“We do not see the world as it is, but as we are” – Anais Nin
So, you’re finally starting to wake up to the fact that there’s more to life than what you’ve been living – CHECK! You’ve started to see yourself, others and the world in a different and more meaningful way – CHECK! You know you want a life of fulfillment, excitement, accomplishment and a sense that you are making a positive impact and difference in the world – CHECK!
Ok …. so what’s stopping you? Whilst I don’t believe in quick-fixes or shortcuts when it comes to personal transformation, I’m grateful that The Secret has helpfully popularised the notion that our minds are the source of our creative power and that it’s our thoughts that determine our experience.
That’s the Truth; the world is a perceptual illusion.
Put simply, we experience our personal world through the interpretations of reality that we create. Whatever is happening at any given moment, it is the interpretation you are placing on it that will determine the nature and quality of your experience.
Last time I briefly introduced the idea of the Energy Blocks and explained how they are like invisible brick walls. The Energy Blocks are effectively 4 categories of thoughts, beliefs and interpretations that stop us from making successful changes in our lives. Today we focus on the first of these blocks, known as Limiting Beliefs.
At iPEC these are defined as:
“Something you accept about life, about your world or the people in it that limits you in some way.”
Generally, limiting beliefs focus on your ideas or beliefs about the outside world. They are things that we’ve been conditioned to believe by our family, community, school, friends or the media, that somehow limit us.
Here are some typical examples:
- (My sister said) there are no good men in the dating pool over 40;
- (Everyone knows) that you have to have money to make money;
- (They say) there are no good job opportunities in this economy, so the smart people are staying put.
The thing is, the beliefs themselves are harmless until they limit us in our own lives. Think about it, if you’re over 40, single and considering dating but you’ve taken on your sister’s belief, why would you even bother looking or registering for a dating website?
For now, let’s take an example that I come across more often than most, with a limiting belief highlighted for you:
- You’re looking to leave your job.
- You want to do something flexible, fun, fulfilling and that pays well.
- You’re interested in coaching because you love working with people
- You’ve heard from friends/family that it’s not possible to earn good money as a coach.
- Naturally, you’re afraid to quit your job or invest in a professional qualification given that you believe there’s a high risk that you won’t be able to make ends meet
And voila! You’re stuck.
Here’s the bottom line: up until now, you’ve had these thoughts unconsciously and as such they’ve acted as an internal braking system. But now that you can see the limiting belief, you have the choice to assess it, determine its relevance to you and move past it.
Challenging limiting beliefs is actually relatively straightforward. The key is to find examples and evidence that the limiting belief is NOT universally true. Let’s try it with some typical coaching questions we would use to tackle limiting beliefs:
You’ve heard from friends/family that it’s not possible to earn good money as a coach
- How true is that belief really?
By doing a little research you would soon discover that there are thousands of successful professional coaches out there, many of them earning six and seven figure incomes. Coaching can also be combined with speaking, training, writing, consulting and doing assessments, all of which complement each other and offer additional sources of income.
- Where did I get that belief from?
How reliable and knowledgeable is the source? How much do your friends and family really know about the industry? Where did they get the information from? What was the agenda behind them saying it? How relevant is that to you with your experience and network?
- How is having that belief really impacting me/my happiness?
What’s it costing you? A new and more fulfilling career path, the chance to spend more time with your kids, an opportunity for self-discovery, an introduction to new and like-minded people, a fun experience?
- How would things be different if I could let that belief go?
What would you be motivated to do differently? Perhaps you would explore the possibilities and discover what options are out there?
Bringing it back to our example, those who look for answers soon discover that our training is delivered flexibly over 7 months, meaning that they have the opportunity to learn new skills, meet like-minded people, grow and develop personally and build a successful business without even having to quit their full time job. On top of that, over 85% of our students have paying clients before they even graduate.
So you see, the danger of unconsciously believing a limiting belief is in not taking the action to discover that the solution is out there and available to you. There will always be a multitude of options sitting just beyond that invisible brick wall, but it’s up to us to work on cultivating the ability to see them …
So before next time:
- I recommend taking a moment to think of some limiting beliefs that are or have been relevant in your own life; and
- Observe how they affect you and the people around you.
Until then I invite you to check out our Facebook page to learn more about ways you can cultivate your self-awareness and increase your level of consciousness. Stay tuned for the next post on Interpretations, the second of the four Energy Blocks.