Our beliefs come in two varieties: self-enhancing beliefs (Julia’s belief: I am stronger than this challenge, and this challenge is making me stronger) and self-limiting beliefs (Mary’s belief: I’m a poor writer). We want to increase our conviction of self-enhancing beliefs and lessen our conviction of self-limiting beliefs.

We can ease up on our conviction of self-limiting beliefs by using a process called Name-Claim-Tame.

Name It: Identify the belief as a belief and not a fact.

Claim It: Take responsibility for the belief.

Tame It: Maintain power to take direct action that weakens its conviction.

The following are six ease-up tips that can be employed to weaken the negative power of self-limiting beliefs.

  1. Say, “Not now”: When we become aware that we are having a negative belief, we can say
    “Not now” and stop thinking about that belief. By doing so, we don’t continue to strengthen the belief.
  2. State the opposite: Instead of saying, “I’ll never be able to speak in front of a large group,” say, “I can speak in front of a large group, and I’ll be fine.” Although this may not feel comfortable, it will prevent the negative belief from being fueled.
  3. Say, “Maybe”: By saying, “Maybe I will never be able to speak publicly,” we are not making a hard judgment, but sending a message that the possibility exists.
  4. Look for evidence that the belief might not be true: If we have effectively expressed an idea to one person, then we have the ability to do it to two or more. The only thing that changes is the number of listeners.
  5. Surround ourselves with people who support us: Listen to people who have confidence in us and believe in our potential.
  6. Fake it ‘til we make it: We can pretend that we are confident by saying, “I am a capable public speaker” and do what people who are effective public speakers do:
  • Practice
  • Hold their shoulders back
  • Project their voices
  • Care less about the audience’s opinion about them

By practicing these ease-up tips, we can lower our conviction from a 9 to a 5. Before long, we will be speaking to others in a confident and effective manner. Gradually, our conviction will go even lower.

A week ago, we shared the example of Mary who believed she was a poor and ineffective writer. She dreaded submitting written reports and procrastinated whenever she needed to communicate in writing to her staff. By practicing the ease-up tips, Mary lessened the conviction of her belief.

When people on her staff were asked about the quality of her writing, they described it to be clear, concise and creative. Ironically, Mary’s writing hadn’t improved. It was just her belief that changed. She no longer dreaded writing reports or communicating to her staff in writing. By easing up she developed greater peace of mind.


  1. What is a self-limiting belief that you identify in yourself?
  2. What level of conviction is this belief?
  3. What ease-up tips can you practice to lessen your conviction level?

From our team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…whose support has enhanced my confidence.

Paul Bernabei
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