#30 Are your (limiting) beliefs holding you back?
Trying new things and not allowing self doubt stop you.
Dear Lovely You,
I think trying is ok. Experimenting and seeing how things feel. Adjusting course. Testing things out. Letting things go. Changing course. Course correcting. Seeing what really feels good.
Being told, just do it, trying doesn't work, trying is an elegant form of failure doesn’t ring true to me. That's pressure.
Do it, get on with it with no regard for how it makes you feel is ignoring your own Compass and over-riding your own needs, impulses and intuition is not healthy but we all do it.
Just because you said you were going to do something and you’re doing it, doesn't mean you can't change your mind if, after all, it makes you miserable. No. We adjust and adapt as we go.
I have often started and not finished things over the years. Training, courses, art and craft projects, knitting, vegetable gardens, books, writing books and businesses.
Collective Limiting Beliefs also Hold Us Back
I think it's pretty rare for someone to know what they really want to do with their lives. Especially given how often we are educated to be a useful cog in the economic wheel with no regard for our own individual health, expression, creativity and desires. These qualities are all put aside for the sake of economic growth. The human comes right down the pile. A number amongst the systems that keep the elite rich while controlling the masses.
(Unless you live in Bhuket where they measure their country’s wealth by how happy their people are. Well they used to. That might have changed as Western ways creep in. But I hope it hasn’t).
It's all framed in a way to keep us just happy enough not to rebel or revolt. And to trick us into believing 'they' are looking after us when all they're really doing is looking after themselves.
This is not new. It has been going on for thousands of years. The result of farming and mostly land ownership being the key point at which everything changed.
Lecture over. Ha ha…
So it’s important to learn to look after ourselves in healthy and sustainable ways.
But Self Doubt Sneaks In
Talking about this makes me anxious.
What if I am questioned?
Where's your evidence?
What are your qualifications to talk about such things?
And I quite honestly could not come up with the answers. I am not an academic. I don’t use long fancy pants words and I don’t believe in tying people up in knots with academic arguments. But from what I have seen and heard it is obvious to me.
Read where? Who says? What are their qualifications?
Always someone wants to over complicate things because everyone wants to be right based on their own beliefs and values.
I don't care about being right. In fact, in a way I hope I am wrong.
What I do believe
What I do care about is freedom.
Freedom for humans to be fully expressed people. Happy, healthy and vibrant.
I do care that people reconnect with their true nature (we are nature and need to respect it) and expand and blossom from there because I believe that is the answer to the world's problems.
I believe that people who are connected to themselves, happy with themselves, their creativity and their own flourishing, naturally look after themselves, their community and their environment.
They are clearer. It’s not a question whether to live more sustainably but essential. Obvious. A no brainer.
Feeling a sense of abundance and freedom within ourselves and feeling safe and secure in our own beingness, banishes insecurity and lack, feeds our resourcefulness and resilience and breeds generosity and care.
To me this is common sense. It's not based on research papers and clever peoples hypotheses. I expect there is research on this but most research is funded by companies with a particular agenda or bias and I don’t have the will, the energy or the time at the moment to sift out good research from research based on spurious (that’s kind of a big word!) agendas.
We all have biases anyway. It's hard not to in a world of lack.
A world that tells us through media and advertising that we’re not good enough, sexy enough, fit enough, slim enough, clever enough, rich enough, hardworking enough. A world that tells us if we don’t fit in (to systems invented to control us), we’re not trying hard enough or we’re not normal. A world that has more than enough money and resources for everybody if it were distributed fairly.
Not enough this. Not enough that. Bollocks! You have to ask the question: not enough for whom?
A solution (and
probably the only one within our control)
But I believe if we really take care of ourselves. If we really get in touch with our True Selves and live authentic lives, being who we want to be in the world, the world will be a much more harmonious and healthy place to live.
What can we do about it?
It all starts with us. Reflecting on where we are now and who we really want to be, so we can take congruent, aligned actions towards expressing our true essence.
It's a pretty simple concept. It's not that easy to do on your own unless you have some kind of epiphany or education and the will to educate yourself. Most of my education has come from Practitioners I have worked with, Courses I have done and the Books I have read and re-read over and over.
