Only 14 more sleeps until the jolly man in a red suit with a white beard loads up his sleigh and then he will be pulled by his reindeer across the whole world stopping off at every little boy and girl’s house to climb down the chimney and deliver presents.
What a fantastic story! We are told this story when we are young by our parents and it is reinforced by others around us and we believe in Father Christmas fora number of years, don’t we?
And this is human nature, we believe the things that we are told at an early age and they shape our lives for the future; often those beliefs are empowering and sometimes they can be limiting.
When I was young, my parents used to say to me “those that ask don’t get”. The intention was to stop me as a child saying “I want this for Christmas” or “I want that for Christmas”. The impact it had was to create a limiting belief in my mind that if I asked for something, I wouldn’t get it and this influenced the way I went about my life in many ways.
Firstly, I would not ask for help even when I needed it; I would battle through trying to manage on my own and thought that if I asked for help, I wouldn’t get it.
Secondly, I would not explicitly say what I wanted or needed emotionally in certain situations (and still find it difficult); I would expect others, especially, my husband to know what I wanted and then get annoyed when I didn’t get the right response.
Thirdly, I have often found it difficult in my career and business to go and ask for what I want or felt I deserved; maybe a promotion, a pay rise or sometimes telling someone the prices I charge for my coaching or training courses.
This is just one example of a belief that has limited me for a number of years. I applied it to all aspects of my life and ignored the context of the original short comment.
And I hear this so often when working with my clients. In exploring hwat is holding them back from achieving what they want, we usually discover that there is a belief that is limiting them which they have held for many years. We discuss where it came from and the emotions that go with it. My clients will say things like “I’m worried what others will think and that they won’t like it”, “Life is not fair, I’ll never get a promotion” or possibly “I don’t know what to do because I’m not clever enough”
Becoming aware of the limiting belief is like a weight being lifted which is really good but the next question is, “how can you get rid of it”?
The answer is a similar approach to the way you decided Father Christmas was not real! You reflect and find evidence to prove it otherwise; like asking an older sibling or staying awake to find evidence to prove or disprove your new theory.
The approach I use to ditching limiting beleifs I call the 3Rs.
- Reflect – acknowledge the limiting belief and notice the emotion that goes with it. Think about how that approach is serving you (or more likely not serving you.)
- Reframe – as you think about that limiting belief stopping you from achieving, think about someone you admire and respect. Imagine you are that other person and talk to an imaginary you. What would that person say to you in this context?
- React –empower yourself by finding evidence to disprove the belief (because normally we focus on the evidence to prove it) and write it down.
If you feed the negative belief, it will keep growing! So feed an empowering belief instead through positive self-talk and positive affirmations of empowering statements and you will change that belief. And, when that happens, notice how much more evidence you find to support this new belief too.
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