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Ted Talk 97: Help! My Limiting Beliefs Are Holding Me Back From Reaching My Full Potential

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Ted Talk 97: Help! My Limiting Beliefs Are Holding Me Back From Reaching My Full Potential

The way we see the world is determined by how we perceive what happens around us. Our own beliefs will always influence our reality. They are like road signs that point us in specific directions.

And when our beliefs are positive and open to new perspectives, it’s a good thing. They can be great guides towards happiness and success.

But what happens when our beliefs are primarily negative and limiting? Well, these kinds of thoughts can seriously sabotage our potential and hold us back from becoming the best version of ourselves.

Limiting beliefs can stop us in many ways. That is because our reality is influenced by our mindset which is formed by the sum of our beliefs, both negative and positive.

But most of the time, we are not even aware that we have a limiting mindset.

So, how do we figure this out? What are these self-limiting beliefs? How do we spot them, and – most importantly – how do we overcome them?

If you want to find the answer to these questions and much more, tune in for this new Real Talk Friday episode! In this episode, Ted Ryce explains how our limiting beliefs hold us back and what to do about that.

He will discuss how our mindset can stop us from succeeding in different areas of life. He will also reveal how we can spot our self-limiting beliefs with some practical strategies that will help us overcome them.

So, if you want to get rid of those toxic thoughts holding you back from becoming the person you are meant to be, listen to this new episode! Listen now!


You’ll learn:

  •  What are self-limiting beliefs?
  • This limiting mindset is preventing you from succeeding
  • How to spot your limiting beliefs
  • The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Triangle and our beliefs
  • Limiting Beliefs: Where do they come from?
  • How do family, culture, and people around us influence our beliefs?
  • Effective strategies to overcome your limiting beliefs
  • Ted’s personal story and how he got rid of his limiting beliefs
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

Ask Ted 54: How to Destroy Self-Sabotage and Limiting Beliefs

RTF 96: How To Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

RTF 90: Help, I Need A Break! How To Manage Stress & Finally Get Your Life Back


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Podcast Transcription: Help! My Limiting Beliefs Are Holding Me Back From Reaching My Full Potential

Ted Ryce: Am I too old to get in shape? I don’t know if I can get lean without giving up my favorite foods. I think I have a slow metabolism. Or maybe it’s my hormones that are stopping me from losing weight. I think I’m just too busy to exercise. I mean, my family was overweight so it’s probably in my genes and I’m going to be overweight too.

Have any of these things that I just said, do they resonate with you? Have you ever said them before? Because these are examples of limiting beliefs. Have you ever heard that term before? You may have not have, so let’s talk about it. What are limiting beliefs? They’re beliefs that we have that are not only wrong, but place an imaginary barrier on our success on what we can achieve in our life.

Now, how does this happen, right? Because you may be thinking to yourself, is this like some pop psychology nonsense that someone got from like, I don’t know, Men’s Health magazine, or Cosmo or whatever? It isn’t. This is true stuff. This is this actually happens.

And in fact, limiting beliefs might be kind of a pop psychology term. But this idea is in something called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is one of the few psychological paradigms that has a lot of research backing its effectiveness. So this isn’t some pop psychology.

So let’s talk about it then, how does having this belief that we believe is real, actually stop us from succeeding? How does that happen? Well, it comes down to this: in cognitive behavioral therapy, what they talk about is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Triangle or the CBT. Let’s just call it CBT to keep things easy, right? The CBT Triangle.

And what it is, is this: we have thoughts, we have feelings, we have behaviors. Now, our behaviors can influence our feelings, our behaviors can influence our thoughts, our feelings can influence our behaviors, our feelings can also influence our thoughts, and our thoughts can influence our feelings and behaviors.

So there’s this interdependence and interdirectionality between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. And if you think, for example, that, “Oh, I’m too old to get in shape,” or, “I’ve got a slow metabolism”, then you start trying to diet and you don’t see success. And what do you say? You say, “Wow, maybe my program isn’t good.” Or, “I’m doing something wrong”? No, you say, “No, I knew it was my metabolism.”

And what’s interesting about this is, do we actually test our metabolism? Do we talk to our doctors – not even talk, because I don’t care if you talk to your doctor? Do you ask your doctor, “Hey, test my metabolism?” So we don’t even know, right? Some of us, we do get our hormones tested. But a lot of us, we don’t even know, we’ll say it’s hormonal, but will we get a hormone test? No.

