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How are you holding yourself back in life? What are your limiting beliefs costing you? How can you change them into new, more useful, beliefs?
Limiting beliefs often stem from early childhood and can develop over time as our subconscious mind absorbs messages from our; environment, family, friends, teachers, society etc. If we identify with inadequacies in our early years, we can spend the rest of our adult lives committed to proving that we are in fact adequate or ‘this’ not ‘that’. Underlying feelings of inadequacy become fertile ground for other people’s values and as the years go by it’s easy to forget about or lose sight of your own.
When do you find yourself reacting?
It’s likely that you will become extra sensitive to any suggestion that you are not who you would like to be. So, for the person who has set out to prove their competence, a comment from another suggesting they are incompetent is a mortal blow. Similarly, if a person has worked hard to train their muscles and bulk up in order to be viewed as strong, being called weak is difficult to hear.
The need to maintain these images can be so great that many people simply avoid any situations where there’s a chance they might be ‘found out’.
It’s in this place of inadequacy and vulnerability that we build up a host of beliefs that limit us in our lives. It's these beliefs that occupy the gap between what is important to us and where we focus our efforts. It’s here we decide “I’m not the kind of person who …” “I’m not talented at …” “I will never be able to…” This is where our hopes and dreams are eroded away.
The theory behind most schools of psychoanalysis, is that once you understand why you feel inadequate in certain situations, why you feel the need to pretend you are what you are not and why you suppress your own convictions, you can start making changes.
The danger of limiting beliefs is that they are blind spots and self-perpetuating. The mind selects information that supports your beliefs and you attract more of what you think about. These hidden limiting beliefs can have a profound effect on your actions, feelings and ultimately your reality, success and happiness.
It’s easy to understand how limiting beliefs can impact our lives generally but let’s consider them in the context of interviews. What beliefs do you hold about the process? Is it a battle with winners and losers? Have you ever thought or heard yourself say “I’m useless at interviews” “the other candidates are better than me”?
What’s the impact of these thoughts / beliefs? I suspect as the interview approaches, you’ll be visualising a sea of hostile faces, you’ll be feeling out of control, you might be distracted and procrastinate rather than preparing, what’s the point, right?! You might even begin to feel anxious. In this state you’re likely to show up as nervous, defensive or something else but definitely not your true powerful self.
If you think about your professional development and career, where are you struggling to achieve what you want?
What reasons do you give yourself?
Where did you learn these beliefs?
What have these self-limitations cost you?
In what ways have these beliefs benefitted you?
What other reasons could there be, try to think of at least 5 other possible explanations.
I invite you to become a limiting belief detective for one week, listen out for out for phrases like “It’s impossible” “I’ve never been able to” “I always…” notice them in yourself and other people to build awareness.
When you uncover your own limiting beliefs, ask yourself: Is this belief useful and serving to move me forwards in a positive way, or is it limiting and holding me back from living the life I truly want and deserve?