Looking at this magnificent countryside and boundless blue horizon stretching before my eyes, it is difficult to think of limits of any kind. And yet sometimes there are clouds in the horizon and obstacles on the way. Before I set out to become a coach I had never heard of the concept limiting belief. When my coach described it, it was like an epiphany! I could instantly recognize possessing a few of those sneaky monsters fixated in me for years. It is impossible to remember when did they originate and why.
What is a limiting belief? According to one dictionary a belief is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. Researching further, a belief is sometimes described as a mental representation often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty. This definition highlights the grip or power of beliefs over us humans as they encompass the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of our nature and shape the way we view our world. Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way and are often about our self-identity and self-confidence. Some of the most common examples of limiting beliefs are:
It’s too late (or too early) - I am too old to start another career, I am too old to change, I am too young to get this job…
Love is painful- Relationships are always doomed, Men can’t be trusted, Women can’t be trusted…
I am not good enough - If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me, I don’t have what it takes to succeed in the tough world of business… I am not clever enough, I am not educated enough…
The list is endless and the purpose of this blog is not to present an all exhaustive list. Rather it is to help raise your awareness on this particular subject. Did you recognize any of those limiting beliefs? If you did, don’t feel bad and don’t go hard on yourself. Bringing attention to the little inner voice that is maybe dictating your life is one step towards raising your self-awareness. Identifying the source of what your inner voice is saying is another step. Being conscious of what you are thinking and why is a huge step. Gradually and with the right tools you will learn to stop letting any voice or limiting belief control your decisions and actions.
The best way to combat any limiting belief is to discuss them with your coach who can suggest tools to help you first recognize your own limiting beliefs and then get rid of them.
As my favorite poet said, the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Sail to Ithaca today!