What stories do you tell yourself when there’s no one else but you listening? Is it the same brave, bold story you put forward to the world or an unrecognizable, painfully small shadow of your public self? Do you use your stories to manifest the life you know at some level is possible? Or do you struggle against those unconscious fears and worries, allowing them to creep into your story line and keep you stuck?
Your stories can be your greatest assets or your greatest liabilities, able to push you up or hold you down depending on the plot line.
Stories are the lens through which you see your life, both personally and professionally. Your story construct shapes your reality in powerful ways, whether you know it or not.
Ever notice how successful entrepreneurs seem to be able to simply manifest their desires? This is a perfect example of the power of story. They are not better or smarter than you! These individuals have mastered their own stories; mirroring their internal dialogue to the external reality they desire and in doing so, creating it.
Just as positive stories can multiply your successes, negative ones can hold you back and chip away at your self-confidence. These limiting beliefs often run contrary to your conscious mind. They are fears and ‘old tapes’ that undermine your desires, the quiet whispers of doubt that creep into your consciousness when you least expect it, creating the behaviors that sabotage your success day after day.
The stories you attach meaning and emotion to, and focus on, becomes a construct of your reality.
This is how your negative stories limit your outcomes. Like a brick wall, limiting beliefs are added one by one until you have surrounded yourself with an insurmountable barrier to success. For example, a parent, teacher or friend saying you weren’t smart enough. If you still have emotional pain around that event and are hanging on to it, that story is playing out in your current reality.
Other people’s words and reactions are a mirror of your stories, further reinforcing your beliefs. A questioning look from a spouse, a skeptical response from a respected mentor, an argument with a business partner – all these perceived negative reactions serve to build that wall higher, and make your story stronger.
Once you become aware of your stories, you can pick and choose which beliefs you continue to hold onto and which ones need to change. Challenging a limiting belief is not a matter of taking the opposite view, despite what Stuart Smalley would have you believe. You are far smarter than that and your brain simply won’t believe a 180-degree shift. This is why basic, cookie-cutter affirmations don’t work!
The reason goes back to the core purpose of a limiting belief, which is to keep us safe. Your mind is trying to protect you from change and taking unnecessary risk, using fear as a warning of potential danger. This primitive protection mechanism is not easily overridden, requiring conscious effort to reverse.
The key to overcoming limiting beliefs is to find something that you can work with. For example, changing “I’m not smart enough” into “I’m smarter than I think” both begins to override the negative belief, but is reasonable enough that your unconscious mind will accept it.
It takes time and compassion to effectively rewire your unconscious.
You need to lean into the new belief to make this new story line stick. If you find yourself slipping back into the old pattern of thinking, “I’m not smart enough”, stop and thank your old story for trying to keep you safe and serve you, rather than meeting it with anger and resistance. When you make friends with that belief, you can make peace with it and move on. Then replace that thought with “I’m smarter than I think.” Over time you will see your results changing to align with your new belief, opening a world of possibility you never imagined!
Need help overcoming limiting beliefs and rewriting your personal story? Contact me to set up your free consultation.
Last fall I started waking up to many things in my life that weren’t working, like coming out of a fog and seeing things I hadn’t before. It started like a snowflake, slowly becoming an avalanche as my insights grew in intensity and frequency.
I’m sure you have had insights, but did you act on them? Or even know what to do with them? Even if you felt compelled to act, the gap between your current reality and that insight might have you feeling stuck.
In order to leverage the insights being given to me with the urgency I felt, I needed help understanding the gap in my thinking. Last year, I spent 30 hours learning how limiting beliefs work in the brain and the best part, how to shift them!
Applying my learning has been equally painful, and liberating. I see my past powerfully serving to reinforce my limiting beliefs I wasn’t aware were running the show i.e., ‘I’m not enough’ and ‘I am alone’. As I unravel each one and let go, I am creating my new reality and experiencing a wild and fantastic ride to even greater heights!
Awareness is power, and the knowledge to act on that awareness is pure gold. I want that for you. Are you ready?