Is it the events in our lives that shape us, or our beliefs about what those events mean? How do we interpret our past experiences to create beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of? And do we always acknowledge the beliefs we hold about ourselves or can they live in the shadowlands of our subconscious, whispering to us, and holding us back from really living the life we want to live?
This week Clay and Sarah tackle the concept of our ‘Limiting Beliefs’.
In this episode, we discuss:
* What are beliefs – where they come from and how they associate certain experiences with pleasure or pain
* NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) as a method for understanding how we extrapolate a single experience into a generalised understanding about ourselves and the world
* Tony Robbin’s concept of ‘Limiting Beliefs’
* Common limiting beliefs – I’m not good enough, What if I fail?, Who do I think I am anyway?
* Vulnerability and shame – Brene Brown and the emotional experience of our limiting beliefs
* Sarah and Clay discuss their own limiting beliefs, how they felt and what they did with these beliefs
* Methods to acknowledge and change your limiting beliefs
“People so often develop limiting beliefs about who they are and what they are capable of. Because they haven’t succeeded in the past, they believe they won’t succeed in the future. As a result, out of their fear of pain, they begin to constantly focus on being ‘realistic’.”
Tony Robbin’s quote here really hit a chord with me because I often use that excuse that I’m being ‘realistic’ as a way of justifying why I’m not really throwing myself ‘all in’ and going after some of the things I really want in my life. In his book Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins continues, “Out of that fear, they develop beliefs that cause them to hesitate, not give their all – consequently they get limited results.”
Here’s a view from Clay’s notebook:
Brene Brown’s now famous TED talk on vulnerability gives us a lot of good reasons why we set up these limiting beliefs in the first place. As a psychological researcher, she has spent hundreds of hours studying people’s limiting beliefs. Ironically, when she tried to talk to people about their experiences of connection, what they told her were stories of disconnection and fear of rejection. Stories of vulnerability. Ultimately, her research shows, whenever we “go for” something we really want – whether that’s setting up a new habit, breaking an old one, achieving a work goal, opening ourselves up to a relationship – a thought comes into our head…whispering so softly we rarely acknowledge it. The thought goes something like this…
If I put myself out there, will other people see something about me that will make me unworthy of connection?
Exposure. Vulnerability. The feeling that I’m not enough… not good enough, not cool enough, not attractive enough in whatever way that situation supposedly requires.
Because of this fear of disconnection, Brene Brown explains, we numb vulnerability. We trying to make everything uncertain becomes Certain. We attempt to perfect. And we pretend that what we do doesn’t impact others.
“As much as I was feeling frustrated about trying to get my work out into the world,” she reveals in Brown’s second TED talk on shame, “I was working very hard to engineer staying small.”
NLP is one method of tackling our limiting beliefs through changing our behaviour. Some great reads including: Changing Beliefs Systems with NLP, The Structure of Magic and Perceiving Ordinary Magic: Science and Intuitive Wisdom.
It seems when we never seem to find the time to DO the things we say are important to us… When our deep dreams never seem to make it into our actual daily lives… This is a big sign we have some limiting belief holding us back. Exploring what that could be for you can be a real liberating experience.
Have you tried to tackle some of your limiting beliefs? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode and how it relates to your own experience.