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By Craig Harper

It’s true that, for the most part, our beliefs determine our results and therefore, our reality. On many levels, we create what we believe. Not always, but in the majority of cases; especially when it comes to our personal experience. When we believe that something will be painful and difficult, we tend to turn that expectation into a personal reality. When we believe that a situation or circumstance will be stressful, it typically will be. Why? Because a stress response or a stressful experience is not so much about the situation or circumstance as it is about the person (and their personal beliefs, expectations, attitude, fear) in the middle of it.

If you’re a person who has a history of being held back – or maybe even controlled – by your self-limiting beliefs, here are some belief-changing suggestions for you:

1. Do one new mildly uncomfortable thing each day. This could be as minor as saying hello to a stranger, telling someone how you feel, jogging around the block, painting some furniture, cleaning a room or changing a tyre.  

2. Once a week, challenge yourself to do something which makes you moderately uncomfortable. This could be physical, emotional or psychological discomfort. Or, all three!

3. Once a month, do something which requires a level of courage and commitment that will make you a little queasy in the guts (figuratively speaking).

4. Plan and work towards something big that you would consider as a major achievement. It could be something physical like running a marathon, competing in a bodybuilding or shaping show or it might be jumping out of a plane. It could be something a little more cerebral and emotional like starting a business, enrolling in a university course, overcoming a habit, writing a book, making your stand-up comedy debut or buying a property.

So, are your current beliefs empowering you or holding you back? The change is up to you.

* This article is an adapted extract from Craig’s latest book ‘Pull Your Finger Out’ (Penguin Publishing).

Craig Harper is one of Australia’s leading presenters, educators, coaches and commentators in health, fitness, high performance and change. Craig has been an integral part of the Australian fitness and sporting landscape since 1982. In that time he has worked as an exercise scientist, corporate consultant, professional development speaker, university lecturer, AFL strength coach, radio host, TV presenter, writer and successful business owner. In 1990 Craig established Harper’s Personal Training, which over the past 23 years has evolved into one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the world. Craig can be heard weekly on the ABC, SEN and Light FM radio stations in Melbourne. For two years he was the host of Foxtel’s Living Life Now and for three years filled an on-air role on Network Ten’s ‘9AM’ morning show as their resident fitness expert and life coach. As well as having written for the Herald Sun and authored five books, Craig is also the driving force behind Australia’s most successful personal development website –

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