DON'T IMAGINE THAT YOUR AUDIENCE ARE NAKED - IMAGINE THE OPPOSITE
May 4, 2016
ELIMINATING SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS
July 16, 2016
Self-limiting beliefs are a subject familiar to all. We all have something that holds us back. Sometimes we can tell what it is and why that is and sometimes it’s more difficult because most of our self-limiting beliefs were formed in our childhood. We might not even be able to identify that the way we think about something is because someone said something to us when we were five. We just accept it as the absolute truth and no matter what others say, we won’t take it into consideration. That’s how strong our beliefs are.
Sometimes you might wonder why you find something hard and the other person gets it effortlessly. It’s about the meaning they apply to it. I worked with a woman and she said that her limiting belief was that she was ugly. She wasn’t. She didn’t look any worse then any other woman in the room, but when she was young her brother used to tell her that she was ugly and she accepted it as the truth and it affected her life forever. I often meet people who say “You can speak foreign languages. You must be really talented in that department” but I personally believe that it’s all about what you think about foreign languages and your motivation. When I was in my early 20s, I decided to learn French because it’s a useful language. I had never liked French but I thought it would have been good for my career so I would make myself learn it. I stopped after a year, because I didn’t have any motivation to learn it. By contrast in 2013 I learnt Portuguese in three months and I absolutely love using it. The motivation was completely different. I didn’t learn it because it was useful but because I liked the language. It was the same me, the same dose of alleged “talent” but completely opposite results. That’s why I think everyone can learn a language if they really want to. If you speak one language already, you can definitely learn another one.
Our beliefs are so strong that they become who we are. They are reflected in everything we do, the people we hang out with, the opinions we share and our attitudes towards various things. Some of them are helpful and have helped us get where we are now and some are stopping us from getting what is humanly within our reach, even though to us it might not feel like it. That’s why it is important to identify them and realise what damage they are doing to our life. Do you remember the time when you didn’t apply for a job because you thought that you wouldn’t get it anyway? I’m sure you can think of many examples.
Most of our limiting self-beliefs are building blocks that we put around us thinking they will protect us but the fear is only an illusion. What will happen if you apply for the job and you won’t get it? Nothing. But at least now the recruiter knows that you exist and are interested in their company.
Our self-limiting beliefs not only create barriers but also filters through which we perceive the world. Things are never the way we see them. We always see a distorted image filtered through our upbringing, education, and life experiences. Trouble is we never think “This is not how it is, this is only how I perceive it”. We accept what we see, feel and hear as the absolute truth and it is never the case. Imagine if what you saw was not real, your perceptions were wrong and what people think of you is not actually true. It is only what you think they think. The bottom line is: we have to become more aware of other ways of looking at things. Only then will we realise that the way we look at things may not be the way they really are.
Eliminating self-limiting beliefs is a process but once you start and realise what it would be like if you didn’t have them, you will become more motivated to change. When you have some time for yourself, sit down and think hard about the answers to the following questions:
Consider what beliefs you hold about yourself that are holding you back from achieving what you want.
What will it mean to you if you don’t change those beliefs?
Think of a more helpful belief in place of the old belief. Make sure it is realistic and you are comfortable with it.
Give two reasons why this belief is appropriate for you and will make you more effective in what it is that you want to achieve.
Imagine living your life for the next 5 years with that belief. What are you doing differently? What is happening?
When are you going to put that new belief into practice?
Changing a limiting belief takes time. It is tough at the beginning but gets easier each time; so if you fail at your first attempt, don’t beat yourself up. Just try again in a few hours.
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