water without having the negative effects, Which he doesn’t want to have. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how we come over limiting beliefs. We Develop strategies, and we put in processes to overcome these limiting beliefs. K. Another thing which often comes up in limiting beliefs is confidence. A lot of people believe that, oh, I can’t do it.

Scott McCarthy [00:16:20]:
I just don’t have the confidence. Confidence is developed simply by recognizing your wins, the great things you achieve. The more things you achieve, the more confident you become. Simple as that. Now the problem is in this day and age, we’ve learned or we’ve come to believing that the wins that we have aren’t good enough because we’re always looking at the next thing. We’re always looking at the other person. So, again, back to journaling. Go and reflect upon the great things you have achieved.

Scott McCarthy [00:16:56]:
Look at your goals. Look at the tasks that you set out to do. These are all wins. Don’t worry about what Jill or John are doing. Worry about what you’re doing, what you’re achieving. Embrace the journey. Think about hiking up a 10,000 foot mountain. And the one thing I want you to first think about is if how you go about if you didn’t look back, If you just went straight ahead, how exhausted would you be at, let’s say, 7,500 feet up to 10,000 foot mountain? You’d probably be pretty tired.

Scott McCarthy [00:17:41]:
You probably think that you wouldn’t be able to make it because You actually wouldn’t know unless there was a sign. You’re at 7,500 feet. And then you might quit because I can’t do it. I’m not going to make it. And you start walking down the hill. But then another version you Pass by that version you at 7,000 feet. And then at 7,500 feet, this version of you does what it’s done at every 2,500 foot increment that it stopped. It took 5 minutes.

Scott McCarthy [00:18:20]:
I turned around, and I admired the view. And it looked for the parking lot at the base of the mountain each time. You see, what we’re doing here is is that we’re taking a moment to look at our progress, not for how far we have to go, but rather how far we’ve come. And that Builds confidence because you get that endorphins. You get that dopamine hit. You go, wow. I’ve come so far. You get that motivation, a short burst of motivation to carry on.

Scott McCarthy [00:18:59]:
You know? Wow. I’ve already done 7,500. Within our 25100, we got this. We can do it. That crushes limiting beliefs. So use these strategies with you. Use these strategies with your team. What if your team you’re sitting in a meeting, How do I apply this with the team? Well, I’m about to tell you.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:24]:
You’re sitting in a meeting and your team believes they can’t achieve something, you’re stop, stop, stop. Let’s brainstorm How we might achieve this. How have we done similar things in the past? Nothing’s new. Nothing. Sure. You might say, oh, well, the iPhone came out. It was new. It was revolutionary.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:46]:
No. It wasn’t. There’s already devices out similar to the iPhone. Android was already on the market. Blackberry already had market complete market domination. It wasn’t new. It was different. Sure.

Scott McCarthy [00:20:00]:
You see, how might we achieve this is a hell of better than how come we won’t or sure. What can we do instead? No. How might we achieve this? What can we do? What can we put in place? What systems do we need? What processes do we need? Do we need training? Do we need more brainstorming opportunities? Do we need new team members? Do we need do we need this? Do we need that? You get the point. Put the systems and put the processes in place, and you’ll watch your limiting beliefs get Destroyed. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is today’s episode. So if you find yourself Reaching for your limitations as my good old former supervisor Steve used to stay, To stop reaching. Stop reaching for your limitations. Reach for the pen instead and go.

Scott McCarthy [00:21:01]:
What systems What processes might I put in place, and what evidence do I have that this limiting belief is actually And truly true. That, ladies and gentlemen, is it for this week. Thank you as always. Take care. Remember as always, And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting The peak performance leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly support the podcast and know that’s not leaving a rating and review? It’s simply helping a friend, And that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them if you think this would resonate with them and Help them elevate their performance level whether that’s within themselves, their teams, or their organization.

Scott McCarthy [00:21:59]:
So do that. Help me, help a friend, win win all around, and, hey. You look like a great friend at the same time. So Just hit that little share button on your app, and then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it. Finally, there’s always more. There’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization. So why don’t you subscribe? Subscribe to the show via moving forward leadership .comforward/subscribe. Until next time, lead.

Scott McCarthy [00:22:41]:
Don’t boss, and thanks for coming out. Take care now.