The power of Limiting Beliefs
I was the quietest, most timid and shy little mouse when I was younger. In my earliest memories from childhood, I didn’t dare say “boo” to a goose, talked quietly, nobody could hear me and I was reluctant to go into unknown situations.
I suspect I was born this way and as I grew up I didn’t move away from this mortifying and negative state.
In the 6th form at school, my reports said I needed to start talking more in discussions. When I got into the world of work, I found it hard to speak in meetings, I was nervous of meeting new people and effectively this shyness was inhibiting my personal growth and happiness.
I started to change when I did a teacher training course — a one year, PGCE, training to teach in further education — and I was forced to face my fears. But the nervousness of meeting new people stayed with me and I must have seemed impolite when people tried to start a conversation and I was paralysed with fear so I didn’t return the conversation.
As I moved through my career, through extreme determination, refusal to be proved wrong, became an HR manager, negotiated with unions on restructuring and strike action, presented management cases to councillors and spoke at training events, I remained reluctant to speak in meetings and networking — well faced with that I would rather have had my fingernails pulled out!
Then I read an article explaining that a lot of people hate networking and gave a technique to handle this situation. Rather than walking into a room full of people being worried that they would talk to me, walk into the room, find someone to talk to and show interest in them. Ask them questions, find out about who they are and as this continues, a conversation can develop. It works and genuinely produces interesting conversations and gets you through those horrifying coffee break network opportunities.
The other thing that makes things easier is being like an actor in situations. At work, when running a hotel and doing all the meeting and greeting, when working as a client services manager and speaking with clients on the phone a lot of every day and ultimately meeting them face to face at client events, I felt like I was acting out a role in a play and so could move out of myself to play the role effectively.
I now know that the fact that I was shy was a limiting belief. A bit of shyness had become exacerbated as I grew up — possibly in many ways by being described by others as shy, introduced to others as shy and being treated accordingly — to the point that it was so deeply engrained in my psyche it became like tinted glasses through which I viewed the world.
I still think I am essentially slightly introverted, but enjoy meeting new people, love contact with people and can cope in situations when I meet new people.
Limiting beliefs often live deep within us and have so much become a part of us that we do not recognise them.
They could be affecting any one of you — if you are thinking any of the following things:-
· you won’t get the best jobs because you aren’t good enough
· you can’t lose weight because you are just meant to be overweight
· you can’t do maths so you are bad at handling money
then these could be limiting beliefs.
This isn’t an exhaustive list and are just a few examples of what could be limiting beliefs.
They can be so firmly engrained within you that you don’t even see them as limiting beliefs. You don’t realise they are holding you back and you won’t realise that they are preventing you from being happy and fulfilled.
“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ―Brian Tracy
That’s where a Life Coach comes in — helping you to discover and understand your limiting beliefs and helping you address them in a positive and life enhancing way.
As I finish my Life Coaching Diploma I see that I can help people gain confidence by the things I have gone through and how I have overcome them.
This isn’t going to be my only area of specialism as I am about to start on a Nutrition Diploma so that I can also help with Health and Wellbeing.
If you feel that you aren’t happy and fulfilled, if you want more but don’t know how to get there, then a Life Coach can help. It might not be me, there are coaches with experience and specialism in all sorts of areas, which you might need. But the essential point is that a person who is not a friend or family member can help you dig deep and find these limiting beliefs. This person can help you put a plan in place to get to where you want to be; break it into small, easily accessible steps and be with you to celebrate your successes and look in a challenging way if any small goals aren’t achieved.
You have one life and if you are unfulfilled and unhappy that is not the way to spend this beautiful gift you have been given.