I recently participated in providing brief coaching sessions to attendees at a national conference in my home town. While I met some truly inspiring young professionals who knew who they were, what they wanted and the personal values that drove their actions, 85% of the individuals I met in those sessions manifested self-limiting beliefs. Beliefs are a set of rules that govern that way we think and act. For example, here are a few I heard
• I am not the kind of person who ………..
• They always hire the …….., not someone like me.
• It’s a recession, I’ll never get a new job
• I’m not smart enough to ……………..
The brain/mind is wired to help us manifest what we believe. In science, that is known as the placebo effect- if you believe that something will make you feel better- it will. Yes, you have that kind of power within you. Our brains are powerful recorders taking in all that we see, hear and experience. In addition, our parents, teaches, bosses, friends, family, play a significant role in reinforcing or moderating our beliefs. Beliefs and behaviors are so hardwired in our consciousness that we don’t often know that we hold them.
What can you to insure that your beliefs are not limiting you?
• Push the play button and play back the tapes you have laid down over the years. When I played mine, here’s what I heard, “You can never count on anyone else, you can only count on yourself.” “You always need to win.” So I became an independent, high performing, competitive individual. As I progressed in my career and started managing others, these beliefs were getting in the way of effectively delegating and caused me to push my team too hard at times.
• Be diligent in not owning other’s self-limiting beliefs. Friends, family, colleagues often provide well-intentioned unsolicited advice based on their beliefs. Sometimes these perspectives can cloud our own thinking. Life someone saying in response to our desire to go in a particular direction, Oh, you could never do that because…………..
• Practice positive self-talk. Use the placebo effect to your advantage. When our department was going through a particularly stressful time, I would pump myself up before entering the office and when I greeted my assistant, I would say, It’s going to be a perfect day, everything will go our way. At the end of the day, she would say how amazing the day was. That did not mean that we did not experience any challenges that day or that nothing significant happened. Because we expected it to all work out, it did. I know it sounds simple but try it for a month and keep a journal of what happens.
• Get out of your comfort zone. It is possible to unlearn beliefs and to develop new beliefs and behaviors. Take small steps to put yourself out there. Make that phone call that you are afraid to make, write that proposal that you think others will reject, apply for that job that you really want.