As a success coach and business coach, I’ve had the opportunity to observe and work with people particularly around how they get stuck and stay stuck. Being stuck for many can be one of the worst feelings, it’s frustrating and it can leave you feeling completely hopeless, having no control in your life. And most times, when we get down to it, the root cause of our “stuckness” is usually based around our beliefs and our fears. Today, I wanted to focus on our beliefs.
When talking about beliefs, I am always reminded of the story about elephants in a circus and how the majestic creatures from a very young age had been confined to a small area, being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. When the elephant trainer was asked why the elephants made no attempt to escape, even as they grew older and stronger, he told the story that they had been bound like this from a very young age so that they became conditioned to believe that they could not break free. They believed the rope could still hold them and so they never tried to get away. These beautiful animals had the power at any time break free but they didn’t know it. Because they believed they couldn’t, they remained stuck right where they were.
Like those elephants, so many of us go through life hanging onto beliefs that hold us back. Beliefs that do not serve us, limiting beliefs that keep us stuck, keep us going round and round in circles. Unlike the elephants though, our limiting beliefs are usually based around three specific areas:
- Beliefs about ourselves
- Beliefs about others
- Beliefs about the world
Beliefs about ourselves. I have often been stuck in my life, not because I didn’t have the money, time or opportunity to make things happen but simply because of some deep-seated assumption that I held onto. A big one for me, when I was younger was that because I never went to university I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t know enough, I was a failure and would never have the career I wanted. Today, as a coach, the belief that I hear most from people about themselves is, “I’m too old”. People tell me that they’re too old to succeed, too old to travel, too old to change. And this one totally kills me to hear because the absolute truth is YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD. The truth is that age has very little to do with our success. Throughout history, people have shown that you’re never too old to do amazing things in life:
- 40 years old? Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Company at 40.
- 50 years old? Ray Croc started McDonalds at 52.
- 55 years old? Arianna Huffington started Huffington Post at 55.
- 60 years old? Colonel Sanders started KFC at 62.
- 80 years old? Check out the hottest grandpa at 80 https://www.facebook.com/1745201349049293/videos/1828243630745064/
Now maybe your beliefs are not related to age. Perhaps you can relate to other beliefs we have about ourselves. Beliefs such as:
- “I’m just not technologically inclined.”
- “I’m an introvert. I can’t …”
- “I’ve never been any good with money.”
- “I guess I’m just not the creative type.”
- “I’m a quitter. I never finish what I start.”
- “I don’t have enough experience to help others.”
Beliefs about others. Sometimes what keeps us stuck though is not the beliefs we have about ourselves but the beliefs we have about others. We think we know other people, we prejudge their reactions, we base our actions on the reactions we believe we will get from them. And so often, we are wrong. One of my biggest beliefs was that as a coach people expected perfection. I believed that they wanted me to have all the answers and only then would I truly be able to give value. I believed that in business it was up to me to make it or break it, asking for help I believed was using people, taking them for granted. It took me a long time to realize that this was not the case. My value as a coach comes from the obstacles that I have faced (and continue to face and overcome), the mistakes I had made and the reality that I bring to the table when coaching. People everywhere, even now in a new country people are so open and willing to help create connections and grow opportunities. My limiting beliefs about others could have easily cost me everything that I have created today.
Maybe other limiting beliefs you have about others could include:
- It’s no use asking, she’s too busy to meet with me.
- She’s got it all sorted, she doesn’t need a coach.
- She hasn’t responded to my email, she must be upset with me
- She keeps putting off our meeting, she doesn’t want to talk to me
- She just doesn’t believe in me anymore.
Beliefs about the world. Sometimes the beliefs that keep us stuck are global. So many people will stay stuck due to the economy, due to the statistics, due to what is predicted in the future, due to the overall perspective of a good or a service. Perhaps our limited belief of the world is based around a paradigm that exists, that is yet to change – could you be the catalyst for change. These beliefs and their wide range effect have been brought home to me more now living in China. So often I hear “but Anna this is China, we don’t have a choice”! Now I do believe there will always be cultural differences in different countries and ultimately we still all have choices.
Some limiting beliefs that are commonly held about the world around us:
- Women are too emotional. They’re just not cut out for management.
- I don’t trust management. They’re only out for their own glory.
- Rich people don’t care about anyone but themselves.
- You can’t be successful without compromising your integrity.
- Coaching is unknown in this part of the world, no one will want it.
- If you own your own business, you must have a lot of money.
Self-limiting beliefs can be so destructive, even more so if we are solo-preneurs or entrepreneurs. For us, they can be deadly to business. Why?
- They tend to lower our aspirations, our hopes, our dreams. Because we don’t believe in ourselves, we lower our goals and limit our true potential.
- They create deadly patterns of self-sabotage. You throw everything you have into your coaching practice working all hours given to you and you start seeing all the mistakes you are making. Things begin to go wrong and it reinforces for you the belief that you are a failure and simply don’t deserve success.
- They encourage procrastination. These beliefs make it easier to put off an important task, to avoid doing what is necessary to grow your business or practice because you ultimately don’t believe that anything is going to lead you to success anyway.
- They drain your energy. When you are emotionally conflicted, when your heart pulls one way and your mind pulls the other, this internal struggle drains your energy big time. The quality and quantity of what you can accomplish will be severely impacted. Because when your heart and mind are in tune, you have the energy to move mountains.
So, how do we conquer our self-beliefs that are keeping us stuck? There are many techniques a coach can walk you through! Today I will share a simple four step “G-HOUR” process:
- Get Honest – Recognize the signs
- Get Out – Of your own way
- Get Up – Take action
- Get Real – Celebrate every step
If you are constantly seeking others approval, doubting yourself, procrastinating, chasing that “necessary” qualification or certification before you make change, odds are you’re stalling . You’re stuck! So number one, check in with yourself and get honest! Make some key decisions about the changes you want to make then get out of your own way.
Stop making excuses and take action! Motion and movement create momentum. You will never make the change in your life that you desire until you move out of your own way and take action. Focus on taking one step at a time, find people with the same goal as you to network with and find yourself a coach to create accountability.
By taking action, by taking steps forward you prove to yourself that beliefs are simply that, beliefs and you can change your beliefs. When you see, feel, accomplish success no matter how small, celebrate it ! Say it out loud to yourself, “I did it!” and reflect on how far you’ve come! With every new celebration, you can create new beliefs that will serve you better, strengthen new beliefs that will help you to become “unstuck” and have you creating the life change you desire.
Yes, breaking through your limiting beliefs is totally doable! I believe in you. The real question is, do you believe in yourself?
- What techniques do you use to break through your limiting beliefs?
- What limiting beliefs have you successfully overcome?
Be awesome and share your experiences in the comments below!
If you are feeling stuck and unsure of how to “unstuck” yourself, then chat to me about how I can help, book a free 20-minute springboard session with me to see how I can help you create change and begin living your true potential.