I came across an old issue of Howard Ruff's newsletter recently in which he described a terrifying event ... which, oddly enough, caused me to consider the very real dangers of self limiting beliefs we each hold within us.

Here's the quote from the newsletter -- see if you can make the connection:

"The crocodile attack that claimed the most human lives happened on February 19, 1945 when part of the Imperial Japanese Army unit guarding a stronghold on the Burmese island of Ramree was outmaneuvered by a British naval force.

The Japanese soldiers were forced to cross 10 miles of mangrove swamps to rejoin a larger battalion of the Japanese infantry. The swamps were home to thousands of 15-ft saltwater crocodiles. By the next morning, only 20 of the original 1,000 Japanese soldiers had survived."

Okay, I admit it, this may seem like a pretty odd connection to make. How does a crocodile attack in any way relate to self limiting beliefs and personal development?

So let me explain.

When I read this excerpt, I was astounded by the story. And it got me to thinking. 

What are the crocodile infested swamps we need to navigate in our lives? What crocodile like obstacles must each of us become equipped to overcome if we want to achieve the freedom we seek? 

I believe the ugliest and the baddest of the crocodiles are the crocodiles that lurk in our own minds. 

Specifically, they are the self limiting beliefs and other thoughts that don't serve us, but which we insist on hanging onto. 

I'm willing to bet that each of us has thousands of self limiting beliefs that we buy into every day. Often without even realizing that's what we are doing. 

So what does it take then to be successful? Well, what did it take for the 20 surviving soldiers to successfully navigate their way across the mangroves? 

To overcome the crocodiles, it's necessary to start from the end. Be larger than yourself in terms of vision and goals, trust in the magic of your belief, and then follow-through with unwavering persistence. 

There is a magical moment when you finally really, really believe in what is possible for yourself and what you are able to achieve - well beyond what you may have previously considered. 

This is often what you experience when you have "breakthrough" success in a new venture (be it a home business, a new project, venture or otherwise). You may have started out doing what you knew you had to do because you see an opportunity that is so attractive and because there is a process that makes logical sense to you. 

But the tipping point comes when as the results begin manifesting, you are finally able to believe completely in what you can do and those lingering doubts vanish. You can see the progress you are making towards your goals and you create a vision larger than yourself that you believe unequivocally -- and that is when everything explodes exponentially. 

Just imagine the degree of doubt those 20 surviving soldiers would have had to overcome and how impenetrable their belief in their ability to cross the mangroves had to be in order for them to survive. Consider what the spectacle of the feeding frenzy amongst the crocodiles must have looked and sounded like and the degree of fear and self limiting beliefs each soldier had to overcome. And think about the degree of commitment and follow-through that was necessary to make it to the other side. There was no room for hesitation - everything relied upon instant decisions and follow-through if they were to survive. 

Just as few of the soldiers survived the crossing of the mangroves, few people ever survive the crossing of the swamps in their minds that enables them to live out their dreams

But for those that do, it is the focus and vision that they have, the absolute belief in their vision that they carry, and the non-negotiable follow-through that they employ. These are the basic ingredients, available to each of us, which can be used to determine the thoughts we choose, the beliefs we foster, and the actions we take which ultimately will define the path to our own success. 

There are tremendous opportunities and enormous waves of momentum that are out there to be ridden. Opportunities abound everywhere. But in order to catch a wave, each of us needs to be prepared to swim out to it.

It is our own vision, belief and follow-through that will determine which of us will get there. 

If 20 Japanese soldiers were able to cross 10 miles of mangrove swamps and overcome thousands of crocodiles, while 980 comrades were eaten, I have absolutely no doubt that any of us can navigate the swamps in our mind and achieve anything we choose to achieve. 

There is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve except for the limits we impose upon ourselves. 

And if we begin surrounding ourselves with like minded people with the same strong sense of belief and vision as we have, pretty soon we can leverage the strength and support of an entire team surrounding us. So, there is no reason for any of us to ever limit ourselves. 

Be awesome and start swimming! 

Author's Bio: 

Warren Wojnowski is one of the great up-and-coming personal development teachers. He is an Intrinsic Coach® and both a dedicated student and practitioner of law of attraction and life success principles.

To read more articles on self growth related topics, visit his website at www.InspiredAbundance.com/personal-development