Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs, Fail Forward & Multiply Your Productivity by Hitting the Reset Button on Your Attitude

I want to help you get more out of the training courses you buy, the products you create, and the things you do every day...

And I would say the #1 ongoing problem that I have (I keep it under control but I'm very mindful of this problem), and that other marketers I come across with have, is the thing called...


It's because of "limiting beliefs" that you stop your car at a red light: you believe that if you run that light, you might get killed, kill someone, or at least get an expensive ticket from a traffic camera. You don't commit murder, you don't steal or hurt others for thousands of reasons.

BUT having limiting beliefs in the wrong place means you don't always achieve your peak potential, you hold yourself back, and you don't get what you want or deserve.

Anchoring, Conflict, Sabotage

It's a way more serious issue than you've been led to believe. Here's how it happens:

Step #1: Your "bad behavior" (procrastinating, not finishing what you start, not making progress) gets anchored. How?

When you hang around the wrong people, their own destructive behavior rubs off on you. Haven't you ever dealt with a friend, or maybe a family member, who always seemed to be miserable? Who seemed to complain about everything? Complaining about the world made that person feel smart and relevant, and bringing others down to their level made them feel significant.

I don't want to get too personal, but during my teenage years and early twenties I have dealt with people who (unknowingly) punished me for success and rewarded me for failure. This is exactly why that saying "your income is the average income of your 5 closest friends" exists.

Step #2: Now, you start to experience "inner conflict" -- the nerdy term for this is cognitive dissonance. This is where you hold multiple beliefs that contradict each other. The easy one for most of us to point out is…

"I want to make lots of money, but I also feel like making lots of money is a bad thing"

Step #3: And the result of that is "self sabotage" -- some people label this as driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake.

You create a product, setup a website, send emails, pay for traffic, begin a launch sequence… but when it comes time to make some sales… you drop it and you've moved onto the next thing.

You launch a brand new live class, and at the last second when it's time to open the doors, you chicken out and price it at $17 dollars instead of $997 or higher… worrying about being yelled at, people refunding, or not delivering on your claims… when in fact, none of that has happened yet!

If I wanted to, I could tell you stories about refunds I received on my birthday, on the day I quit my job, on Christmas morning BUT I choose not to worry about 1% of returned DIGITAL sales -- it's just as silly as not getting a cat because it will die in 20 years, not getting married because you might get divorced, not having a kid because it might grow up to hate you, not going to school because you might flunk out, not taking a job because you might get fired from it, not buying a house because someone might break into it, not buying a new car because someone might steal it!

Let's break down the three types of limiting beliefs: hopelessness (global beliefs), helplessness (personal beliefs), and worthlessness (future beliefs)…

Limiting Belief #1:

This is where authority figures tell you something is impossible. Growing up it might have been a parent or mentor, nowadays it might be the news or a friend.

I like to keep in touch with my subscribers and every now and then I hear the excuse that "no one is making money during this economic downtime" (which I read from my iPhone, sitting in my Ford Mustang, in line at a Del Taco drive thru, surrounded by brand new cars). I hear that "internet marketing doesn't work" and yet everyone is buying more books, movies, plane tickets, and music online than ever before.

It makes it very tempting, easy and REWARDING to not take any action! There's no point in me learning, doing, or perfecting my internet business because it's all a big lie, right?

Limiting Belief #2:

This is where you might see that something is possible, but it's just not something you can do. During my early years in college, I had a middle-aged mentor from England who kept telling me about his $1,000 and $2,000 days… almost every day.

He kept giving me these numbers, and I was happy for him, but it made me think why I wasn't making that kind of money at the time. Then I'd try to justify it in any way possible!

Once again, a less than 1% refund rate but I've had refunds for the same product because it was "too complicated" for one person, and "too simple" for another. One person refunded "WordPress Drip" because they didn't realize it a WordPress plugin, "Newbie Crusher" because they didn't know it was for newbies, and "PHP Start Pack" because they didn't know it was for PHP. These are very rare events, but I find them very funny!

In reality, if you're looking for a "cop out" reason to not take action… you'll find it.

