[5 Simple Steps to Unshakeable Self-Confidence Series] Article #6 ~ Step One: Identify the Thoughts That Keep You Stuck

When you were a child, the adults around you either nurtured the self-confidence you were born with — or they tore it down.

Unfortunately, as I’ve said, most people’s natural self-confidence was torn down.

Again, this wasn’t malicious in most cases. Your guardians were trying to keep you safe, and, in the process, taught you to fear.

Luckily, rebuilding your self-confidence is not as difficult as you might imagine. It follows a simple procedure of only a few steps.

I Can’t Because…
The first step to rebuilding your natural self-confidence is to identify the thoughts, stories or beliefs that are running through your subconscious, reinforcing the fear messages you received as a child, and keeping you stuck.

One of the best ways to recognize those thoughts is to find the I can’t because messages that are operative for you.

Let me explain.

Most of us have some variation of this statement running through our minds: “I would like to do this, but I can’t because ____.”

Whatever comes after “because” reveals two things:

1. The circumstances or environment that you are experiencing.

2. And the story that you have about those circumstances or environment.

For instance,

I would like to go to the conference but I can’t because:

…I’m not ready.

…I don’t have the money.

…I’ll just waste the opportunity.

…I’m spending too much time away from my kids as it is.

…I’m not smart enough (or accomplished enough) to play at that level.

Each of those clauses reflect a different limiting belief about why that person can’t go to the conference.

Apply This
Before we go any further, I want you to apply this for yourself. Recognize what I can’t because messages are controlling you.

I would like to ________, but I can’t because _________.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time digging this out. You don’t have to go to a psychiatrist.

Whatever follows “because” tells you exactly why you believe that you can’t do, be or have the thing you want.

Now, chances are you have several I can’t because messages swimming around your subconscious.

So, do the exercise again with a different situation. And then again.

Take this opportunity to ferret out these toxic messages, once and for all.

What to Do Next
You now have a list of 2, 3, 5, 7 harmful messages that you believe. So what do you do now?

First, let me acknowledge that your belief system is your reality and perception of what you’re experiencing. And whatever you’re perceiving is very real to you. I understand that.

The problem is, as long as you’re coming from that kind of thinking, you are allowing the fear messages you learned as a child to undermine your self-confidence, and limit your life.

So Step One is to identify those limiting beliefs, thoughts, or stories that you tell yourself about why you can’t do, be or have what you want.

And Step Two is to replace those thoughts.

I’ll show you how to do that next time.

David Neagle, The Million Dollar Income Acceleration Mentor and author of The Millions Within, teaches entrepreneurs and commission-based sales professionals how to quantum leap their current incomes past the 7-figure income level, often in less than 12 months. As a world-class speaker, sales trainer, and success-mindset mentor to some of the globe’s top CEOs, David also privately mentors big decision-makers in their pursuit of quantum success and peace of mind.






  1. What if what follows after because is due to circumstances beyond your control. fOR INSTANCE,



    Thank you

    • What circumstances are beyond your control Monique? You wrote, “Because I do not have the money to realise this,” and “Because I have not closed a contract that will pay me the commission enabling me to move forward.” My question for you is why? Why are you letting that story stop you? The truth is that you will never have the money until you make the decision that you are going to stop at nothing to get it. When you say something is beyond your control you have immediately given away your power, and with it, any chance of getting what you truly desire. Start today by changing your language around your situation and commit to not going to sleep until you have a closed contract from a client. Once you do it the first time, your muscle memory will begin to kick in each time because it now knows that it’s possible. Don’t break this commitment to yourself and see how everything shifts.

  2. Hi David!

    I can hardly wait for your next post on this topic! You are such a huge mentor of mine (yet I don’t know you personally).

    I loved the exercise and found a belief about money (I’ll bet you could have guessed that one), that I thought I’d cleared up already.

    It’s really interesting… I have two paid off houses, no debt, over 300k in the bank but when I did the exercise I got back the belief of …because I don’t have enough money.

    This is an old one that I heard constantly growing up. My mom was always telling me we didn’t have enough money. Or I couldn’t do or have something because we didn’t have the money. In fact I grew up thinking we were poor. But in actuality, we belonged to a country club, had two cars, plenty of great food, wonderful dining experiences at luxurious restaurants, and traveled the world. Now it makes me laugh to think that I thought I was poor growing up.

    I have worked so hard to eliminate and completely transform my money beliefs. But that belief, despite the hundreds of hours of work I’ve done around money still pops it’s head up and it feels like I’m still running an old story about why I can’t do something. Any suggestions of what I can do to let this one go once and for all?

    Thanks so much for all you ARE and all you do!



    • Thank you Alysa for the comment and for following my teachings; I appreciate hearing that. Also, thank you for sharing your story around money because it is not always easy to do since we carry around so much shame and guilt. Instead of letting that thought about never having enough or not being able to do something, re frame it in the moment with a popular phrase I used to use myself when I was in your shoes, ‘Isn’t that interesting.’ You see, truth is truth and you need to recognize that there is more than enough to go around and you don’t have to look for it because it is already here now. The best advice I could give you is to go out and treat yourself to something really nice (new car, new wardrobe, new diamond necklace…) and show your ego who’s boss. Until then, you are likely going to be susceptible to this worn out, toxic relationship with money that doesn’t serve your growth. Time to put it to bed and know that you will always be taken care of and then some. It’s the Law.

      • Looking forward to the next article as well. Curious of your thoughts at how it is that Alysa has manifested so much monetarily and material – wise when she believes that she doesn’t have enough money. How would she have that belief and still manifest so much contrary to it?

        • Thanks for the question Sherry. This is a case of being an ‘unconscious competant, someone who unknowingly and without proper awareness is still able to get exactly what they need when they need it. You see, the Universe always responds and that is truth. Her patterns are so deeply routed she has the belief that there’s never enough, when in fact she has what she needs. Always. Now, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel the same way, take a step back and look closely at what you are doing to create that experience. All of the good, all of the bad, is all you!

  3. Wow David. Love that! Definitely going to reframe and then go buy myself something awesome! Thank you, thank you!

    Sending blessings and appreciation for all you are and do,


    • Perfect Alysa! Treat yourself to something special and give yourself the experience you deserve. Appreciate the post.