Have you ever heard yourself saying something that you believed to be true, something that has guided your decision making and you’ve never questioned it? It was told to you a long time ago by someone that you held in regard, it could have been a parent, relation or friend. ‘You know what, they told me so it must be true.’
Being peer coached not so long ago, a phrase came out of my mouth that I was full sure was true. It was so true it had been a guiding principle in my decision making for years. When I was asked ‘Why?’ I became disarmed. This phrase that I had taken on board to be true was at the heart of stopping me moving forward in the direction that I had chosen to go. I was right where I thought I wanted to be and yet like a fly at a window, I couldn’t see myself butting up against this invisible contradiction.
The phrase is “No one is going to listen to me without a qualification.’ It had been drummed in to me by people that I held in regard until someone asked me ‘Why?’. I didn’t have an answer. I’m articulate and well read, I socialise well, I’m a good listener and attentive. I know all this because I am constantly told (and without solicitation). And I’m in sales. Do well but can you imagine the world that opened up to me once I identified and started working on this? I thought to myself “When was the last time you asked a television salesman for his degree in electrical engineering of physics to see if they knew why one television worked better than another?”
Many of us take limiting beliefs on board without checking. ‘You can’t draw’, ‘You’re not good at maths’, ‘You’ll never make it as an athlete’ or even ‘It’s better to play it safe than sorry’. Imagine telling Einstein, the Wright Brothers, Edison, Gates, Jobs or Jordan any of the previous. (Notice I didn’t have to put their first names in either!). Yet people do it every day, some well intentioned, some not so well intentioned. They will tell YOU what YOU are like and capable of? Seriously? So here’s something to think about; I’m Irish. Me living, working and speaking Chinese will never make me a Chinese person, one has to be Chinese from birth. The best I could ever do it to know about, not actually know, what it is to be Chinese. The best others can do is to know about you but without being you they will never know ‘you’.
So next time you hear yourself uttering something ‘that you know to be true‘, STOP and THINK and QUESTION. Does this belief serve me or hold me back? Where did I learn this from? Am I passing it one to someone else without checking it first? Take actions that are true to yourself, feelings that resonate with you. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits. Actions that are taken with the boldness that come from your true self are never wrong and never weak.
Attention: To identify a limiting belief is not to overcome it. Remember, a limiting belief has probably been ingrained in you for some time. There is no magic pixie dust that will change your mindset over night. As you stride boldly in a new direction, your old programming will have a strong gravitational pull on you. The great news is that this can be overcome and it will eventually disappear, replaced by new and empowering beliefs based on what you know through personal experience. Like upgrading your operating system on a new computer, one that is compatible and doesn’t have you crashing when you go to operate certain commands. Your consciousness is your powerful ally, accepting what you tell it. To use and affirmation made famous by Barack Obama “Yes we can!’
Check out this guy, Erik Whal. I saw him do his thing in Hawaii. He was told as a child that he was no good at art because he didn’t paint within the lines. It changed his career path and he lost his happy.