Here's the thing. If you take anyone's course and have the "wrong" attitude going in, you're never going to get the results you want. I remember in an earlier stage in my life, if I'd read an article or a book, and if I didn't already know or agree with what was said, I thought it was a waste of time! How silly. Likewise, in a different stage of my life, if I wasn't blown away by tons and tons of new material, I'd think the product was a waste of time.

One Piece of Information...

But now, if I attend an offline event, join a membership, or even attend a webinar or teleseminar… and even if it's a bad one… if I can get one takeaway piece of information, it's worthwhile.

People with the "helpless" limiting belief tend to take some action, but there's no follow through. I can't tell you how many students we've had who came to us with the "same" story of spending 40 thousand, 60 thousand, 100 thousand dollars on other peoples' courses. And in a couple weeks we got them  to setup their business and many times make their first sale. And then, they're gone… dropped off the face of the earth and I never hear from these people again because their limiting beliefs kept them from actually making some money online.

Limiting Belief #3:

You might not believe you deserve to make a million dollars, or $10,000 a month, or to pay off your house, whether you admit it or not OR whether you even realize it or not.

They might have launched a product or two, and earned $1000 or $5000, but kept quiet about the results, didn't repeat the process, and didn't improve. These are the people who tell themselves they're "happy" making $500 a month online while still working at their day job that they hate, because it's easier.

They won't re-market an old product to their existing list of subscribers because some of them already own it. They worry about which blog theme to install this week, what's the best time of day to email, and what to price their product… when none of these things matter! Taking action and following through does.

Maybe I'm talking about you and you don't even realize it! I don't know. But I do know that if someone came to you and asked what your plan is to make $10k this month, or $100k this month (or whatever your next milestone is) and you're instantly angry, frustrated, and self-defeating… you've got a serious problem and you can either let it own you, or you can get it out of the way and move past it.

Now, how do you overcome your limiting beliefs and achieve your peak potential?

Solution #1:
"Ask Better Empowering Questions"

The first thing I want you to do is be very aware of the words you use over and over to describe yourself as a person, where you are in life, others around you, and how you deal with adversity.

Here's what I mean. If you're the kind of person who constantly asks themselves, "Why does this always happen to me?" Or, "Why am I such a screw up?" Or, "Why is everyone out to get me?" Then you're setting yourself up for failure.

On the other hand, if you ask yourself…

  • What are at least three things that will make me feel better today?
  • What am I excited about today?
  • How can I learn from this problem?
  • What isn't perfect yet and how can I move at least one step in that direction?
  • How can I enjoy the things I'm going to do today?
  • What parts of my life do I enjoy the most and how do those things make me a better person?
  • What will I lose (or miss out on) if I don't take action right now?
  • What is the next step I need to take today?
  • What's one thing I was going to do later, but will instead do right now?

Tony Robbins made this "empowering question" technique famous although I was using this before I'd heard of Robbins. I actually learned this from a course about "how to write a bestselling book" a decade ago which told me to phrase book chapter titles as questions. The truth is, when a question is asked, your subconscious has to answer it, whether you realize it or not… so why not apply it to real life instead of just writing?

Garbage in, garbage out! Ask negative questions and you get negative answers. Ask BETTER questions and you'll get better answers.

Solution #2:
"Model Successful People"

Now that you've asked yourself better questions, or even if you're having trouble thinking of better questions, use your imagination to have someone ask it for you.

  • What would Will Smith think about your current problem and how to fix it?
  • If Michelle Obama launched a membership site and it didn't make a bunch of sales right away, what her next step be?
  • How about George Clooney, Betty White, Michael J. Fox, Sandra Bullock? Would they think twice about mailing their list, contacting a joint venture partner, or setting up a new landing page?

Armand Morin calls this "Success Leaves Traces", Christians call this, "What Would Jesus Do" and NLP calls this "Modeling." It means, find a mentor who is where you want to be, look at what they do, find out what they did to get there, and follow their system. Tom Cruise wouldn't be afraid of running a 1-hour webinar, so why are you?

Solution #3:
"Just Do It"

This sounds like the cheesiest statement ever, but as soon as you stop "trying" to market your product and just market your product, you'll actually make sales.

