Belief-busting for a better business
Beliefs are like bones. You can’t see your bones, but they provide the structural framework for your entire body. Similarly, you can’t see your beliefs, but they provide the structure for the world you experience every single day.
Your beliefs shape your thoughts, and your thoughts lead you to certain actions, and your actions create your outcomes. That’s great news if your beliefs are empowering, but lousy news if your beliefs turn you into a helpless victim of circumstances.
If you suspect some of your beliefs are doing you more harm than good, you may decide it’s time for a change—and woohoo for you! The bad news is that uncovering your actual beliefs can be tricky. The good news is that you can do an end-run around them: Rather than trying to identify beliefs directly, just start paying attention to your thoughts and the outcomes they produce. This will enable you to deduce what your underlying beliefs are so you can begin to replace the energy-sucking ones with empowering ones.
Beliefs can sabotage or support success.
Once you have an idea what those counterproductive beliefs are, how do you go about challenging them? Here are some examples:
Limiting belief: I don’t know enough to do this.
Empowering belief: No one else knows exactly what I do, and an expert is just someone who’s one block further down the path than her clients/students.
Limiting belief: I’m too…something. (Fill in your favorite limitation: young, old, inexperienced, over-qualified, skinny, heavy….there’s unfortunately no real limit to the number of limiting beliefs you can impose on yourself.)
Empowering belief: Damn, I’m good! People of every shape, size, race, sexual orientation, and age have achieved success; I’m in good company.
Limiting belief: I’m not good enough.
Empowering belief: Success looks different at different stages of the journey. I’m more successful now than I’ve ever been before, because I have greater awareness, more tools, and am more willing to follow Gandhi’s recommendation to “be the change [I] want to see.”
Limiting belief: My family won’t like it.
Empowering belief: I’m the most important person in my life. I have the right and the responsibility to do what’s right for me. While I don’t have the right to intentionally do hurtful things to others, I am not responsible for how they choose to react to me and the choices I make.
Limiting belief: Something might go wrong.
Empowering belief: Something might go really right. Since I’ll be making up a story about my future results, I might as well make up one with a really happy ending!
Limiting belief: What I know and offer is just common sense, really; there’s no way I could charge people for sharing this knowledge.
Empowering belief: Just because something is blindingly obvious to me and as easy as falling off a log, that doesn’t mean the same is true for everyone else. These happen to be genuine strengths of mine, and I can see why people who don’t have these strengths are willing to pay me so they can take advantage of mine.
See? Re-framing is our friend. Does challenging your limiting beliefs take work? Absolutely. Is it often scary and uncomfortable to “act as if” you truly own the new, more empowering beliefs? Absolutely. Are the ultimate outcomes worth the discomfort? Double absolutely.
What are some limiting beliefs you’ve managed to shed? How has changing these beliefs empowered you and propelled you to your dreams?
Or are you just starting out on this re-framing journey and feeling overwhelmed about how to work on your beliefs AND run your business AND deal with family AND take care of yourself? If that’s the case, I can lend a hand.
My specialty is getting clients out of overwhelm and into calm, confident, conscious decision-making mode. Obviously I’m not the right consultant for everyone, but when the right client and I do connect, we kick serious business butt.
Are you curious about whether we’d suit each other? If so, let’s find out: Call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “It might be time for a re-frame” in the subject line. We’ll set up a 30- to 40-minute call where we can get acquainted and figure out if the answer to “Do we suit?” is yes, no, or not yet.
And if you’re reluctant to connect because you’re afraid you’re going to get “sold” something, you can start to hone your re-framing skills right now. Just switch the thought “She’s gonna try to sell me something! Danger, Will Robinson!” to “She might decide she’s not right for me and I’m not right for her, so nobody is really committing to anything.” And enjoy the lightness and power that comes from the re-frame.
(By the way, thanks to Hillary Boles for posting her bony image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in choice, mindset and tagged effectiveness, personal power. Bookmark the permalink.