– ARE YOU HOLDING YOURSELF BACK?
Ever thought to yourself ‘I’m not smart enough,’ ‘I am too old,’ ‘I am not good enough,’ ‘I do not have enough experience,’ ‘I will never meet someone’, ‘I’ll never lose weight’. We all have at some point, and we go as far as seeking evidence to support these feelings and beliefs to validate why we are not achieving our goals.
These beliefs are known as limiting beliefs and can hold you back from achieving your full potential.
Imagine this…. Walking in an affluent neighbourhood, admiring the beautiful homes of a substantial size, pristine gardens, flash car in the driveway and just leaving the house is a young family and you think to yourself ‘they must have won the lottery to have all that at their age’ or ‘I bet they have rich parents’. You have convinced yourself that the only way you can have the same is to be of a certain age or to have won the lottery or have a helping hand. You have limited yourself to the possibilities of ever having what you have just admired.
During my coaching sessions I speak with clients all the time who have dreams and goals but convince themselves they are out of reach because of their age, lack of experience, they missed the boat, they are not smart enough. They then become predisposed to seek out evidence to validate these thoughts and support their decision that it cannot be done and ignore evidence to support that it actually can.
If you fear failing you are more likely to focus on your mistakes and others that may have failed, to confirm your expectation of failure, while disregarding your successes, achievements and others who have been successful. This selective attention and interpretation of information serve to reinforce the limiting belief, making it seem even more like an unquestionable truth – a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Once the prophecy is set in motion, the person’s confirmation bias helps ensure that the prophecy stays on course by directing their attention towards even more evidence that supports the anticipated outcome and before you know it you have become your own worst enemy.
What if we flipped this narrative? What if we believed nothing could stop us and we are capable of anything. What if we were not fazed by obstacles and actually enjoyed overcoming them and feared nothing.
Life is one long narrative made up of chapters, and we are the author. So, in essence, our lives can be whatever we want them to be, and we CAN achieve whatever we want to achieve, we can write and edit our story.
SO HOW DO WE OVERCOME THESE LIMITING BELIEFS?
BE AWARE – Be self-aware and understand what your limiting beliefs are so that you can tackle them effectively. Note down persistent thoughts or assumptions that are holding you back.
ROOT CAUSE – What is the root cause for this belief? Is it a personal belief, hereditary belief, developed from experience, a fear or excuse, societal belief? What has created these boundaries and limitations?
CHANGE – Once you understand where the belief has come from you will see it is something you have learned or created to protect yourself. But it is just a thought, and we can change the way we think.
CHALLENGE IT – ‘I’ll be on my own forever’ – But what if I am wrong. ‘I’ll never get that promotion’ – But what if I do? Challenge your own beliefs and visualise the possibilities of achieving what you want.
ALTERNATIVES – Produce 4 or 5 alternative assumptions. This will force you to see that your beliefs are not grounded facts, and you do have options.
TEST IT – Take yourself out your comfort zone and put your new alternatives to the test. What have you got to lose? Have the courage to go out into the world and see if you were wrong.
Do not be confined by your own perceptions and constrained by thinking that your thoughts and beliefs are facts. Challenge your own understanding and test new ideas and do not be limited into thinking you have already reached the full extension of yourself – you can develop and grow into whoever you want to be and live the life you want to live, don’t allow the enemy within to stop you.