We’ll say that it’s our genes, but do we really know what the hell we’re talking about? It’s so arrogant. And I don’t mean this—I’m not saying that you’re arrogant. I’m saying us, as human beings, are arrogant with this type of behavior. And I do this as well. In fact, I’ve got my own story, right? And I’ll tell it to you in a second.

But I think something that may come up for you is why do we have these fucking limiting beliefs? Like, how did it get into my head? And it’s a great question. And it probably comes from several things. For example, childhood. Did you grow up in a family that was overweight, and maybe you saw your parents trying to lose weight or trying to get in shape, but they just couldn’t do it.

And so that is the model, that’s the example that you have set for yourself at a very young age with getting in shape, with losing weight. And also we have a culture. So if, you know, in American, it depends on what culture you’re in. I’m going to talk about American culture, because I’m American. I’m maybe living in Brazil right now, but I’m American, you know?

We have a culture where we kind of have this victim thing going on. And now it’s very obvious, but we’ve had a lot going on for a long time. In fact, I remember I was watching Nicholas Christakis, who did some work on social influence, in other words, the influence of other people in our life. And he found that there was a lot of correlation between if you’re overweight, and if you have a friend who is obese, well, your chances of being obese too go up a lot.

And when his work was covered—he talks about this in his TED Talk—when his work was covered in America, the papers, or the online publications, right? Nobody reads papers anymore, I don’t think. But the online publication said, are your friends making you fat? Versus in Europe, it was taking more responsibility, am I making my friends fat, right? It was kind of interesting.

So that’s an example of a cultural difference. Maybe you just kind of a tongue in cheek one a little bit because, you know, he mentioned that in his TED Talk, but did we look at an examine all the headlines? No, but it’s just an example of cultural differences? Also, if you have friends who are like, “Oh, yeah, oh, you can’t lose weight? Oh, yeah. That’s your metabolism, you’ve got a slow metabolism, I’ve got the same thing,” right?

Also failures we’ve had; why do we believe certain things? Well, maybe it’s not our childhood, culture, or even friends. Maybe it’s failures that we’ve had, and more. 

So how do we get rid of them? And I think the answer here is that we have to step up. Well, first, awareness, we’ve got to realize we’re kind of bullshitting ourselves in the sense that we’re coming up, you know, are you a metabolism expert?

No, but it’s my metabolism. Are you a genetic expert? No, but it’s your genes that are holding you back. Are you an expert in hormones? No, I don’t even know what a hormone is. I just know testosterone and estrogen and thyroid hormone. But I don’t really know, I couldn’t even tell you the medical definition of a hormone.

So when we find ourselves coming to these excuses, or these reasons where we don’t really have the expertise to know it’s the truth, we’ve got to be willing to challenge them.

So the first step is awareness. And the second step is, you’ve got to step up and challenge yourself, and that’s how I’ve done it. Because I was, like I said, you know, I’m not here to attack you, right? I’m not here to make you feel bad. I’m sharing the stuff that I’ve gone through. And it’s probably very similar to what you’ve been through.

So I’ve shared this story before, so forgive me if you’ve heard it, but I hit a wall when I was in my 30s. And I was ripped in my 20s, right up until my early 30s, but then, something changed. I stopped going to jujitsu. Jujitsu burns a shit ton of calories. I stopped doing it. My body was just wrecked from all the hard training; I needed to take a break from it.

And on top of that, I was really stressed out because I needed to focus. I was in school that time and I needed to focus on school. And then eventually, course, you know, I ended up dropping out for the second time after another family tragedy. But then, when I was back in business, I needed to shift and put my effort towards business, right?

And in that time, I thought, “Okay, well, I’ll just back off. I know what I’m doing nutrition wise, I follow a low carb diet. But I’m just going to back off on my workouts, because I really know what I’m doing. I’m going to do these high-intensity interval workouts, they’re going to be like 20 minutes long, or 10 minutes long or 15 minutes long, but they’re going to be really intense. And so I’m going to burn a lot of calories.

I thought I—I didn’t think, I knew that I had the plan, but I got fat. And there are some other things that happened here that I don’t need to go into, but the main point is I got fat. And when it happened, I didn’t say, “Hmm, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing with nutrition. Maybe I’m not burning as much energy with my workouts as I thought, no.”

