What is a limiting belief? do we all have them? where do they come from? why am I talking about this?
It occurred to me that after talking to a number of people at the wedding – including some of the super athletes(!) often the comment ‘oh I could never do that’ would follow after I explained what was involved with competing in a figure competition - have you ever heard yourself utter the words ‘I could never…’ or ‘I can’t….because…’ in reference to anything? I bet you can think of lots of instances, I’m guilty of this myself – a common one for me is ‘I could never do a bungee jump’ or last night; ‘I could never run a marathon’ or ‘I could never do an Iron man’ popped up more than once!
why not? whats stopping me? I’m fit and healthy, I have 2 working arms and legs, I’m an excellent swimmer and pretty handy on a bicycle I dont have alife threatening illness and I’m not dead so why couldn’t I do a triathlon?
I’ve thrown myself out of a plane before and paraglided so why could I never do a bungee jump?
The statement ‘I couldn’t…’ or ‘I can’t..’ is a limiting belief – by uttering the words you are making a statement about life or your capability or whats possible for you that limits you in some way.
so what do I mean by that? well a belief is nothing more than a feeling of conviction about something. Its a feeling of conviction about whats true, right, real or possible for you in your life. At some point, whether consciously or unconsciously, you made a decision to accept that belief into your life and that decison will affect your experiences and outcomes in life – for example would Julia Gillard be Prime Minister if she had the belief that she would never amount to anything? not likely.
In my case ‘I could never do a bungee jump’ is a statement made out of fear, secretly I probably do actually want to do one, but I’m afraid and its easier to let myself believe that there is some physical impediment that stops me…
another one of my specials is ‘I could never climb Mt Everest because I’m afraid of edges!’
really? am I sure about that…? so how come that didn’t apply on Mt Kilimanjaro where I fell asleep on a rock leaning out over the craters EDGE!!! :-)
I think I’ve talked about fear before…fear is ultimately what stops most of us really doing what we really want to do..so I like to challenge myself with 4 questions:
what would happen if I did?
what would happen if I didn’t?
what wouldn’t happen if I did?
what wouldn’t happen if I didn’t?
yeah messes your head up doesnt’ it!
thats the idea! to scramble your head out of its ‘I can’t…’ mode and to go inside and search for other answers…
check out this book ‘Face your fears…and do it anyway‘ Susan Jeffers
When I went to watch the All Female Classic (which intimidated the hell out of me!), I’d just finished reading it and it made me see how I was allowing myself to buy into my own perceived limitations
so how did it change things? well I think the 1st time anyone mentioned the possiblity of competing was back in March, I’d only been training with Aiden about 5 weeks by then – one of the trainers at one of the gyms I go to checked out the progam Aiden had given me and said I was doing a bodybuilding program and what competition was I aiming for…my response?
‘I could never do a competition’ hahahaha! you have to train for years!
As more trainers started to comment on my physique and asking what competition I was aiming for I always had an ‘I couldn’t’ ready for them
‘I could never get up on stage in a sparkly bikini – I’d be too embarrassed’
‘I could never get up on stage because I’d be too skinny compared to the other competitors’
‘I could never walk on those shoes…what if I fall over?’
all excuses. all reinforcing a limiting belief that somehow I dont have the ability to compete. And whats underlying these excuses? Fear. nothing more than that. so I challenged myself with the 4 questions:
- What would happen if I did compete? I’d be putting myself out there to be judged, I’d be compared to others – what if I’m found wanting…what if I’m NOT GOOD ENOUGH…ouch.
having said that I’d learn and grow from the experience, I’d have fun along the way, I’d meet lots of new and interesting people – thats definitely worth considering, and well I’ve come this far it would be silly not to follow this as far as I can
- What would happen if I didn’t? well nothing….I’d stay where I was nice and safe and comfortable..i’d be a super fit looking chick who entered the oxy mag covergirl competition – still pretty cool…but if I didn’t get cover then I’d always wonder….could I have done it? should i have done it? did I really give it a red hot go and do everything i could have done? and that might turn into regret and ultimately bitterness…definitely dont want that happening!
- What wouldn’t happen if I did? this is where my head gets fried! well I wouldn’t get hurt..?? and then I wouldn’t be able to use ‘Not good enough’ as an excuse ever again in any area of my life…hmm..interesting…
- What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t? er…????? pffzzzzt (that was my brain short circuiting!)
so I decided to compete, and in doing so I will confront a major limiting belief that I’ve had my whole life…and who knows what doors that will open…I might even do a bungee jump…
so what are your ‘I couldn’ts’ or ‘I could nevers..’ what or who are you really hiding from?
where in your life are you limiting yourself?
I challenge you – do something that you ‘couldn’t’