Stop thinking about it so much and just "fail forward." Steve Jobs never intended to make movies, but after being kicked out of Apple, losing half his life savings on NeXT, and losing even more money on Pixar, he finally stumbled on creating movies -- $7 billion from 12 movies.

There's no way I would have begun putting out copywriting products, selling web templates, webinar classes, or even WordPress plugins if I hadn't "failed" through a bunch of mediocre launches for PHP products.

Solution #4:
"Have a Goal and Put a Value on Your Outcome"

Every month where I've set a clear goal about how many sales of a specific product I want to make, or how much money I want to make that month, I've made more money. Funny how that works.

Can I tell you something else? Within a 1 year period, I went from being single, with a day job, "stuck" at the 10K per month  range, to attending my first few internet marketing seminars, buying my dream car in cash at age 22, buying my first home at age 23, getting a long-term girlfriend (who I'm now living with 5 years later), and having several months with over $30,000 in income. I quit my day job permanently a few months after that.

Why did all this happen? I wrote down all the things I wanted to have. (This is what books like "Think and Grow Rich" are all about.) Next, I figured out what it would take to make those things happen… making more deals, launching more products, marketing more aggressively to my list, getting more traffic, building a bigger list, charging more money, writing better sales copy, the usual stuff!

Now that I knew what my goal was, and what actions I needed to take to achieve those goals, I could compare the pleasure versus the pain. Pain being time, effort, possibility of failure, moving out of my comfort zone, social awkwardness, putting myself out there. And pleasure being money, happiness, a relationship, comfort, security, peace of mind… all that good stuff.

And now I was aligned just right… moving AWAY from the pain and TOWARDS the pleasure, instead of self-sabotage.

Solution #5:
"Objection-Based Thinking"

Think in terms of small roadblocks (and little objections) instead of impassive barriers. The reason you don't have what you want, and the reason why you're not taking the actions you should, a real reason or just an excuse?

If there was just one thing holding you back from choosing your niche, what would it be? What about what's holding you back from creating a membership site? Is it something as simple as not knowing what software? Let's say you could only choose one thing.

I know I just threw a lot at you, but I think it's going to help. Tell me below, what's your current limiting belief and how is it holding you back? Or, what's a limiting belief you used to have and how did you overcome it? Please tell me below right now.

Filed in: MindsetProductivity

Comments (38)

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  1. Con says:

    Thank you Robert!

  2. Tim Bennett says:

    Hey Robert,

    What an incredible article!

    I love that you gave solutions to the obstacles. It is true we are indeed limited by the size of our mind.

    As Napoleon Hill said: If we can see it we can achieve it!

    I must remind myself to see more!

    Thanks so much for the reminders and great lessons here.


  3. Thanks Robert. I do believe that we are our own biggest obstacle, and we can do great things if we can just learn to get out of our own way. Thanks for this post. We all need to be reminded of our own limiting beliefs.

  4. Willy Maassen says:

    Hey Robert

    Could be written for me personally.



  5. Jenni says:

    Hey Robert – so often I don’t open the many emails I get but felt compelled to read this one for some reason – perfect timing – I needed a poke in the ribs.

    Reminds me of that saying “If you think you know something but are not doing it…. it’s the same as not knowing it.”

    I’ve created a partnership with another person who is motivated, inspired, keen to achieve, and we have already started ‘doing’. Sometimes you just need a buddy – like the geese in Ken Blanchard’s “Gung Ho” – honking encouragement.

    Thank you – awesome article

  6. Ron says:

    Great thoughts on our limiting beliefs and what we need to do to overcome our negative thought patterns and start experiencing success. Thanks for this informative and motivating post, Robert.

  7. manny wood says:

    Great article .It made a lot of sence and verified what i already knew about what i was doing wrong.

    I have been lucky though as i knew that i was not doing what i knew i could your article gave me anouther reason to get of my duff and move forward

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Reg E. says:

    Definitely one of the most useful posts I’ve read this year. Most of the points here a familiar; reading them here together is a wonderful reminder. Thanks Robert!

  9. Michele says:

    Hi Robert,

    I think a lot of times people are stuck behind a screen by themselves, without a good group of similarly minded people to encourage and motivate them. They read about how others are ‘smashing’ it and it seems so far away and remote.

