Recognise Your Limiting Beliefs

When you have read this months lead article If you think you can or you think you can’t – you are right, then take 5 minutes private time out for the next startlingly simple but powerful exercise.

Look at a simple goal you currently have – Write it down with its due date. Study it.

Now, write down all your beliefs about this one goal in two columns.
List everything you believe which is positive and supportive in the first column and list all the ugly hairy beliefs you have about this goal in the second column. Leave nothing out.
Look back at your behaviours in the last month in respect of this one goal, and delete those beliefs which have not been totally supported by your behaviours.

For example, your goal is to run your first ever marathon in June 2011. You have written that you believe you are getting fit, you believe you are going to do it in less than 4 hours, BUT your Behaviour is that it is 7 months away you have not yet put on your running shoes to train! Put a line through the “getting fit” belief, and put another line through the “under 4 hours” belief. Your behaviours do not support your stated beliefs).

Imagine Big Brother has been observing and recording your behaviours for the last month. Write down a separate list of what Big Brother would interpret your beliefs to be in relation to this goal from his examination of your behaviours.
You can be honest here as you are the only person reading the lists. E.g. in the marathon example, “I believe I am not capable” may be a more true belief.
Compare your lists.

These are your real beliefs as you are living them in relation to this one goal. What are your lists telling you about your beliefs around this particular goal? Are they supportive of achieving the goal or limiting you and holding you back?

This simple exercise is related to just one goal. If you found you only had supportive beliefs and your behaviours backed up what you stated as your beliefs, then congratulations, you are probably well on your way to achieving that goal.

Repeat the exercise for some of the goals you are not achieving and you may uncover a limiting belief holding you back. If this is the case then well done again. You are now one step closer to achieving (or redefining) these goals.

The lesson is that when we believe we can – we will. When we believe we can’t -we won’t.

This lesson applies to you, your colleagues, your staff, and your kids.

As a leader you may be wondering why one staff/team member is struggling to reach a target you set and another is effortlessly exceeding budget, when both appear to have the same skills etc. Limiting beliefs may be a factor.
Whilst performance management is a useful tool, it is also a blunt one. cheap car rental . Share this article with your team as an opening for individual discussions to explore if there are limiting beliefs holding someone back.

The great thing about beliefs is that they are just beliefs.

Beliefs are just thought forms. The most powerful belief we can have is that we control our beliefs. We can change them at will! For those of you who now want to argue that point and tell me that you will go to war for your beliefs. Remember the tooth fairy or Santa Claus (I have just been told in no uncertain terms that Santa Claus does not exist – by both my children).

Those beliefs fell by the wayside with a little new knowledge and a different perspective.

As you look back into your history you will notice many other beliefs that have you left behind with as you acquired personal growth, new knowledge and experience.

The most powerful belief we can have is that we can change our beliefs.

As you re-examine your unfinished goals – look at them in a new light. What limiting beliefs do you have which may have held you back?

Changing limiting beliefs can be as straightforward as speaking them aloud and acknowledging their existence. (Note: best done in privacy)

However for the more complex limiting beliefs Performance Coaching may be useful.
Begin it now – Start shifting limiting beliefs and achieving your goals.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which comes first – Goal Setting or the Belief that you can achieve your goals?

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