What did I go to? I started thinking, you know, maybe I partied a lot in my 20s. Maybe I just partied too much, maybe all that partying and staying up late... I mean, I stayed up all night. And I did it quite often. And I was taking ecstasy up in the club, I had alcohol, I was smoking weed, I was not a healthy guy.

Maybe I ruined my metabolism from those years of doing it. Maybe it’s finally catching up to me. And I also thought, you know, maybe I have a hormone problem here. And I even got my hormones tested, and it showed up that my testosterone was okay, it wasn’t great, but it was in the normal range, but my estrogen was a little high.

So I thought yeah, you know, estrogen, it must be that there’s something wrong with the food I’m eating, or the chemicals I’m being exposed to, that’s why my estrogen is high. But the truth was this: my estrogen was high because I put on body fat. And it’s well documented that if you’re a man and you put on body fat, your estrogen levels go up and your testosterone levels may go down.

Now, in my case, my testosterone levels didn’t go down, but my estrogen was up. And why does this happen? Well, estrogen in men is made in our fat cells. Actually, the more fat we have, we turn testosterone into estrogen. There’s a process called aromatization via an enzyme called aromatase. And I didn’t know this at the time. But I eventually figured it out.

 And I figured out what was driving that estrogen was, I was eating too many damn calories and not moving enough. That great, it’s super intense, 15 minute workout, it was so intense, because I was so fucking out of shape that I was out of breath in 15 minutes, I couldn’t even last a whole hour, right.

And so it’s these things that we get in our head, these beliefs—and we just bullshit ourselves so much. And what I want to tell you is it took me a while to get to that point where I was willing to challenge myself, right, where I was willing to say, “Hey, listen, maybe I don’t know everything.”

And I do want to give myself –I do want to defend my former thought processes, because I was having my limiting beliefs reinforced by people and the information I was listening to. For example, I got really into hormone optimization, it was really hot. I think it still is hot, but it was really hot.

Nowadays, there’s more people who are talking about calorie deficits and all this other stuff, this more evidence-based, science-based approach, not this sciency kind of sciency approach of talking about hormones, right. And so I got into one particular guy, I’m not going to mention his name, because I actually liked the guy, but he’s just focuses on hormones too much. And it’s just total BS, you know?

I mean, it’s not total BS, because there’s some importance to hormones. But for the most part, it’s not even the right hormones. It’s more about ghrelin, which is your hunger hormone. It’s more about leptin, which is the hormone that’s created by your body fat that influences your metabolic rate, and also your hunger levels as well.

So I was having—and I want you to pay attention to this, because I want to ask you, are you having some of these beliefs reinforced by some of the information that you listen to? I mean, I’ve had people tell me, oh, maybe I have a pentatonic acid deficiency and that’s why I’m obese.

Shout out to you, Eric. I don’t know if you’re still listening. But we’ve had a few jokes exchanged over that. And it’s okay to think those things. But we’ve got to challenge ourself. And I’ll tell you, folks, we know how this works. We know how this happens. We know all the details, we can create fat loss consistently. And it doesn’t matter what your age is, it doesn’t matter what your hormone levels are, even if you have hypothyroidism, which directly affects your metabolic rate, we know this stuff. So I want you to ask yourself, are you having some of these wacko beliefs reinforced by other people?

And they’re not giving you solid information to back it up, like, oh, here’s this study, and that study, and this study, and these are all randomized control trials on human beings, not animal studies, or something that happened in a petri dish with muscle cells and fat cells, this happened with actual human beings.

Luckily for me, I got fed up. I’m still fed up, man, I see some of this stuff that people say, and I’m just like, “Man!” It’s great for my business, but I just feel bad for people. So I got fed up and I decided to challenge things. I decided to challenge my beliefs about my metabolism, about the hormones. 

I was like, “Man, you know, there’s got to be a way to do this. I mean, I’m smart, not as smart as I thought I was, but I’m smart, there’s got to be something that I’m missing here, right? I’ve got to try a little harder here. I’ve got to check my own bullshit here.”

And so that’s what I did. And now I’m able...I’m 44 years old. That was when I was in my 30s, around 35, 36, 37, 38 even, I think. I stayed borderline obese for a while there, I had 25% body fat. I was right on the cusp of being obese with my body fat and also my BMI. I weighed 210 pounds at six feet tall at my heaviest and way less of it was muscle than I wanted to believe.