    It can be tough but as you say, you need to get focus and just achieve a few things a day towards your goal. Heads down and just do it.

    The over-analyzing part really resonated with me. I need to “fail forward” big time, get over myself and unchain myself from all these constraining beliefs.


  10. Whilst reading your post my printer was busy spitting out 55 pages of Jay Kubassek’s”Black Book- 5 Steps to Un locking Your Inner Mind and making money with your own online business.” Will I see what’s missing in my attempts at “seeing” here? Who knows? Your article made me see so much more but I’m no closer to “seeing” the hidden potential I’m missing just yet, maybe just a little. Thanks for the boost.

    Michael J Ming

  11. Stu McLaren says:

    Great post Robert.

    I would definitely say the one thing I admire about you is your ability to “Just Do It”.

    I’ve always been a “doer” but not to the level of a “Mr. Plank” 🙂

    So it’s definitely something I’m working on improving because I’ve found that you’ll never learn as much as when you sit down and actually start taking action.

    From there it’s just test and tweak!

    Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  12. Gren Bingham says:

    Robert, this is a good post.

    It is important that people following your suggestions understand that changing their behavior takes time and effort.

    Just like internet marketing, there are no overnight riches. You need to stick with it through thick and thin and revisit these guidelines regularly.

  13. Howard says:

    For the most part, this is all stuff I’ve seen before. It’s all true, but not new.

    I don’t think my problem to date has been limiting beliefs, but a lack of focus. That is something I only came to realize after I managed to increase my focus, and tracked that lack of focus back to my diet. Yes, there is a body-mind connection, and eating junk clouds your thinking. Or, at least, it clouded mine (hence my adoption of the N=1 paradigm for my blog).

    Ability to focus is a prerequisite for accomplishing pretty much anything of importance.

    Having found a relatively simple (and inexpensive) dietary intervention that has boosted my cognitive abilities substantially, I am now able to focus on implementation.

    I do have something to add to that collection of solutions. Specifically, #2.

    When it comes to modelling success, you first need to drop back and analyze that success very critically and carefully.

    Fame and influence does not convey any special expertise beyond whatever it was that led to that fame/influence. Here are some examples:

    1) Michelle Obama is certainly influential, but she knows less than nothing about nutrition, so that influence is detrimental.

    2) Barbara Streisand is an excellent actor (I have enjoyed watching several of her films), but she has no clue where her own expertise ends. In fact, there is a derisive term named for her that illustrates that point: “The Streisand Effect.”

    Be very careful about exactly what you are modelling.

  14. Rob Witty says:

    This is like a success manifesto.

    It’s all about creating a plan and then executing…

    Thanks for the insights and reminder!

  15. Gabrielle says:

    Great post on the “Plank View” of these tried and true achievement principles.

    For me right now, staying laser-focused on the few most important projects (that make money) are key. All the other “possibilities” that distract are what can easily slow me down. It’s an ongoing battle, but staying focused on “cash tasks” definitely makes a tangible difference at the end of the month.

    So, using focusing questions seem most helpful. These are the ones I’ve been using every day, starting from the moment I wake up in the morning…

    – What’s most important that MUST get done TODAY?
    – What’s my most important project RIGHT NOW?
    – Is this the best use of my time RIGHT NOW?
    – What do you want most?
    – What action can you take RIGHT NOW to move another step closer to it?

    What also helps is shutting off most of the “noise” in the IM world. There are only a few people I pay attention to because they provide REAL info that they use themselves to get results.

    This is what’s working for me at the moment.

  16. Paul Conway says:

    Hey Robert

    Thank you for this great in depth article 🙂

    I personally realised that some of the above points did relate to a past me. However I took action and got myself a mentor.

    I now know what I need to do to get the job and done plus having a mentor really keeps me focused and accountable.


  17. Donna Maher says:


    This is one of your best posts ever, thank you for taking the time to write it… very motivating and very true! You are wise beyond your years and all of us reap the benefits if we apply your simple but powerful concepts!

    Thank you, Donna

  18. Great post Robert!

    You really hit the nail on the head on every point.

