16 Jan What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are those thoughts that are unknowingly holding you back from being your empowered self. Let me explain.
As a child, or throughout your childhood you may have been told such things as ‘you’re not creative,” “you’re not sporty”, “you’re not good enough at X”.
Over time, if you hear these limiting beliefs often enough, they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you are not creative, you will unconsciously steer away from anything that would prove your belief right – the ‘told you so’ effect.
In actual fact, all you have done is apply a mental ceiling on your ability. This can easily be changed by adding one simple word to the end of “you’re not” sentence – YET, you’re not creative yet.
Of course it’s easy to say ‘yet’, but you may still have a mindset of not even trying, your self-belief is so restrained by years of thinking in the same negative way. If that’s the case, search within yourself and look for other possible obstacles you may be putting in your own way. Such things as ‘I don’t have enough time,’ I don’t have the right equipment’. All these objections are really just YOU holding YOU back.
Let’s apply limiting beliefs to a work situation. Suppose for a moment that you work in a sales environment. You are responsible for winning new business, a role that is new to you. You have been reasonably successful so far but there’s that one account that’s proving hard to get. You think you’ve tried every possible option. In a meeting with your boss, he suggests that perhaps you’re not asking for the sale. This shocks you, how can you be successful if you miss this vital step with other accounts but it gets you thinking. This account is HUGE, it could be a real game changer for you and for your team. Each time you’ve met the client face to face, you’ve felt a little intimidated, that perhaps you’re not good enough to win this account, or that you’re not good enough to service the account once you have won it. Enter limiting beliefs!
After uncovering these self-limiting beliefs, you can address them – what you need now is PROOF! You need to prove to your mind and yourself that YOU ARE good enough.
Look to your history to find this evidence. You KNOW you CAN do it, how else could you be successful? What did you do to win your other new business that you’re not doing with this one? You’re probably going in with a mindset of ‘I don’t deserve this’, ‘I’m not good enough’. If that’s the case, try this powerful exercise.
Take yourself off to a quiet place, sit or even better lay down. Close your eyes and play a movie in your mind. In the movie, you’ve done the deal with hard-to-get-client and you’re signing contracts, shaking hands and smiles all round. You go back to the office, tell your boss and the whole team join in celebrating your success.
How does it feel?
What can you see, hear, smell, taste?
What are you wearing?
Who’s with you?
Be as detailed and clear about this as you possibly can be, write it down if it helps. Draw a picture that captures the emotions.
Then, the next time you’re due to visit this account, before you walk through the door take out the words you wrote and picture you drew. Walk in with that scene playing front and centre of your mind – you will be UNSTOPPABLE.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve broken through the self-limiting belief, celebrate the achievement. 🙂
The next time you’re in a similar situation, repeat the same exercise and notice the difference it has in your mood, emotions and results.
I’d love to hear of any success you have in doing this exercise, feel free to leave a comment. If you’d like to learn more about dynamic self empowerment training why not sign up to the weekly newsletter? (We promise we won’t send anything that’s not relevant or inundate your already busy inbox.)