You may have heard the term ‘limiting beliefs‘ in the past. The sense that we all have beliefs that may be holding us back. You may experience it as that the little voice that says that you can’t do things, the one that says you are not good enough, bright enough, good looking enough; the voice that limits you from living as fully as you would like.
If this voice ever starts to hold you back, here are five ways to challenge it:
1. Blow It Up: Imagine your fear and blow it out of all proportion. Laughing at fears will help get control of them. E.g. You have a fear of public speaking, so you imagine all the things that could go wrong, falling off the stage, saying the wrong thing, mixing up your slides etc, no one turning up, no one being able to hear you and realize that it is highly unlikely that all of that could happen.
2. Is it true? What’s the evidence for your fear, find ways that disprove it. E.g. the voice says that people like you don’t get promoted, is that true, have others sought promotion, who are people like you?
3. Expose Yourself: Do what scares you, in order to test the validity of your fear (e.g. that rejection could not be survived) e.g You are afraid to cold call a potential client because you think that they’ll be offended and put down the phone on you, if that’s the case would you survive, the only way to know is to try it.
4. Take Risks: The purpose is to challenge beliefs that certain behaviours are too dangerous to risk, when reason says that while the outcome is not guaranteed they are worth the chance. E.g if you have trouble with perfectionism or fear of failure, you might start tasks where there is a reasonable chance of failing. Or if you have a fear of rejection, you might talk to an attractive person at a party or ask someone for a date.
5. Do the Opposite: Behave in the opposite of how you’d usually react. Don’t wait until you ‘feel like’ doing it: practising the new behaviour – even though it is not spontaneous – will gradually internalise the new habit. Stepping out of character: is one common type of paradoxical behaviour. E.g. a perfectionistic person could deliberately do some things to less than their usual standard; or someone who believes that to care for yourself is ‘selfish’ could indulge in a personal treat each day for a week.
“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.”~ Jack Penn
Have a go at silencing that limiting voice and let me know how you get on.
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