    I used to have a problem of having high expectations of any products I bought. I would start on something expecting it to be real easy like the sales page said it would. Almost always there seems to be some kind of roadblock that would prevent me going any further. I usually blamed it on the product owners and not on myself.
    I’d give up and try something else, always chasing the next magic button system.

    Guess what, the magic button system does NOT exist.

    Like anything in life if you want something done you have to put a little effort into it. It doesn’t require a lot of work. Just find something that you feel comfortable doing. For me I like making small Amazon Affiliate sites that are simple to setup. I invested my time and money to learn how to build them quickly and efficiently. After some time I started making some small commissions. Now I know that it works, I’ll just continue the same process and build up.

    Things get easier when you know whats working and start seeing results. Stay focused on things that work.

  19. Josef says:

    Hey Robert, great post. You’ve summed it up perfectly. So now is the time to take action. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Kind of what I needed to read right now.

  20. Bruce Clancy says:

    Thanks for the uplifting words. We all get stuck in our own world and have to lift ourselves out to meet our goals.

  21. Hey Robert, it is not just a good article, it’s very timely for me.

    I am a mindset teacher/spirituality blah blah blah, and we are at the place in the current course I am leading is what is stopping you from living a dream life… of course we say it different, but the point is the same.

    I am going to send every single student of mine here, they already know about you from me: after all I became a doer and a producer in your courses, no accidents here.

    Thank you.

    Sophie Benshitta Maven

    Just one more thing: the few bad apples in a course, the ones that are unwilling to change or do, are the vocal ones, ready and poised to stop everyone else from moving forward: so that they can feel better about themselves. As a leader, would you throw them out?

  22. Cecil Ming says:

    Great Post Robert, Thank you!
    Life is an adventure and the puzzle pieces are there to play with.

    You just gave us giant pieces that help align all the others that we have now or will have in the future.

    As you said, take action, ask the right questions and the pieces just start fitting together.

  23. Sarah says:

    Robert I am a true believer that when the pupil is ready the teacher will appear.

    I admit I don’t always open your articles, and I think this is the first one I have responded to. It turns out that your article is very timely for me and has touched me so deeply.

    I have taught these concepts and am always recharged when I take the time to refresh my knowledge and practice breaking through my own limiting beliefs.

    I know that I don’t know what I don’t know. When I was younger it helped me to be successful in spite of myself. Now that I am older, what I don’t know is shrouded in limiting beliefs.

    I am about to start a new project and plan to use your article to help me continue to remain steadfast and forward moving in my determination to succeed.

    Thank you.

  24. Robert…

    Great stuff. A good reminder to all of us.
    Taking action is the foundation of all success. Period!


    ~ Louie

  25. Just one more thing: you need to find what motivates you to even consider action. For a long time i was motivated by pain… avoiding it. Pain, humiliation, poverty, shame. Then I was motivated by wanting someone to be proud of me. And nowadays I am motivated by the inner “Robert Plank” that is the most consistent, most pushy push I could ever imagine: to do what I NEED TO DO.

    But it started with going through all the phases of outward motivation.

  26. Adam Porter says:

    Great information, Robert. It’s stuff we’ve all heard before, but you have a way of putting it all together in a powerful way.


    My Limiting Belief is that I’ll never find the right niche, in order to ‘start again’ in building my own online business. The thing(s) I’m good at, and/or enjoy, now have a negative stigma attached. I’m very dissatisfied with my job (and the field I’m working in), and since that’s all I’ve done my entire life, I feel I can’t find something else to enjoy or be good at.

  27. Mk Akan says:

    Robert ,
    Fortunately, i learnt early in life not to worry much about what people say about what i do.I have fear of failure and limiting belief and i am good with taking action.(i still get lazy some times).
    But when i came online I used to worry if i could really teach people what i know. Or if i really know enough to even teach others.

    After many months of delay and a period of self discovery i discovered that i did not have to know something a 100% before i was qualified to teach others.
    As long as i knew something that someone else didn’t know, i was qualified to show them “the part i knew” even if it is something i considered too common or easy.

