The easiest way to spot limiting beliefs is to listen to your ‘self-talk’ when things go badly. Typical examples of limiting ‘self-talk’ are ‘I’m no good at …’, or ‘I can’t …’. Each time you talk or think in this way, the belief becomes more entrenched.
The good news is that this limiting way of thinking can be changed to ways of thinking that are truly empowering. The following process is a good way to do this:
1. Write down your limiting belief and ask yourself – ‘what will I get from changing this way I think about things?’
2. Ask yourself ‘Am I ready to change this way of thinking that’s holding me back?’ Check that the ‘yes’ is a true yes and feasible. If not, what is getting your way? Do you need to do some work on that?
3. Ask yourself ‘What would be a more useful way of thinking, instead?’ Write down that answer.
4. Turn your answer into a linguistic process, one that has progression in it – here’s an example – find something you can ‘do’ to make the statement more believable. Use words such as begin; start; prepare; establish; grasp; learn; master; realise; understand.
Such as ‘I can be good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
5. Make it enjoyable. Find words that would make the more useful way of thinking motivating, such as comfortable; easy; effective; effortless; elegant; enjoyable; fantastic; magical; magnificent; successful; thrilling. For example ‘I can enjoy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s effortless being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s easy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
6. Write down the final version of the new more useful way of thinking and notice any objections that come up for you, any little voices in your head. Symbolically let them go by writing them down, or saying them out loud, until no more objections are left. They are no longer unconscious objections now, no longer getting your way.
7. Now take a minute to imagine living with this new belief for a whole day. Would it cause any problems? If so, fine-tune the new belief until it causes no problems. Do a final check: ‘If I could think in this more useful way would I take it on board?’ Check you get an answer from yourself that you are truly happy with, and that this new way of thinking is truly motivating. What evidence will let you know it is coming true for you? Practise acting ‘as if’ the new way of thinking is yours on a daily basis until it becomes so.
8. Finally ask yourself ‘What will be the first evidence (what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel) that this way of thinking is coming true?’
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.