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3 Limiting Beliefs That Keep You From Creating Your Online Course

Limiting beliefs hold us back and keep us from pursuing our business and life goals. 

I often meet limiting beliefs when I talk with experts about creating an online course. On the one hand, they want to take advantage of the current momentum in the eLearning industry. And they have excellent reasons to do so. E-learning statistics from Findstack show that the global eLearning industry has grown by more than 900% since 2000. And the eLearning industry is to grow by an impressive $240 Billion by 2022.

Hence, the logical reasons for building an online course right now are apparent. But at the same time, something can be holding us back. This article will share three limiting beliefs that I often encounter. 

If you identify with the feeling that something is holding you back from creating an online course and building your dream business, this article is for you. 

Limiting Belief #1: “I have to know everything before I can start creating my course.”

Let me illustrate how this limiting belief shows up. Recently I spoke with an expert. She told me that she was utterly overwhelmed. She wanted to create an online course sharing her experience building a healthier life through walking. She had helped many people change their life by changing their approach to exercise. When she contacted me, she was completely stressed out. She said: “I feel like I have to know everything about this topic before I can create an online course.” And she continued: “I have been trying to put all my knowledge in a spreadsheet. There is just so much to know about this. And it keeps growing.”

I have met this limiting belief many times before when consulting educators. And I must admit that I have some of that myself. This ties into being a perfectionist and thinking that I have to know everything to be good enough. Assuming I have to anticipate every possible question before even thinking about creating a course. 

What helped me get past this limiting belief was turning the whole approach upside down. Rather than focusing on what it is I know or don’t know. I started focusing on what the learner would get out of my course. And the truth is that when we are learning something new, we can only take in so much knowledge. We can’t absorb the whole picture at once anyway.

Three main things to look at in overcoming the limiting belief of thinking “I need to know it all” are:

  1. How are you unique? How can your experience, passion, and talent help others?
  2. What is the problem in your audience? What is it they are not able to do that you can help them solve?
  3. What does your audience need from you to solve their problem?

Looking at the learning experience through the eyes of your audience will help you KISS! Keep it, simple sweetie! 

When you look at the problem from the learner’s eyes, it becomes apparent that they are not asking to know everything about your subject. They are just asking to learn a practical approach to help them solve their problem and move on to better things. 

Limiting Belief #2: “What if I don’t succeed?”

Another limiting belief that I often meet is fear of failure. I encounter it in conversations where it can sound like: “I don’t know if my course will sell.” “I don’t know if this is good enough.” And “What if I don’t succeed?”

I know the feeling from myself. I wanted a guarantee that the effort I put in would pay off. I’m going to tell on myself to give you an example. I participated in a slalom skiing competition when I was a teenager. I was competing with my brothers and 100 other competitors. On the way up to the lift, I talked with a friend. I said: “I’m nervous.” He said: “It is okay if you don’t want to participate.” I looked at him with surprise over his interpretation of my nervousness and said: “Of course I’m going to compete. What I’m nervous about is what if I don’t win.”

Looking back at this experience, I can see the fallacy in this type of thinking. First of all, it is either a win or a loss. It is black or white. No room for nuances in between. It is also a type of thinking where only 1st place is good enough. That is a very high demand to put on yourself to be okay.

I have come to learn that many roads lead to Rome. And the reality is that the joy is in the journey and not in the destination. The truth is also that there are no guarantees in life. Things are ever-changing and uncertain. And the sooner I can come to terms with reality, the less I suffer. It has been beneficial for me to listen to spiritual leaders like Krishnamurti and practice “Comfortable with Uncertainty.”

It comes down to a change in mindset. That we are not coming from behind. We are not broken. We are already okay. We are just humans. 

What happened in the skiing competition, you might wonder? I won the women category and beat the time of my brothers. I have since entered other competitions. Some I have won, some I have lost, and some with results in between. And I’m still around. It didn’t make a real difference in who I am.

Limiting Belief #3: “I have to have many followers to create a course.”

Many experts I speak with are worried that they don’t have enough followers to create an online course. They are afraid that the course is not worth the investment. Some have even created pieces of a course, but now they don’t know what to do with it. 

The main thing to remember is that a successful course is part of a larger content strategy. The goal is to have your course as part of your business model. Think about how your course can be part of an introductory offer. And then have a silver and a premium offer as part of an upsell strategy. 

The other thing is to allow yourself to grow your business. Growing a business is the same as learning something new. It takes time. But it will happen faster if we are deliberate in the way we prioritize our time and effort. 

Whenever you create and publish content, ask yourself if it aligns with your business mission and goals. 

Our Primitive Brain Is Driving The Bus 

The three limiting beliefs that can keep you from creating your online course are based on early patterns running the show. 

What helps is to know that our primitive brain is driving the bus. Become aware of the limiting beliefs and see them for what they are. You can thank them for showing up but letting them know that they have outplayed their role in your life. Now the limiting belief can sit on the chair next to you so you can get up and move ahead with your life and dreams.

Awareness and acceptance of limiting beliefs are key to different actions. 

Reclaim Your Power And Your Life!

It is all about having a learning mindset. Believe that you can do whatever you want that aligns with your strengths, experiences, and abilities even though you can’t see the result of your efforts in advance. 

The thing is that we can change the way we view our reality. But to change our existence, we must change the way we think. Let go of the need for certainty and proof. Stop “waiting for Godot.” It is an illusion anyway. 

Trust the process and the universe.

Summing up, these are 3 limiting beliefs that keep you from creating your online course and building your dream business. And here is what you can do instead.

⛔ Limiting Belief #1: “I have to know everything before I can start creating my course.”

▶️  Rather than focusing on what it is you know or don’t know. Focus on what the learner will get out of your course. Think about this:

  1. How can your experience, passion, and talent help others?
  2. What is the problem in your audience? What is it they are not able to do that you can help them solve through your course?
  3. What does your audience need from you to solve their problem?

Looking at the course through the eyes of the learner will help you to KISS and succeed! Keep it, simple sweetie!

⛔ Limiting Belief #2: “What if I don’t succeed?”

▶️ The truth is there are no guarantees in life. The reality is that things are ever-changing and uncertain. The sooner we can come to terms with reality, the better. It all comes down to a change in mindset. That we are not coming from behind. We are not broken. We are already okay. We are just humans, and we all swim in the same sea. 

⛔ Limiting Belief #3: “I have to have many followers to create a course.”

▶️  Just get started. Your tribe will develop and join you as you consistently put your content out there. The main thing to remember is that a successful course is part of a larger content strategy. The goal is to have your course as part of your business model. Think of how your course can be part of your introductory offer. And then have a silver and a premium offer as part of an upsell strategy. 

I know the destructive effect of limiting beliefs from myself. I understood how they shaped my life until I faced them and decided to change. I also see these limiting beliefs when I speak with other people. My goal is to help you become aware of what is holding you back. So you can free your mind and follow your dreams. 

An online course is a great way to share your unique wisdom and create a real impact on other people’s lives. Creating an online course allows you to help someone else AND create the life of your dreams simultaneously. It is a win-win opportunity for you and your audience.

And the e-learning statistics show that now is a great time to launch your online course. 

Please feel free to contact me if you want me to help you create a rewarding learning experience for your audience AND build the business of your dreams.


Sophie Higgins – MA, MBA, MBC: I help experts create meaningful online courses with real impact. An online system should be a well-crafted, inspirational, and empowering learning experience. 

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