    I recently discovered your blog and have spend the last few days reading every DAMN post (sometimes reading one post up to 4 times).

    I had planned to create 1 info product every month this year, i have only done 2 (presently working on a third). i will have increase that to 20 products by creating low entry (quick fix info products too about common things i take for granted like “how to set up a forum” or stuff similar to that)

    This is the motivation i have gotten from your blog and the sheer number of products you have on your side bar.

    Thanks Robert Plank CONSTANT.. 🙂

    By the way, first time i landed on your blog ,your name reminded me of the term “plank Contant”. something i studied in high school physics.

    By the way ,can your popup product be set to appear on specific blog posts and categories?

  28. Robert,
    I was skeptical to click on your link right from my email this morning but I thank God that I did.

    This is the most valuable information I have ever gotten this year to help me overcome my limiting beliefs and access my next level.

    I really need someone to talk to and that is why I consider this article timely. I have wanted to set membership program with some valuable PLR product, but most marketplace only requires PayPal transaction and my country Nigeria is not allowed on PayPal transaction.

    I have made couple of effort but to no avail. One thing that I know clearly is that I am not giving up on that. Because I believe strongly that there will only be way out.

    If I can make $2,000+ per month consistently promoting other peoples product without a single list, then I believe that I can make 10x of that amount if I can access the right information from right mentor.

    I will be glad if you have any good suggestion for me. I am willing to take action and follow through.

  29. Forget Internet marketing, Robert. You’ve got a new career in motivation!

    One of the things I so admire about you is that you live what you say. You are never incongruent with what you are teaching. You truly lead by example.

    As one of the buyers of your early products and having sat with you at your first two Internet marketing seminars, I’ve had the privilege of watching you grow in this industry. I’m loving your incorporation of the success principles into your teaching! Your use of the masters in the recent Video Sales Tactics course was “right on.” and this blog post did a great job of boiling down the self-help literature into easy, do-able steps.

    Thank you for being you – and leading others!

  30. Stan Baldwin says:

    This is a really kool blog. Hope to be writing one as motivational as this in the (not too distant ) future.Very well written.Keep up the good work Robert.

  31. Jase says:

    What’s your current limiting belief and how is it holding you back?

    “I don’t have the time”
    “I can’t focus consistently enough and I keep having to backtrack and start over again”

    Juggling a full time bricks-n-mortar business and doing what it takes to keep momentum online is my biggest challenge. So I stop and start and end up telling myself “when I get more time…” “when I get time to focus…”

    Result – tons of project ideas and stuff in limbo and nothing completed to generate income. Most progress I made was doing your course.

  32. Jase says:

    Oh yeah … and I inspire and motivate people every day in my training business using the same psychology you’ve described – plumbers taps, eh?

  33. David Bibby says:


    Thanks for this article. I think my limiting beliefs have led me to de-value my product. I won’t make that mistake again.

    I’ve been working on my next membership site and I’m thankful for all that you’ve taught me. I’ve learned a bit with my last few failed launches, and will do things differently this time.


  34. Hi Robert,

    I remember you from when you were a shy guy starting to do webinars.

    I was first impressed with you and your content during a webinar held by my friend Kathleen Donaghy .

    I have been a rabid fan of yours ever since.

    I have bought some of your recommended and created products but it is like i want it all, but i sadly do not.

    Your email is my favourite to get.

    Your videos and webinars are my favourite to watch.

    Your plugins are my favs to download.

    Thank you for sharing even when it was not as comfortable for you to do so.

    Monique Cloutier

  35. Awesome post Robert.

    I must admit the “empowering question” model works. I learned it from Harlan Kilstein and have been putting it to work for a while now.

    I can say for sure my procrastination has come down a lot. I had been neglecting several areas of my business for a long time but after using this technique I was able to take immediate action.

    Even in the area of my health I have been working out and bulking myself for a few months now.

    Thanks once again for a good post that I’ve come across after a while.

  36. Great Article! You can only not do what you think you can to!!

  37. Hil says:

    SUCH a great article. TY,

    I keep telling myself that
    I am so wrapped up in
    the struggle to earn enough
    $ to pay bills and buy food
    that I can’t focus on being
    my greater self…

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