More information about self-limiting beliefs
What exactly is fear and is it the same as a self-limiting belief? Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm” and it is this feeling that we are all so familiar with when we get into a situation that could do us ill.
Whilst self-limiting beliefs generate the same feelings of fear but of course the difference is that those that are created by inappropriately and exist in the conscious and sub-conscious. It is these beliefs which really hold a person back, they act like barriers to our fulfillment and enjoyment of life to the full and just by accepting our self-limiting beliefs we strengthen them and therefore we submit to negative internal programming. But how did we gain these beliefs? To begin with education, whether this be our parents putting their own thoughts on to us as children or indeed by our own learnt experience, if you fall over once, the subconscious will tell us that the chances of it happening again are rather higher, do it twice and you are convinced. Of course linked with this is the fact that we as humans make decisions with our feelings (instinct) as well as with logic.
“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamt possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your own beliefs.” Maxwell Maltz.
In his book psycho-cybernetics (1960), which is a fantastic read by the way, Maltz claims that by improving one’s self image and reducing the number of self-limiting beliefs will allow the individual to fulfill their physical and mental potential:
If you find yourself saying I don’t; I can’t; I mustn't; I am not; others can; others will; then we are already using the language of negativity and telling yourself that you can’t, won’t, don’t, mustn't do something. This in turn reinforcing the suggestion to the subconscious and producing more of the feelings of fear inside ourselves if we begin to think of what we could be doing:
The good news is that we can fully overcome our self-limiting beliefs and reduce our fear. Now, fear is the bodies natural response to a likely event, it builds adrenaline and gives the muscles more power in order to fight or indeed run. Yet this needs to remain, but built during an appropriate event. In order to overcome self-limiting beliefs and reduce the adrenalin we can utilize the following steps:
- Form empowering beliefs - genuinely believing we can do something.
- Create evidence of success - even imagining a successful outcome provides evidence of a positive outcome.
- Recognize self-limiting beliefs for what they are.
- Understand how the self-limiting belief began in the first place.
As Charlotte Barry recently wrote, and an approach that I have taken recently myself:
- Feel the fear and do it anyway - how else would we extend our comfort zone other than taking the occasional well-managed risk, confront your fear, put it aside and just do it.
- Go beyond reason - do you believe that we have a destiny? Do you believe that things are all mapped out for us? If this is the case, then just go do it anyway.
- Too little too late - if this things that you have always wanted to do, then just get on and go and do them if you always provide an excuse not to do something then you never going to do it and then it’s too late to look back and wish you had. I've been inspired recently by one of my clients who talks about 40 at 40. They are going to do 40 things on their bucket list before they reach the age of 40, this is indeed inspiring, they are well on their way!
- Finding obstacles - we all have excuses why we don’t do things. Is it just pure procrastination? Do we always find things that are of a higher priority? Do you lie in bed all weekend? Or do you never take time for yourself because you too busy looking after everybody else? I appreciate that life is a balance and we have responsibilities but don’t forget you also have responsibility to yourself to live your life. Successful people invest the time and effort in themselves even when they don’t feel like it, they take those calculated risks and they live life to the full, whatever there full is...
When I work with my coaching clients we do spend time looking at motivation and how the client can be more motivated to complete and achieve their goals. Within hypnotherapy, I work with self-limiting beliefs every day whether this be:
- A fear of spiders
- Exam nerves
In fact the vast majority of subjects that I work within hypnotherapy are based on self-limiting beliefs and the ability to create changing mindsets in hypnosis really does bring big individual and personal change by forming new beliefs, giving evidence to the subconscious of success and positive outcomes and hence by reducing those fears. In fact, hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful tool, and I believe it is so much more powerful than coaching alone and have seen the evidence of achieving greater results.
Personal case study...
“Now I enjoy skiing and whilst I’m not a skiing master I do believe that I am a safe, considerate and able skier. I was trained by the military and I do believe there aren't many slopes that I couldn't ski down, I've been skiing on number of occasions and previously really enjoyed skiing.
On one such trip we decided to go as high as possible early in the morning to catch the best skiing conditions and when we got to the top of the Mt there weren't many people going down and of course those that did were taking extra care, I realized that something was not quite right with the conditions. The mist was in the end it was difficult to see the edge of the piste and the snow on the slopes had been combed was so tremendously icy and slippery. Of course, you know what I’m about to say next there was only one way down and I quickly lost my footing, 1 ski came off and I began to slide faster and faster down the slope. I managed to kick my other ski off in order to stop my leg breaking and my ski jacket rolled up and I had a major friction burn on my stomach. Fortunately I stopped right on the edge of the long, steep drop and I can tell you I was badly shaken! Now this fall really did shake me up and since then hadn't enjoyed my skiing all…
Recently I was extremely lucky to have returned skiing to the French Alps ski area of "Les Portes du soleil" (I recommend Alpine Action Adventures). My 1st day’s skiing was certainly limited by the constant fear and apprehension of what happened previously. I was avoiding slopes, was not enjoying myself and was internally telling myself that I was no longer going to go skiing ever again.
But then what sort of hypnotherapist and coach would I be if I allowed my fears to get in the way of a very enjoyable pastime and one that I was paying to enjoy?! I decided to face my fear and to just, do it anyway. I took the nearest chairlift to the top of the highest peak in the area, Fornet 2250M, which is when the weather came in, visibility reduced to the edge of the piste and the powder being whipped up and causing your face to feel like it was receiving 1000 bites… Whilst I didn't ski it as quickly as everybody else I came down controlled, safely and actually much better than I ever considered I could have done. I got to the bottom and looked up as the weather cleared, and to my shock and amazement the mountains seemed to stretch up forever and I had successfully come down this with no problems whatsoever. Having conquered my beliefs, my skiing certainly improved, I was back to my old self and able to challenge and push myself as a consequence I had a fantastic time for the remaining days. With reflection I’m now wondering what else I can challenge and push myself to do - I certainly think that when my mind tells me I can’t, my body tells me I’m scared; I’m just going to do it anyway.”
What do I do now to achieve success?
I would ask you to decide that now is the time to make a change to your life and then contact me.