If you read yesterday's blog in which I was talking about beliefs and those which limit us, in today's blog I continue along a similar theme, looking more at what's potentially going on behind those beliefs which hold us back from living the life we want. When it comes to making a change, there are 5 stumbling blocks which are influencing our limiting beliefs and preventing us from making the changes we might be looking to make.
Sometimes, what we think we want, in reality we don't. Back in 2014, when I was doing a 3-week training course, going into it I thought I knew what I was participating for and what the outcome, should I complete the training, would be going forward. On the first day, the very first exercise, it was clear I was in two minds. A week later whilst I wasn't 100% about the direction I was going to take, I was clear of what I wasn't going to do with the qualification I would be receiving at the end of the course. And this surprised me, it wasn't at all what I was expecting.
It's important to have clarity about what you want and why you want it. Regarding your goals, are you moving away from something you don't want or towards something you do want? Towards goals are often more motivating and encourage you to keep moving forward, keep adapting and evolving in order to achieve success. If you are wanting to make a change, spend quite a bit of time defining your goals and being clear on what your why is.
How many times have you said, "I can't do this" or talk yourself out of doing something like going for a promotion or following a dream because you don't feel you have the skills, knowledge or capabilities to stand a chance of getting it. If being your own boss is your dream, what beliefs do you hold around starting your own business? Five years ago, I would never have thought it was possible of being my own boss and yet, here I am. Everything I needed to know about business I have learnt and continue to learn. My biggest limiting belief was around the complexities of accounting and a fear of getting on the wrong side of HMRC. How I have got around this is by hiring an accountant. I now have the philosophy that I don't need to know how to do everything, I just need to where I can go and who I can go to when there is something that I cannot do.
Thinking of the changes you want, what would you need to make it possible? Is it a question of possibilities or capabilities? Do you need a new skill, more knowledge or more opportunities? Do you need to do it alone or can you utilise your network? Anything is possible, it is just a question of how.
Sometimes we talk ourselves out of making changes, of striving towards achieving success because we believe we don't deserve to have a good life, to make more money, to be able to work part-time, to be in a loving relationship etc. Maybe you believe you are not worthy and so don't bother to make a change.
Who is telling you that you are not worth it and don't deserve this? Is it you with the stories you live by or is it someone external to you; a partner, family member, a friend or work colleague? If it is someone else, then question what their intention is and challenge it. If it comes from within you, what evidence do you have that you are not worthy of the outcome? Let it go by changing your story.
There will be part of your mind questioning whether it is safe to make a change. If you change careers, what happens if it doesn't work out? You worry that if you do move jobs and there are difficulties, it will be a case of last in, first out. However, within the public sector there is the perception that your job or your pension will always be safe, but this is not necessarily the case. Redundancies do occur within the public sector.
Safety is not referring to the immediate physical sense, though it might if you have a sudden urge to take up some extreme sport. It is often, at an emotional level, your unconscious mind is trying to protect you from negative emotions such as hurt, rejection, sadness, guilt for example. It is trying to pre-empt what might come based upon your past experiences and the beliefs that you hold. Feeling unsafe might lead to stress and anxiety and these can manifest themselves physically as well as psychologically.
Depending upon your values and beliefs around money, if you make changes this could impact you financially, and potentially your mind perceives there to be a threat to your wealth. This can have a knock-on effect with regards to your basic human needs of food and shelter; if you don’t have as much money coming in or if you lose your income, would your thoughts turn to you losing your home? When we make changes, our mind does not think rationally straight away, if it perceives there is a threat to your safety, it will put barriers in the way to make sure you are making the right decisions or you are planning accordingly, equipping yourself with the skills and knowledge for the changes ahead. Or it will just make you feel so uncomfortable that you change nothing.
Whether you are making changes in your relationships, career, environment, in being you or whatever other areas of your life, know that you will be safe, emotionally and physically, because you still have choices and you will not put yourself at such risk. Your brain is reacting to the perception of risk as though we are still living in the bushes and we need be aware of a tiger that lurks there. Our brains have not evolved yet beyond this point, so any transformational changes you make generate a feeling of fear which is out of proportion to the actual risk. You have all the skills and resources you need to be able to cope with anything.
Still be me...
If the change you are wanting to make is going be life changing and at a level in which you as an individual will be transformed, there is always a question in your mind as to whether you will still be you. Transformational change can have a profound impact on our lives, in the way we think and behave, opening the possibility of different opportunities and experiences. Yes, this is going to change your beliefs, your view of the world but you will still be you. Your core values will still be present, the essence of you is still there. Of course, if you make changes, then you will be different than you were yesterday, but today you'll be a better version of you.
The question then comes down to, do I want to be the 'old me' or the 'new me'? With the 'old me', you know what you're going to get, where that thinking will take you, what actions are required to keep the status quo and stuck in the rut. Is that what you want? Do you still want to be the person you were? Or do you want to evolve who you are and be excited about who you could become and the life you could have?
If you have limiting beliefs, try to unpick what is behind them, it will not only help you understand more about what is holding you back, but help you to find ways to get around them and start to create your life the way you want.