I’m sure like me many of you have read self-help books and maybe even attended the odd motivational workshop, either in your chosen profession or with personal development in mind. Whilst there you jot down some key takeaways, things you absolutely see the logic in in terms of applying to your personal or business life. For many that’s where they stay, in the notebook, and for others……. they may get implemented for a short time before old habits creep back in. So, what’s the rub? Why don’t we take the action that will lead to us breaking though our barriers and realising a fuller, more purposeful life……….?
It’s the question I used to frequently ask myself!
The issue is that in taking the action advised we are often confronting subconscious, unresolved, limiting beliefs which lead to procrastination and avoidance – which in turn allow us to remain squarely in our comfort zone. It’s easy to come up with excuses when we’re challenged by something: “I haven’t had time,” “I’ll do it when I have more knowledge/expertise,” “I don’t do public speaking” etc, etc. EXCUSES……….. and we know they are!!! They allow us to ‘save face’ and justify our inaction, whether to ourselves, or to others, or both, but ultimately they diminish us and lead to ongoing perpetuation of the problem.
So what is the difference between the action takers – the revered minority of instant implementers; and the perfectionists and procrastinators who never seem to get around to all of their great ideas? The key difference is beliefs. What you believe to be true about yourself, others, and your world, creates your reality.
And how are beliefs formed?
A large part of our belief system is programmed as a child in our family unit. If a child grows up with well balanced, self-regulating adults who allow them to have a go, learn through their mistakes, become age appropriately self-reliant and provide constructive guidance when mistakes and learnings inevitably happen, it is highly likely that the child will grow into adulthood with their sense of self identity and confidence in tact and with a predominantly resourceful set of beliefs around their competence and potential.
For many, however, there will have been elements of dysfunction in the family which will have led to trauma for the child, whether large traumas – physical/emotional abuse, domestic violence, openly hostile parental separations, repeated bullying; or smaller traumas such as over-controlling or emotionally unavailable parents that has led to a child adopting negative beliefs. These beliefs are varied in content, but the context always comes back to 3 universal fears; not being loved, not belonging or not being good enough.
So, assuming we have some beliefs we want to shift, how do we best go about it? The first thing to realise is that behaviours are learned strategies – and strategies can be changed. We all have some wiring (strategies) that could do with an upgrade, so just like a computer that needs the latest version of software to be installed, it is worth us bringing awareness to those outmoded areas of our own internal programming to ensure we’re getting the desired output.
Awareness is definitely the first step. Secondly, when you become aware of a limiting belief, ask yourself the question, “what would I have to believe is true about myself to hold this belief?” Pay attention to memories and take the time to reflect on where this belief came from. When you realise when and why you adopted it, you can more readily see it for what it is and let go of it.
Thirdly, you are not your past experiences. Decide the areas you want to shift, and focus on adopting the beliefs that will enable you to get there.I’ll leave you with a saying by Sara Henderson that I love…..
“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself!”
Call me, or schedule a FREE 30 minute exploratory call online, and let’s get your bloody torch lit!