Unravelling the person we thought we had to be is not particularly comfortable. It can be painful. It can take time. It means having a really good look at your inner workings to see how you have been operating. Finding what worked at some point in the past but isn’t actually working anymore and making adjustments.
You discover old behaviours that have been wired in and become habits over years and often decades and have become part of who you are. Your Identity.
It’s Habitual like cleaning your teeth or buying a newspaper and believing everything in it. You may not like it but it seems to work. Sometimes it does, often it’s an illusion.
Take me for example. After I left my nursing career I became fascinated by the ease with which the Coaching I had had helped me. I wanted to know what she was doing because it wasn’t counselling. I took myself off on an introductory course to NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming). Another fancy pants load of words that is about the language we use and how it makes us who we are. Think New Life Programming instead.
Anyway, NLP we were told, was developed by two guys who went out and modelled the best Therapists they could find, then brought those skills under one umbrella of learning called NLP.
One of the very first things we learned was that there are only five things within our control (I’ll write more about this again).
They are: what we do, say, think, believe and feel.
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But when you get into the nitty gritty of it, these things can be tricky to shift, mainly because of the Beliefs (which we developed to keep us safe) we hold and our need to hold on to our Identity.
Into the Practitioner Training I was doing really well and loving it. It was like I had been born to do it. People were getting shifts all the time. We practised on each other over and over again, playing the role of Practitioner, Client or Observer. From each perspective getting more insights and valuable learning.
You see I didn’t really Believe I was particularly intelligent. I was never told this at Primary school. I was put into the top stream in Secondary School (yes classes were streamed in the 1970s UK schools) but always thought it was a mistake and they would change their minds and move me down. I went to college but didn’t really know what I wanted to do and felt out of my depth, so dropped out after only one term.
I then had loads of different jobs over the years until I started my nurse training in my mid-twenties and then, educating myself, began to get an inkling that maybe I had a few good brain cells.
But it wasn’t until my late thirties while doing NLP Training that I had an epiphany. I discovered that I had a deeply held unconscious limiting belief that learning had to be hard work and boring! It might not sound like much but it was holding me back from fulfilling my potential and was really demotivating when it came to learning anything.
Shifting the Belief from Learning has to be boring and hard work to, learning is easy and fun, whilst experiencing that fact on the course and being taught in the best learning style for me (ie: practical experiential learning), changed my life. I love learning and especially learning about how people tick.
I carried on to finish NLP Practitioner Training with flying colours. I assisted on Practitioner Training whilst doing NLP Master Practitioner Training. Still unsure what I was going to do, I then assisted on the Master Practitioner course while doing NLP Trainer Training. I then spent almost twenty years as a Life Coach.
Shifting that Belief (and maybe some others I can’t remember now) AND finding something I really enjoyed and felt passionate about gave me the energy to pursue a career I could be my True Self in.
I tried something new and it paid off.
It’s not for me now. Coaching clients one to one doesn’t give me the energy or satisfaction it used to, which is why I stopped but not before a few more years of trying to keep going. I know this is partly because I have used too much of my energy over-giving to others and have had to shift into a new adventure and find new ways of expressing all that I am and all that I know.
So for the last seven months I have been sharing myself here on Substack. I am still motivated and enthusiastic most days to write and share. I have found a container for my self expression that works for me. I am not an experienced writer and I am some way away from mastering all there is to know about it.
But I am trying and I am trusting that if I follow my own intuition and impulses that I am on the right track for me.
Writing is the best way for me to express my True Self right here, right now. It may go on for the rest of my life or I may find myself having to let go once again but for now it fills me up and it is my therapy.
Are you ready to explore more of your True Self?
Join me in the comments below. (To keep it a safe space Comments are for paid members only).
From my True Self to Yours
PS. To take a look at many of the books I have read and have helped me go HERE.
And for Practitioner Recommendations in the UK look at the Resources section HERE.
PPS. I look forward to meeting you in the Comments.
Honouring Your True Self & Dear Steve are reader-supported publications. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.