Figure Out What's Next

#35: Replace Limiting Beliefs Fast !

with Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell
July 27, 2023 | 9 Minutes



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On "Inside-Out Career Design" this week, hosts Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell speak about Limiting Beliefs

Uncover the proven neuroscience method of swapping limiting beliefs with empowering ones, using the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and the power of language. Learn to ditch words like "try" and "hope," that often lead to failure and doubt, and replace them with "do" and "intend" to change your reality. You don't need magic to make this transformation – just the right understanding and words!

Some questions for you to reflect on

  • What are the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your goals?
  • Have you ever considered how negative beliefs are formed in your mind?
  • How does the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brain influence our actions and reality?
  • How often do you use the words "try" and "hope" in your language, and have you ever thought about the unconscious implications these words might have?
  • Will you replace "try" and "hope" with "do" and "intend" to make your everyday language more powerful?
  • Have you noticed a difference in how you feel when you use the word "intend" instead of "hope"?
  • Are you ready to change your limiting beliefs to empowering ones using the process confirmed by neuroscience?
  • How can you apply the understanding of the RAS and the power of language to create a positive change in your reality?

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About the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast

This podcast is obsessed with answering a single question: Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career?

Join Nicola Vetter and Peter Axtell, co-founders of the Career Insights platform and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment, as they follow their obsession with answering this question by sharing their insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talking with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches -- anyone and everyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of “what’s next for me?” and “what should I do with my life?”

They seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers.

Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are and what you are meant to do with the time you’ve been given.


Nicola Vetter  00:00

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast. I'm Nicola, and I'm here with Peter. And we are excited to share with you how to replace your limiting beliefs fast. Because if you change your beliefs, you can change your world.


Peter Axtell  00:21

Sure, sure. Come on, this is just some spammy clickbait mumbo jumbo crap.


Nicola Vetter  00:30

Well, still, I wondered what if it wasn't. We have friends we respect that insist limiting beliefs will keep you from reaching your goals. So I couldn't stop chewing on this limiting belief thing. It started to keep me up at night.


Peter Axtell  00:51

I have limiting beliefs, for sure. And they've held me back from reaching goals that I've had. They've even caused me to turn down some incredible opportunities in my life. Opportunities, I'm sad to say, that I haven't pursued. But I want proof. I want proof that limiting beliefs can be changed. So tell me how. And I don't mean clicking my heels and standing in front of the mirror and doing a Stuart Smalley. I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and doggone it people like me. Give me proof.


Nicola Vetter  01:21

The whole idea of changing limiting beliefs is so murky, shrouded in mystery. Until now. Finally, neuroscience figured it out. Neuroscience proved it's possible. Neuroscience shows us the actual process, how limiting beliefs are formed, and how they can be changed.


Peter Axtell  01:47

Oh, wow. Wow. So there is a way, there's a solution, a process to replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Come on. This is driving me crazy. Tell me how, tell me.


Nicola Vetter  01:59

Oh, sure. Here it is. The answer lies in a specific part of the brain. It has a tongue whistling, mindbending, hard to remember name, the reticular activating system.


Peter Axtell  02:17

Boy, that's a mouthful. Who comes up with these names for crying out loud? Yikes.


Nicola Vetter  02:23

Okay, let's settle on something easy to remember. The RAS for...


Peter Axtell  02:32

Reticular Activating System.


Nicola Vetter  02:36

Exactly. So pay attention here, you're going to have to think a little but boy, is it worth it. First, we need to understand what the RAS is and how it operates. The RAS is a pencil shaped part of the brain located near the brainstem. It acts as a filter for all the millions of bits of information our ears, eyes, and skin are bombarded with all day long.


Peter Axtell  03:15

I can imagine if there were no filters, we would probably go insane with all the stimulus that's coming in. My question is, what does it filter?


Nicola Vetter  03:28

The things that are important to you. This clever bit of your brain helps you see what you like to see. And then it influences your actions and beliefs. That's called confirmation bias. Which means we look for proof, real or not, to confirm what we believe, including limiting beliefs. Think of the RAS as a spotlight that only shines on the things that are important to you. Positive or negative.


Peter Axtell  04:08

Positive of course. So I see your limiting beliefs are a result of the negative messages that have been planted in your mind. So when the RAS shines a spotlight on those negative messages, it amplifies them, making them stronger and stronger and turns those into limiting beliefs. Then those limiting beliefs affect your actions, which in turn, affects the results you want in life. They actually create your reality. That's crazy. And that's what Henry Ford meant when he said, "if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can't, you can't."


Nicola Vetter  04:51

Exactly and the process goes like this. The RAS lets a belief through the filter, it could be a negative or positive belief. The belief gets transmitted to the conscious mind, which then transmits it to the unconscious mind. And the unconscious mind goes to work to bring that belief into reality through your actions and attitudes.


Peter Axtell  05:22

Ah, this is why critical self-talk is so damaging, because the unconscious mind gets the critical self-talk messages. And then it goes to work to bring into reality that lousy self-talk.


Nicola Vetter  05:40

You got it.


Peter Axtell  05:42

Don't you think this is exciting to know, this is what neuroscience has proven?


Nicola Vetter  05:46



Peter Axtell  05:47



Nicola Vetter  05:47

This is exactly where limiting beliefs come from, and why they can be replaced with empowering beliefs.


Peter Axtell  05:55

Well, sign me up. Now, Nicola, what is a person to do about those pesky limiting beliefs?


Nicola Vetter  06:07

You need to plant new seeds or beliefs in your mind. How? With the power of language to start. Remember, you want to get the right messages to the unconscious mind. So it can go to work with empowering beliefs, which in turn, change your actions, which change your results. There are two words to get you started. The first is try, except it's the wrong word. What try really means is you're going to fail. I'll try and make it on Saturday to help you move the couch.


Peter Axtell  06:51

Oh, yeah. All right. Well, that's not gonna happen.


Nicola Vetter  06:54

So, throw try out and say do. I'll be there at 11am to move the couch. I'm doing it. You know, Yoda was right when he said, "Luke, don't try, do."


Peter Axtell  07:15

And the next word is hope. Except, it's the wrong word. Hope is filled with doubt. Think about it. We don't want the unconscious mind getting messages of doubt. So, when the RAS shines the spotlight, we want it shining on an amazing empowering word. Intend. I intend to be successful. I intend to achieve this goal. I intend to change my limiting beliefs. Intent, intent, intent. This is the message you want your unconscious mind to work on.


Nicola Vetter  07:55

We teach these principles and so much more in our Figure Out What's Next program. To find out more, join us for one of our live online workshops, where we teach how to successfully reinvent your career in midlife. To save your spot in our next workshop go to We'll see you there, or for another episode here.


Peter Axtell  08:27

Thanks for joining us today. For show notes go to where we share links and other relevant information. And leave us a comment, a question, or a topic that you'd like us to explore in a future episode. We'd love to hear from you.