And now I’m lean. I see my abs all the time, and I eat cheesecake, I eat pao de queijo, which is Brazilian cheese bread. I have flowerless chocolate cake. And I’m not saying I eat all this stuff all the time, but I do eat pizza and pasta. I eat all the things that people tell you you shouldn’t be able to eat, and I’m able to fit it into my lifestyle and still stay lean. I’ve broken all the rules, and I’ve done it at 44 years old.

And I’ll tell you so many things have improved; my sex drive, it’s a lot better than when I was in my early 30s, and I’m 44, it shouldn’t be that way, right, based on what we hear out there. Unless you’re taking testosterone or taking TRT, it’s basically testosterone but given to you by a doctor, instead of you buying it from Chad in the locker room at your, you know, whatever, meathead gym, right?

So I was able to do all these things, and it was because I focused on the right information, I challenged these beliefs, I started saying to myself, you know, maybe I don’t know everything, maybe some of these reasons that I’m telling myself that I got from other people, because by the way, I didn’t grow up with—I grew up in a really dysfunctional family. But there wasn’t this thing with the weight loss, I didn’t deal with that.

I was always lean, I was always in shape. Even when I was unhealthy, I still had enough healthy habits to be lean and muscular, for most of my life. And so I finally got to the point where I was able to challenge them. And it didn’t come from my childhood, or from having a lot of overweight friends, it came from the information that I was consuming, that I was learning about. A lot of the people were like conspiracy theory type of people, you know?

I mean, I don’t trust Big Pharma, I don’t trust companies in general, big companies, because I feel like they’re too profit-driven. But I don’t believe that everything they do is just wrong, either. I have a more balanced approach now. So that was my personal story. But your story might be different. 

Maybe you did deal with a mom who was always dieting or dad, or you grew up in a culture that was different. And that culture has a lot of excuses about why people are overweight—actually, American culture is like that now, right? It’s because we don’t have easy access to food instead of like, well, make what you have work, right? There are people on Twinkie diets, there are people going to McDonald’s and losing weight. Why can’t you make that work? So it may be because of something else and that’s okay. 

But the idea here is when you start to have those beliefs pop up, when you want to achieve something and you have the beliefs pop up, you’ve got to ask yourself, how do I know this is true? How do I really know I have a slow metabolism? Did I have it tested? I mean, really challenge yourself.And smart people do this, folks. 

You know, I consider myself smart. I don’t know what you think. I guess you think I’m smart enough to keep coming back to the show. But I’m no genius, right? I don’t have a 140 or 130 plus IQ. But most of us are smart. You may even have a much higher IQ than me, but it doesn’t matter about that, right?

In fact, some of the smartest people I know, they actually use their intelligence to trick themselves even more, and my dad was like this, I love my dad and I miss him. You probably know he passed away last year, not from COVID, just to throw that in there. Not to add to the fire with that particular thing anyway, going to move right along from that subject. But I love him.

He had a 140 IQ, one of the smartest people book wise and mental capacity wise that I’ve ever met. But he had all these limiting beliefs about what was possible with his health, with his body, and it was only at the very end where he started to believe into it. But the thing was, it was too late for him. He couldn’t reverse. He was 76, he was about to turn 77 before he died, and it was just too late for him.

And so why I’m sharing this is because I don’t want it to be too late for you when you finally get it through your head that maybe you’ve been sold a bill of goods, right? A bunch of BS on why you’re struggling so much with your health. I don’t want you to end up like—it’s not just my dad, so many people, right? We don’t say, you know what, I just don’t want to do the work.

Or actually, in my dad’s case, I think he was depressed. He didn’t want to say, you know what, I’m depressed. At the end, he was like, “You know, I think you might be right, Ted, because I know I’ve got to do more. I know I’ve got to move around more. I know it’s really costing me big time and I’m not doing it. So it’s a psychological problem. I think I’m depressed.”

It’s not even depression with him, it’s like post-traumatic stress, the guy had been through so much. And I don’t want you for whatever reason, no matter what you’ve been through in your life, to struggle with that same thing too. I mean, that’s one of my big whys with this business, in case you wonder sometimes why I talk about this psychology stuff, because not only have I found it important in my own life, I tell these stories because they’re my personal stories.

But I know there are a lot of you out there who are struggling with stuff just like this. Maybe you have a very different story than me, maybe you have a very different experience in your family than me. And that’s great. I hope you don’t have my story. It’s a rough story. It’s a lot to handle.

