Do your BELIEFS support the you that YOU want to be
I cannot stress enough how important your beliefs are to your success. If I could teach only one thing to my coaching clients to make the most impact in helping them attain their goals, it would be how to identify and change their limiting beliefs. We have positive beliefs that contribute to seeing positive results. For example, I believe that I'm a good father. That is a positive belief. It doesn't limit me in any way, shape or form. It allows me to express myself, my energy, mindset, emotion, and affection for my children. In contrast, if I believed I was a rotten father, my expression would be squelched and, no matter what I did, I would still feel bad and uncertain about my parenting. One of my clients didn't believe he would ever be as successful as his father. As a young boy, he watched his dad build a real estate empire. Friends and family revered his dad as a model of success. And even though his dad had never said anything negative to him, early on he began to believe that he was not good enough, would never be good enough, and certainly never be as good as his father. That belief prevented him from moving forward in his career. The trick with limiting beliefs is that they may sound very true and you may be able to drag up a lot of evidence for things like, “I’m not good at math” or “Men don’t think I’m attractive.”Maybe you’ve had years of “I’m a failure at business” or “People always deceive me” that have “proven” those beliefs to you. So, it must be the truth, right? Wrong. Limiting beliefs create a Catch-22. You only perceive what you believe. So, if you believe that you’re unattractive, that’s all you can see. A plastic surgeon, Maxwell Maltz, wrote about this decades ago. He discovered that many patients, no matter what he did for them, continued to see themselves as they believed themselves to be. For example, a man with over-sized ears came to Dr. Maltz to have them reduced. After a successful surgery, the patient still saw his ears as huge. If you’ve ever known someone with anorexia (a serious condition), you know that, no matter how emaciated they get, they still see themselves as “too fat.” It’s not about accuracy. It’s about belief. Beliefs can work to your benefit as well. For example, a student told me about watching her grandmother, who was considered a beautiful woman, even named "The Most Beautiful Woman in Miami Beach." “Even as a little girl, I realized that Gram was not that beautiful. Her nose was big, and her chin was almost masculine. However, she dressed and carried herself as if she was. She not only believed she was beautiful; everybody else did too.” What would have happened if that woman had been more self-critical and “accurate?” The “proof” of your limited belief was self-created. It’s all you could perceive because it’s what you believed. The question to ask yourself isn’t really whether a belief is true or not. The critical question is whether that belief serves you and who you want to be. It’s easy to spot a limiting belief. It’s not always easy to release it. You may need to release some underlying baggage to fully rid yourself of a belief that holds you back using a technique like the Mental and Emotional Release® process I teach. And you may be able to loosen it, taking the following steps. 1. Take an area of your life that is not working out the way you’d like and write down your beliefs about that area. For example, say your issue is a lack of money. Beliefs that keep you in that situation might sound like, “It’s hard to make money” or “People like me (in my profession/with my background/from this part of the world, etc.) never make much money” or “People who have a lot of money are greedy and selfish.” 2. Keep digging until you write down all of your limiting beliefs in that area. Think of “the reasons” why you are not where you want to be—these are just limiting beliefs—and write them down. Within your beliefs, you may have some facts. For example, if your expenses are more than your income, that might be a fact. But if you’re thinking, “My expenses will always be higher than my income,” that’s a limiting belief. 3. Next, soften the hold that belief has on you with questions like, “Is this always true? Does it have to be true? Is it true for everyone? Is there the slightest possibility that this isn’t true? And if this isn’t true, how would I feel and act differently?” 4. Next, come up with a more supportive belief that is a counter to each negative belief. For example, “Making money is a struggle” might be “Making money is easy and fun.” Think about people you know who have attained what you want in this area. Which belief do you suppose they hold? Could you adopt this new statement or something close to it? Your beliefs determine everything: your actions, others’ reactions to you, and definitely your results. The beauty is that by changing your beliefs, you change your life.
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