Everyone ‘suffers’ from self-limiting beliefs but what are they and how can they prevent us from achieving our dreams and goals?
Self-limiting beliefs are limitations, whether conscious or unconscious that we believe in. They can restrict us from doing what we really want to do. They colour our perception and determine our actions or in some cases, our in-actions. They can be created by ourselves through our experiences during our early years or we can form beliefs as a result of negative feedback and comments from other people. Take for example, if you never felt that you were particularly good at writing English essays in class, you might form the self-limiting belief that you are no good at writing. As a result of this belief you may avoid any situations that involve writing such as writing blogs, writing Press Releases, writing articles – the list can be endless. So, then this self-limiting belief restricts you believing that you are capable of writing blogs, Press Releases etc.
What is wonderful about self-limiting beliefs is that we can learn to challenge them and as a result of challenging them, we can then see that in fact the belief is unfounded and not based on fact. As a result of this insight, we can then convert the self-limiting belief into an empowering belief.
Typical Self-Limiting Beliefs
Typical self-limiting beliefs may be:
- I’m not good enough to Lead people
- I’m not good enough / funny enough / intelligent enough …
- I’d never be able to do that
- I’m no good at painting / speaking languages / doing my accounts
- I’d never have the confidence to do ….
The list as you can see is endless however, just imagine if you could convert your self-limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs – how would you feel? Of course, you would feel brilliant / successful / clever etc. Then think of how you would behave if you had a number of empowering beliefs – wouldn’t life be easier and more fulfilling?
I’ll go through 2 techniques below to show you how to challenge and convert your self-limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs!
1st Technique to Challenge Self-Limiting Beliefs
Firstly, write down 2 self-limiting beliefs about your Leadership skills or abilities which impact you negatively on a regular basis.
Now challenge them!
Next, then describe a previous time(s) when each of these beliefs were overridden and unproven. In other words, write down a similar situation where you have achieved a positive outcome. Break the information down step by step.
Then record how you felt when you achieved this positive outcome and then ‘save’ this information and use it to challenge and overcome another self-limiting belief.
So, for example, if you feel you are not good enough to lead people, then record a previous time when you did successfully lead a team or person through a situation. How did you achieve this – break every step down you took e.g. called a meeting, discussed the issues at hand, spoke with each team member individually to gain an understanding of their issues etc until you have every step recorded up to the point of where the outcome was positive and successful. Then read back over what you recorded and see how you feel now in relation to your self-limiting belief that you are not good enough to lead people. Save this example and other examples and read and re-read through them when you feel your self-limiting belief of not being good enough to be Leader kick in. You will succeed in converting that self-limiting belief into an empowering belief.
2nd Technique to Challenge Self-Limiting Beliefs
Another method I use on my Leadership Courses and Workshops to challenge a self-limiting belief is to look at ways you can overcome the self-limiting belief.
For example, if your self-limiting belief is that you believe that you cannot present in public, then ask yourself this question ‘what do I need to do to ensure that I can present in public?’ Your responses might be: take a Presentation Skills course, get feedback from your peers, record yourself on your phone, offer to speak at your local Sports Club, join Toastmasters etc. You now have several ways and options to challenge and overcome the self-limiting belief.
By implementing the above, you will be well on the road to overcoming your self-limiting beliefs and converting them to empowering beliefs!
Until next time.