Put your hand up if you’ve ever doubted your abilities, considered yourself a fraud or an imposter? Have you ever thought you were operating on borrowed time waiting for someone to catch you out, and expose you for the fake you believe you are? These thoughts are what we calling self-limiting beliefs. Welcome to the club, everybody experiences limiting beliefs at different stages and ages in their lives and careers, it is normal.
The trick here is learning how to keep the nasty little voices in your head at bay and to learn how to manage and control them.
Don’t ignore them
Trying to ignore these thoughts and push them under the carpet might hold them back for a short period, but they are still under the carpet. Ignoring your limiting beliefs doesn’t miraculously get rid of the beliefs, it just delays the inevitable, causes a lot of undue stress and creates a tripping hazard in your life. So when you least expect it, you could stumble over the limiting belief hump which lies buried under the carpet.
Acknowledge and name them
So often we turn away from these limiting beliefs because we see them as weaknesses and perhaps character flaws. Because we find it painful to deal with them and shamefully believe that these little voices are confirming a truth. The more we turn away from these negative beliefs or ignore them they tend to grow. They become larger, more hurtful and more controlling. So instead of ignoring them, acknowledge them. Face them head on. Acknowledge their existence and name them. By doing this you are able to start the journey of learning how to manage and control them on your own terms.
Start by taking some time out of your schedule and get really curious about why these limiting beliefs seem to appear in your life. Where do these thoughts originate from? What experience is supporting these beliefs? What triggers these feelings and beliefs? How am I benefiting from holding onto these thoughts? Was there a time were I didn’t have these beliefs and why is there a change?
Dig deep and question everything. Pull your thoughts apart. Challenge!
Make a plan
Once you’ve dissected the belief and examined every side of it, warts and all, come up with a plan for how you will deal with it. Depending on what you discover, you may need to work on positive affirmations, learn a new skill, seek professional guidance or work on changing a behaviour, which is not serving you. There are many ways, but it is essential that you find the alternative. This will allow you to take charge. To take control.
Let it go
Once you’ve started implementing your plan, your habits will start to change for the better. There is no place to store your old limiting beliefs, they just get in the way. Make the decision and learn to let them go.
I am aware that this is easier said than done. It’s damn hard work to wrestle your negative thoughts into submission and sometimes we don’t always get it right. But, ask yourself this. “If you don’t change your limiting beliefs, what will happen?” If you are not satisfied with your answer then go back to point 1 of this article and start taking control of your limiting beliefs.
Need some help with taking charge of your limiting beliefs? Need a coach? Contact Nicole @ firstname.lastname@example.org