Are your own self-limiting beliefs holding you back from true success? Are those beliefs based on fact or fiction? Find out in this weeks edition of Success on the Far Side of Fifty
If you are a mature, experienced adult who has not yet achieved the level of success that you hope for; there is really only one problem – you!! You are doing and thinking the wrong things, but the good news is you can change that.
We live in a time of plenty. Our world is filled with massive amounts of resources with hard work, self-belief and a bit of planning most of us can do or be pretty much anything we can conceive of.
Knowledge, the greatest resource on the planet, is for all intents and purposes freely available to virtually every North American. We all have access to libraries, book stores and the Internet. We have easy access to the information that can guide us toward the achievement of any goal – losing weight, writing a book, starting a business, learning to golf. In fact, there is someone out there who will show us exactly how to do anything we want, usually for free or little cost.
Recently I decided to build my own website. While I had no experience to speak of I thought it would be an excellent learning experience. With a couple of Google searches I was able to find all the information I needed to become decently proficient at building websites. I now have a very nice website as well as a folder full of various tutorials for future reference and, should the need arise; I am well equipped to create other websites. I have learned another new and valuable skill.
My point is that there are very few of us who can legitimately blame anyone or anything else for us not achieving our goals. Most of us are not lacking resources, we are lacking resourcefulness.
In fact, the older we get the harder it can be for us “experienced” adults to move forward and become more successful in the future than we have been in the past. For the most part it is our patterns of thinking and acting that hold us back and as older adults we have many, many attitudes and beliefs that are extremely well ingrained.
We folk on the Far Side of Fifty have to accept that, in order for us to truly achieve a new level of success, we need to fully understand what has been holding us back. We need to come to terms with the self-limiting beliefs and crippling habits and we have to deal with them. Somehow, some way, we must honestly and correctly identify and eliminate the patterns of behavior that hold us back.
At the very top of that list are our own attitudes and beliefs and until we can deal with them we can never move ahead – period.
I have met hundreds of people who told me they are completely incapable of public speaking – is that fact or fiction?
Other people have told me they are no good at meeting people – fact or fiction?
I know other people who say there is no way they could write a book – fact or fiction?
Still other folks say they can’t start a business, or run a marathon, or lose the weight they want to. Are these facts or merely lies that we tell ourselves in order to excuse our lack of effort?
The list of self-limiting beliefs goes on and on and on and most of it is simply untrue. With only a little effort we can find hundreds if not thousands of people who have achieved a very high level of success despite starting from humble beginnings. These people are usually no smarter, or luckier than we are, but they do carry fewer self-limiting beliefs to hold them back.
The world has the potential to provide us all the success we desire, we just need to figure out how to get it.
Regardless of age we all have tremendous potential. Learning to unleash that potential has to start with reducing or eliminating our self-limiting beliefs and unlearning many of the things we hold to be true.
Identifying, understanding and then eliminating these self-limiting beliefs is one of the first things I do with my coaching clients.
The process is simple but not easy.
I ask people to start journaling about their goals and aspirations. This includes writing about the things that are preventing them from achieving those objectives. Don’t think of this as an exact science, think of it as a brain dump.
We then use the notes from their journaling sessions to help us define the major self-limiting beliefs. Once we have a good handle on the major issues we then start to make an action plan to change those beliefs.
Once again reducing our self-limiting beliefs is simple but not easy. Changing our belief system doesn’t happen as a result of positive thinking – it comes as a result of positive action. Once you discover a self-limiting belief you have to take consistent action to overcome it. Start small and aim for consistency. If you want to become a writer you have to write. If you want to become an actor you have to act.
As an example one lady I met with wanted to run a marathon. Due to her fibromyalgia she physically was not capable of running at all. Underneath it all was the fact that she truly believed she would never be capable of running such a distance. She felt that her illness had ripped her physical ability away. Having identified a major self-limiting belief we broke her goal of running a marathon down into tiny incremental steps that she could absolutely achieve. Her journey to running a marathon began with her walking to the end of her driveway and back.
It took years but, over time, her body got stronger and her beliefs changed. She eventually ran her marathon but retraining her mind was as difficult as conditioning her body.
What is your marathon? What’s holding you back from running it?
Try journaling about it. Once you figure out what is holding you back start taking small steps to make the big changes you want to see.
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