What are beliefs?
Beliefs are stories we tell ourselves about why we can and can’t do certain things in life. They are thoughts and ideas that are no longer challenged. They are not based on fact, and often remain unchallenged throughout life. They are defined as ‘a principle accepted as true or real, without proof, an opinion, a conviction’.
Beliefs play an important part in forming your identity, self-image, behaviour and habitual ways of thinking. Some beliefs help you to succeed in life while other negative beliefs can keep you shackled.
Limiting beliefs are the thoughts and ideas that are no longer challenged that hinder your progress – every thought, expectation and action is a direct result of what you believe. They shape the direction of your life and have the power to create or destroy.
‘Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.’ Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
Where do beliefs come from?
Many strongly set beliefs are formed in childhood and teenage years. They can come from any person or thing that has the capacity to exert influence over you.
According to psychiatrist Eric Berne, by 12 years old our key beliefs are formed and lived out daily; parents, deliberately or unaware, teach their children from birth how to behave, think and perceive. Liberation from these influences is no easy matter, since they are deeply ingrained.
By adulthood, self-image is a collection of all the lifetime attitudes and opinions that have been received from others. Your self-image creates the belief of who you are. According to Tony Robbins, the most important belief a person will ever hold is the belief they hold about themselves.
Have you heard the story about the elephant and the chain?
When an elephant is young, if the keeper puts a chain around its leg to stop it moving too far, to begin with, it will try to break free. After several attempts the elephant will realise that every time it tries to move away it is painful and eventually will stop trying to escape and give in, spending the rest of its life restricted and restrained.
The elephant never realises that as it grows older and stronger if it tried to break the chain again it could escape, but the elephant never tries. WHY? Because it doesn’t believe it can.
Unchallenged limiting beliefs can hold you in the same place. Although something that may have been true for you as a child may not be true for you as an adult. Do you fear or avoid trying because you believe something is beyond your reach? Can you identify the invisible chain around your ankle?
Did you fail at something or have a bad experience in the past and believe that it is not possible for you to ever succeed again in this area?
Good news! Coaching helps to challenge and change beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your goals, freeing you to live your most productive and fulfilled life.
Changing limiting beliefs is the realm of change, empowerment and action!
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali
Records are broken regularly with people who do not accept the status quo and push beyond these barriers. Jim Hines was the first person to run 100 metres under 10 seconds in 1968, something that was previously an ‘impossible’ feat!
Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile. Something that was also ‘impossible’ to do. Both men ‘believed’; that they could, despite the majority saying it was impossible.
Such is the power of your beliefs to create or destroy.
Working on limiting beliefs:
- Unlocks your subconscious mind – revealing unknown limiting beliefs and holding them up to scrutiny
- Reveals the ways your limiting beliefs have been most damaging to you
- Challenges the origins of these beliefs
- Reframes your beliefs to be consistent with who YOU really are – creating alignment with your values and goals
- Achieves greater control over your life and desired direction =TRUE EMPOWERMENT!
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.’ Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Professional coach, Suzanne Simmons-Lewis helps her clients clarify and achieve their true purpose and ambitions in their careers and businesses, drawing out their unique talents. She inspires, supports and challenges clients in their journey to making their long-held dreams an exciting reality. www.suzannesimmonslewis.com