In our work as leadership coaches, at a certain point, coachees will inevitably come face to face with the single most significant blocker to fulfilling their potential: limiting beliefs. These beliefs, often hidden from our view, can hinder our progress and prevent us from pursuing our dreams. However, by understanding and effectively working with these beliefs, we unlock a new level of freedom to act in the world.
Becoming Aware of Limiting Beliefs
The first step in conquering limiting beliefs is to become aware of their existence. Take the time to tune into your internal dialogue – what you say to yourself when faced with certain situations or people. Pay attention to recurring patterns and negative scripts that play on repeat in your mind and undermine your confidence. Empower yourself to challenge and transform these beliefs by shining a light on them.
Journaling for Awareness
Journaling can be a powerful tool for gaining this awareness. Take five minutes at the end of the day and ask yourself, “What made me feel uncomfortable today?”
Reflect on challenges in your life and inquire, “What’s holding me back in this?” or “What do I believe to be true about myself in this situation?”
Questioning the Validity of Limiting Beliefs
Once you have identified a limiting belief, it’s crucial to question its validity. Often, these beliefs are formed based on outdated information, past failures, or external conditioning. Ask yourself whether the belief is supported by concrete evidence or simply a fear-based assumption. If you objectively question the basis of these beliefs, they’ll begin to loosen their grip on you.
Creating New, Positive Subconscious Beliefs
The process of shifting limiting beliefs is twofold: creating new, positive beliefs and releasing old scripts.
Embracing Positive Affirmations
When you closely examine your limiting beliefs, you will see two things: firstly, they are made up – usually in an attempt to protect ourselves from past harm or invalidation, and this can go back to very early life. Secondly, you have the power to create new beliefs and a new place to operate from. You can create and repeat an affirmation that replaces the current limiting belief with one that empowers you. Affirmations are short, positive statements that counteract limiting beliefs and reinforce empowering thoughts. Create one consistent with who you want to be in the world and repeat it daily and with conviction. And the real beauty is that you can create one to suit any situation, depending on what you are up for at the time. Here are a few that I have found especially empowering:
Here are a few that I have found especially empowering:
“I am bold”
“I am loving”
“I am powerful”
Engaging Imagination and Emotions
As you repeat the affirmation, try to engage your imagination and your senses. Imagine yourself in a scene where you are embodying that affirmation. Engage as many senses as you can. Ask yourself what you feel, smell, touch, hear and see you experience the scene. Your mind responds to emotions rather than just thoughts, so give your mind a sensory experience of “being” that affirmation.
Prioritise doing this just before you go to sleep or when you’re rousing in the morning when your mind is most quiet and receptive to programming.
Releasing Hidden Negative Beliefs
While affirmations can create a positive shift in self-perception and behaviour, they may not immediately stick. In addition to affirmations, you may need to remove negative hidden beliefs contradicting the positive affirmation.
Seeking Support and Guidance
Dealing with deep-rooted limiting beliefs can be challenging, so don’t hesitate to seek support. Engage with a trusted mentor, coach, or therapist who can guide you through this transformative journey. They can offer insights, provide tools, and hold you accountable as you work deeply on yourself. Surround yourself with a community of like-minded individuals who encourage growth, healing and positivity.
Addressing Past Trauma
Negative beliefs may stem from past trauma. To resolve these traumas, various approaches can be taken. Different modalities include holotropic breathwork, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, regression therapy, plant-based therapy, energy and sound healing, and somatic healing. What these approaches have in common is their ability to bring hidden beliefs to the surface and release them from the system.
Let your intuition guide you to the path that will resolve any issues lurking in your subconscious.
Rising above limiting beliefs is an empowering and liberating experience. By actively questioning the validity of your beliefs, creating and embracing affirmations, and seeking support to release any past trauma, you can break free from the chains of limitation and live your true potential. Believe in yourself and embark on this transformative journey to unleash the extraordinary possibilities that lie within you. Remember, you are capable of achieving greatness beyond your wildest imagination.