But the point is, you can see parallels. And I want to ask you right now, what is coming up for you, in listening to this episode? What limiting beliefs do you have? And they may not even be about fitness. I mean, that’s what we focus on: health, fitness, body transformation, they may revolve around money. You know, even if you’re very successful.

I got a client in Miami Beach, the guy didn’t want to sell his business that he had built for 30 years, because he didn’t have a buyer willing to offer him what he thought it was worth. But at the same time, he didn’t want to do the business anymore. Because he wanted to do startups, he wanted to have more fun with his business.

And the guy was making more money from his investments than what he was getting paid as a CEO, so he didn’t even need the money. The guy’s very financially successful, probably will end up in the Forbes 400 wealthy people of all time, or whatever. I’m not into that stuff. But if you’re a high level person, and you’re into entrepreneurship and making a lot of money, you probably know what it is. He wanted to end up there and he probably will.

So it wasn’t about the money. It was about, “Oh, I should not sell my business because I’m getting a lot less money than I feel that it’s worth.” And again, I’m kind of telling his story out of context. But it’s a great example, I think, because the thing is, it’s like, “Well, do you need the money?” “No, I don’t need it at all”. I mean, not at all, he makes more money from his investments.

And then he would be making money from the startups that he’s really passionate about. But he felt that he couldn’t let it go. And that’s a limiting belief, or at least, it’s not clear on the reason. For example, if you said, “You know, I’ve got a business partner, I can’t leave him hanging,” well, that’s something different.

But the way he framed it to me, was it was about the money, right. And so that’s an example of limiting belief. Maybe it’s about relationships with you, “All my family has had shitty relationships, and I’m going to have a shitty relationship, it’s just in the cards for me, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s like a genetic curse.”

But the truth is, you can get marriage counseling, you can go to couples retreats, you can work on yourself to be a better communicator, a better listener, with better regulation of your emotions, you can make all these things happen. So what is coming up for you as we talk, as you listen to this? And probably you’re a little multitasking, right? That’s what I love to do with podcasts as well.

What is coming up for you? What is the limiting beliefs? What is the area that you’re struggling with the most with your beliefs? And then once you get to awareness about this, start asking yourself, what action can I take to prove yourself right, or to prove yourself wrong? Because maybe you are right, I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t a limiting belief. Maybe it is a real thing.

But challenge yourself, because if you don’t test the hypothesis, it doesn’t become a law.  

In science, we test hypotheses to see if they work or not. That’s how we get answers about things. How do we know if vitamin D works? Well, we test people? Does vitamin C help people with colds? How do you know? Do we just say it? Do we just look at, “Well, yeah, vitamin C interacts with the immune system and so there are all these mechanisms?” No, we test it, right? We test things.

And if you’re in business, this is probably right up your alley, because you don’t implement strategies in your business, you test strategies in your business to see if they work or not.

So again, ask yourself, what awareness did you just get from listening to this episode about your limiting beliefs and what areas do they pop up in? Maybe even ask yourself a bit deeper, how is this limiting belief affecting your behaviour, or maybe even your feelings?

And then ask yourself what action can you take to challenge that belief to make sure that you’re not just BSing yourself, which as human beings, we do that a lot, right? So those are the things that I want you to consider. And we will wrap up today on that note. 

So after listening to that, again, ask yourself those questions, go over them, and take action!

And I want to tell you this Monday we’re going to rerelease a very interesting interview with a friend of mine, Jeff Sanders, a keynote speaker, productivity coach. And I know, you probably hear that, oh, productivity coach. But this guy’s the real deal. I haven’t worked with him, but I’ve read his book, and I’ve had many conversations with this guy.

He’s the author of The 5AM Miracle, The Free-Time Formula, and the founder of the Rockin’ Productivity Academy. He is a total rock star when it comes to productivity. And we’re going to talk about how to find happiness, focus and productivity, no matter how busy you are.

Because if you’re the type of person who doesn’t feel like they have time to achieve what you want to achieve, like get in shape, for example, “I’m too busy to exercise, too busy how to learn how to transform my body to lose fat to get to the weight that I want, to get to the level of leanness that I want,” then you’re want to get a listen to this episode, because I think you’re going to find out a lot of what you’re saying, or actually what we’re talking about today, limiting beliefs, there’s a way to make it happen.

And productivity doesn’t mean adding more to your busy schedule, it means getting more clear. So I think you’re going to love it as much as I did. So tune in on Monday for that episode with Jeff Sanders.

Have an amazing weekend, and I’ll speak to you then!

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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