What are your limiting beliefs?

I recently attended a seminar about how to take your life to the next level; how to live at your greatest. Part of me cringes as I write that last word – I suspect some of you rolled your eyes when you read it. But, truth be told, the fact that I cringed and that you may or may not have rolled your eyes is a sign of our discomfort with the word “great”. We have been conditioned to be satisfied with the good. We desire great, but feel that it is out of reach. Or, we may feel that we are great in some areas of our life and less in others… and that’s good for now.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

What if you could hit greatness, in all areas of your life, if you simply disempowered your limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are thoughts and convictions that we have, both consciously and unconsciously, about what something means or what the outcome will be if something were to happen. These beliefs aren’t based on truths nor facts, they are simply beliefs which we feed (by finding false correlations between situations) to validate our view of the world.

For example, I often struggle with self-doubt especially in the workplace. I will be sitting in a meeting with executives and will listen to them advise on a direction that I instinctually know is incorrect. Rather than challenge the conversation or decisions, I begin listening to this inside voice of mine that says, “Be quiet, you have no idea what you’re saying. You’ll look like an idiot if you’re wrong.” So then, rather than stick with my instinct to question the status quo, I doubt myself and say nothing. While those who had the courage to ask the questions are rewarded for their insight and “out of the box” thinking, I slouch deeper into my chair believing even more that I add no value. The executives must think I’m useless and therefore I am.

On and on goes the cycle.

I shy away from debates, silence myself during career-making opportunities and intentionally block my potential to grow. I allow myself to become the effect of shitty situations rather than the cause of great ones.

With the new year just around the corner, I challenge you to think about a goal you’ve had for a long time. Maybe it’s to run a marathon or move up the corporate ladder or start your own business. Now, take a piece of paper and jot down all the reasons you feel you have yet to achieve it. Look deeply inward and try to draw on at least one negative belief that you have that’s blocking your progress.

Write it down. Look at it. Allow yourself to be in the emotion, to feel its negativity and the weight that it carries. Are you ready to let it go? Are you ready to achieve goals? It starts with you, intentionally changing your inner dialogue and having a profound understanding that these beliefs are not truths. Don’t empower them.

Become the cause not the effect this new year.

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