Last week I was speaking with a long time business colleague and the subject turned to beliefs and specifically, limiting beliefs. Both us concluded that much of our adult life has been spent unlearning beliefs that no longer serve us. Crazy, huh?
I first learned about “limiting beliefs” from Gail Straub and David Gerson in their fabulous workshops & books entitled Empowerment. (I know, an overused term but this was the 80’s folks and they were way ahead of the curve!)
In short, a limiting belief is exactly what it sounds like– it limits you. Like any belief, it can be rooted out but that’s not enough. They must be dumped. My favorite way to dump them (discussed at length in Lesson 18, of my book, Lessons From a Headhunter… With Heart! ) is to turn them around them around until they work for me with a belief that expands me.
So in the spirit of helping others learn my past tortured self, here’s a limiting belief I struggled with forever:
I’m not good enough
I call this particular limiting belief: my inner mean girl. It’s a doozy, isn’t it? It knows no bounds. Until we dump it, it often manifests itself in the relationships we choose; how well we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually; how we groom ourselves and how we operate in the world. I’ve learned it’s really about deserving. Here’s what my inner mean girl looked like for me:
- I dated unavailable men in all shapes and sizes for years and years;
- I beat myself to a pulp running miles and miles that ruined my feet and ankles;;
- I didn’t advocate for myself with doctors when I knew there was something wrong with my thyroid;
- I didn’t think I deserved to own a house until I got married.
Excuse me, but what the what? Rest assured these beliefs were not ones my parents wanted for me. Both my parents were huge advocates for women. Frankly, I no longer spend time analyzing where I learned how to be mean to myself. I spend all my energy working the Turn-Around and the Expanding Belief.
Want to hear my Turn-Around? My Expanding Belief? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll share it. And how about you? What does your inner mean girl sound like and how can I help you dump it?
Patty Comeford Adams
Ps. Two terrific resources on examining your limiting beliefs are: (1)Renee Stephens’ fabulous free podcast @ docrenee.com; and (2) Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.