[Wellbeing, Personal Development, Professional Development]
How your thoughts hold you back & how to change the game
Let’s start with this simple fact: the impossible happens everyday.
So, why do we hold onto so many limiting beliefs? Why do we hesitate so much when it comes to going after what we want? Why don’t we believe that we can do it?
More often than not, this comes from a defensive pessimism. The mind is programmed to protect us; ‘If I dare, I could get hurt’. We want to protect ourselves from failing, from being rejected or judged - because we know that those things are painful.
The possibility of heartache is enough to have most people retreating back to the safe zone.
In the work space, this fear can hold us back in many ways.
We could be holding on to incredibly creative ideas because we're too worried to share them.
We may not offer vital feedback for fear it will be ill-received.
We may allow our colleagues to present the work for fear we might get something wrong.
It boils down to a lack of trust from within:
“What if I go for it and mess it up? They’ll pass me over for promotion!”
“What if it all goes right and I can’t handle the stresses that come with success?”
Why is it so hard to get out of our own way?
Here’s the thing: it would be so much easier if you were willing to believe that it’s all possible. You have to dare to dream. You have to believe that something different can happen.
Which is standard motivational speak, right? Wrong; because this is Life Ladder.
We do the science-part that makes that exact cognitive change happen.
We dispel limiting beliefs by creating fundamental changes through repeated re-wiring techniques. From a neurological perspective, the mind is able to accept these changes because we are using the cognitive filters that distort, delete and memorise information on a deeper level.
You won’t need motivational quotes and apps that calm you down, you become your own motivational quote, you’ll already be equipped to be calm.
Having said that, we all love a motivational quote when it punctuates a point, so here’s one to round that off:
Much like the butterfly, you have everything you need to metamorphose into something new; and so does your entire staff force. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not.
Keep reading for a taste.
Identifying limiting beliefs
As humans, we make sense of the world based on what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. We gather information based on our sensory functions.
This is why we like to work with what’s immediately obvious: what’s there now; instead of what could be there or what's below the surface.
Limiting beliefs are actually pretty easy to identify once you have the right tools and framework. They hide in plain sight, and are habitual patterns in our subconscious minds. These beliefs often come from memories; things that we picked up when we were young, unkind words that have been said to us, events that have happened at work etc.
So how do they manifest themselves? Usually in ways like this:
- I can’t
- I’ll never
- I’m not
- Because ‘X’
- I don’t deserve
- It's too hard
- It’s not possible
- They’ll think
- They’ll never
Believe it or not, you can transform these thought responses. By interrogating these beliefs, you can uncover the positive side of them. Like so:
“I’ll never get my head around this spreadsheet because I’m no good at numbers”
becomes “I’m smart enough to learn how to do this”.
You can also directly challenge this type of belief:
“How do I know for a fact that I’ll never get my head round this? It’s not an impossible task.”
A bit more on memories
We all have a history behind us. We’ve all got a back catalogue of experiences and decisions that went well, and ones that went… not so well.
You may not realise it, but you subconsciously move through life based on these experiences and decisions. They have the power to hold you back or catapult you forward.
You made subconscious agreements when things went badly; never to put yourself in that position again.
And that’s why it can be so tough to believe in yourself in the present.
A bad memory being triggered can make you feel sick, knots in the stomach, hot and flustered. They don’t even have to be objectively severe to trigger such a response.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could clear such memories? Get them out of the way?
You can start that process now, here’s a re-wiring tool:
n.b* - We don’t recommend this tool for particularly painful or traumatic memories
When you’re in a leadership position, you know all too well that it’s hard to change people's mindsets. Finding out how individuals think and feel is no small or easy task. The tool above is just one of the ways that Life Ladder adds ease to the life of the leader, finding out root causes and empowering the individuals to change their responses.