The idea of achieving our goals can often be daunting; with so many of the people I’ve coached, it was commonplace to turn negative thoughts into reality, allowing destructive beliefs about ones’ self to place limitations on one’s abilities. These “limiting beliefs” are assumptions about reality that are not true, and are what stand in the way of us realising our full potential.
Have you built walls to block success in your life? Ask yourself: –
Do you find it difficult to realise and fulfil your goals?
Are you clear on what needs to be done, but unsure of how to go about it all?
Does it sometimes feel as though someone is blocking you from achieving more?
Are there inner “voices” telling you that you are never good enough, leading you to believe you will never be a success?
Do these sound like the type of statements you might be telling yourself?
- I’m a failure
- I will never be good enough
- I don’t have any skills or talent
- Life is a challenge
- It’s easier for some people
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you’re one of many who think in this way. But there are ways to change this habitual thinking.
There are times when most of us experience a sense of helplessness and despair – when we have tried every option to reach our goals and none seem to work. More often than not, we stand in the way of our own success, and we sabotage ourselves, by indulging in beliefs that do not serve us.
What are you saying to yourself that is working against your efforts to improve your life?
I frequently encounter people who struggle with limiting beliefs, especially when it comes to finances and finding a fulfilling career. Business owners, managers and individuals alike will have put time, effort and valuable resources into achieving their goals, and sometimes to no avail. What separates them from people who are successful, when we are all born with the innate ability and talent to reach what we set out to achieve?
Our thoughts are powerful, if we think we can’t, we won’t; if we think we can, we will. Here are 6 tips to improving your life by changing limiting beliefs: –
- Become aware of what you say to yourself when you want to achieve or do something positive. For example if a manager asks me to coach her in managing her team, I might share with her best practice in people management. However, if her underlying belief is that people are useless, or only work for a salary, her management approach will be significantly different to that of one believing that people make an organisation. Coaching and support is essential to developing effective management approaches.
- Focus on what is working instead of what isn’t. By focusing on the negative in our lives we invariably see more of it. Focusing on your fear paralyses you to a point where you take no action at all. How often do we focus on what we have yet to achieve, obsessing over a perceived lack of accomplishments and not taking pride in what we do. When you become stuck in noticing all that you lack as a person, you are self-sabotaging. A simple acknowledgement and gratitude for everything that’s going right does wonders to achieving success.
- Be specific – visualise the future you want. When we are vague and unsure of what we want from life, we can’t achieve anything. To paraphrase an apt quote from Alice in wonderland “if we don’t have the end in mind the road will lead to anywhere”. Positive affirmations and visualisation bring us closer to achieving our goals.
- Fear of the unknown – think back to the fears you had as a child… As you grew and experienced more, you discovered that those fears – what you knew to be true – were mostly irrational. In business and our daily lives we tend to avoid taking action because of our fear of the unknown. A good question to yourself would be, “What would be the worst and best possible outcomes of this situation?” Having answers to those questions would allow you to put actions in place to work through those fears and be prepared for what may come.
- Unhealthy relationships – Do your friends and family support your dreams and decisions? Wouldn’t it be great if we had the support we needed to be successful? The reality of life is that we cannot change people and what they say to us; what we can change is how we react to what is said to us. Have you experienced sharing an idea with a friend and getting a negative response? A solution would be to share your ideas and success with people that support you and only want the best for you.
- Take action. Learn the skills to become the best at what you set out to do. Behaviour is learned and can be unlearned.
You and only you have the power to achieve success, tap into your inner strength and stop self sabotaging!