Now it’s time to tackle those beliefs that are limiting you and experimenting trading them up for more empowering ones.
There are many ways to do this and some use encantations which is an old and tested technique of writing down your limiting beliefs and crossing them out before writing a more empowering one that you then read out loud and with conviction many times over and over again. This works but it always felt a bit innatural to me, surely because I have a belief somewhere about reading things out loud J
I prefer a more structured approach that has 6 steps.
1. Focus on an objective
2. Assess your beliefs
3. Challenge the limiting beliefs
4. Strengthen the new beliefs
6. Step up to act as a role model
Step 1. Focus on an objective
Although you could assess your beliefs in general it tends to be easier and more practical to do so in relation to a specific objectiv or situation you are facing. As an example, you may need to give a presentation and you want to perform well by influencing people and leading them to take action like buying something from you. Now that you know what is your desired outcome you can move to step 2.
Step 2. Assess your beliefs
With regards to your desired outcome write down what are your beliefs. Don’t get too technical here, treat any thought that comes to mind as a belief. Don’t be judgemental simply list them down and notice how some are more helpful and other less so. In other words some are empowering and others are limiting. In the context of the example above you could find that you hold limiting beliefs like: “I am not good at speaking in public” or “I have never persuaded anybody” or “I only like what is familiar to me” or “I can’t speak to someone I don’t know”. There may be also some empowering ones like: “In the end, not sure how or why, things always seem to work out”, “I have friends and resources that I can access to help me” or “I am funny”.
Step 3. Challenging your limiting beliefs
Now that you have a list of specific limiting beliefs you are ready to take them on. To do so you can use a very familiar process that you do all the time but in the unhelpful way. Think of any situation or objective that you don’t feel to secure about. Chances are that you will think something like: “What if it doesn't go well?” or “What if I fall in front of everybody?” This ‘What if’ thought process is indeed very powerful but it tends to be used in a negative way. How about using it to your advantage?
Take one of the limiting beliefs you have identified above and use the ‘What if’ process in a helpful way. Here is how I would apply it to one of the limiting beliefs from above: “What if I am better at speaking in public than I think?” or “What if I am actually quite good at connecting with people?”
All we are doing here is to, literally, start questioning beliefs that we take for granted. In so doing we open up to a other possibilities. Doing this alone starts to weaken your limiting beliefs and deconstructs your belief system but what we are after is not just for your current belief system to unravel. We want to build a more helpful and empowering belief system from the ashes of the limiting one. To do so let’s move on to steps 4 to 6.
Step 4. Strengthen the new beliefs
Now that you have embryos of empowering beliefs it is time to stregthen them so that they can support you and carry you forward. To do so take the output of step 3 and add a ‘because…’ at the end of each ‘What if…’ statement. To increase the sense of certainty remove the initial ‘What if’ bit.
As an example let’s take “What if I am actually quite good at connecting with people?” This would therefore become “I am actually quite good at connecting with people because I am a great listener ”. Or “I am better at speaking in public than I think because I take time and care to prepare well my speech”.
Notice that you are not simply making stuff up, this process is designed to help you think of and uncover hidden abilities or characteristics. To put things in perspective consider that nobody is perfect. Even those who think they are good at speaking in public tend to take less time to prepare their speeches and are less used to face situations where a speech goes badly. They simply are not used to that. That is good in one way and bad in another because they tend to go on automatic pilot and if they hit a turbulence that can really take them by surprise . Those who consider themselves great at connecting with others tend to speak more and listen less. In other words there is always scope to question everything and leverage the findings to improve our performance.
Go through all the beliefs and replace or enhance as many as you can. Don’t spare time or energy on this. Manufacture what you need to be more successful.
Take the resulting empowering beliefs, write them down on slips of paper or post-it notes and bring them close to your chest one by one. Read the out loud and with conviction as you do so. Feel how they change your character, how they shape your new sense of self, how they make you feel you more confident and stronger as you take in the strength of these new beliefs and drop the old ones (for added impact take the original list with the limiting beliefs, tear up the paper and through them behind you).
Step 5. Visualise
You now have the ingredients to start creating your new reality. Take the empowering beliefs from above to imagine yourself in the future as you take on your step 1 challenge or objective equipped with this new set of beliefs. Visualise how you will look, sound and feel differently. See yourself like the main character in a film called “<Your name> achieving/overcoming <your objective/challenge>”. Be creative here, go wild, make it vivid and as real as you can. Enjoy the feeling.
Step 6. Step up
And now, for the grand finale with added drama and an even stronger impact consider this bonus step.
Imagine what it would be like to take on your step 1 challenge or objective with this new set of empowering beliefs in front of someone you care deeply about and for whom you want to set an example of excellence as a mentor.
For those of you with kids, think that your son or daughter or nephew is looking at you as you deal with this situation. This will generate and allow you to access extra inner strength to deal with whatever you are facing. If you don’t have kids think of someone you care for or admire that you want to impress. How would yo behave if this person were there looking at you?
Powerful perspective isn’t it?
Try it now and enjoy that sense of being limitless.
Now go get whatever step 1 is about. It’s yours and you can make it happen. Believe it. You can.
Please note that as usual my role is to empower you as I have a genuine belief that everyone has a greater potential than what they are currently accessing. However I am not for pushing people to have unrealistic thoughts or beliefs. Thinking that you can take on the business world and become a world tycoon may be right or wrong for you. This belief can be empowering if leveraged well but it can also become a source of frustration if you lack the willingness, resources or abilities to do what you must to get what you want. Nothing is impossible but remember that some objective are better suited to you than others. Leverage your potential but make sure to be wise about what you choose and how you deal with the realization that you chose the wrong mission if you ever come to that. See one of my previous posts on this as I offer practical strategies to deal with this important and tricky aspect of personal development.
Now, as always, I am here to support you. If you need help to audit and change your limiting beliefs get in touch and I will guide you through this proven process to get you to believe and achieve new heights. Thanks for your trust and interest so far.