I love speaking to groups and was really looking forward to it. I had mentioned the event to a few people in the lead up to the day and was struck by how many had commented, not about the event, but about me speaking in front of people. So many had said: “I’d love to do that but it’s too scary speaking in public” or “I don’t know how you do it – I hate public speaking, it terrifies me!”
It is ironic then that the subject I was speaking on was how to get rid of your limiting beliefs. You see, that is what is going on for the people that made those comments: they had self-imposed limiting beliefs around their experience of public speaking. Limiting beliefs are so interesting.
It might help, though, if I explained a little about what they are. These are the convictions and ideas that we have formed about ourselves and deem to be true. These ideas become limiting when they stop us achieving what we really want to, it is any idea that stops us from playing full out. At 100%.
Think about something you have always wanted to do. Why haven’t you done it yet?
Chances are you will have a list of reasons for why you haven’t. Take a good look at those reasons and I would wager that some of them are simply limiting beliefs about your own ability or circumstances. The thing is, we can often get into a habit with limiting beliefs and allow them to dictate how we live. This is what I call, “The Doomsday Relationship”.
Let’s stick with public speaking – many of my clients originally viewed this a ‘terrifying’ thing to do and therefore they can’t do it. I like to deal with facts, and the fact here is that public speaking IS NOT terrifying. It can’t be. If it was, then no one at all would do it. Even more intriguing, some people actually LOVE public speaking – I am one of them!
So it cannot be a fact that public speaking is terrifying, can it? So if it is not the action of speaking in public that is terrifying, then what is?
It is the THOUGHT, not the action that is giving people their experience. Our thoughts are where our beliefs are formed. Our beliefs inform how we decide what is and what isn’t. We form these at a very early age based on our experiences and then they are modified by our filters. At such a young age we don’t have the ability to question and form our own opinions, we therefore have little choice in what to believe. Our beliefs form our ideas about what we can and cannot do. In this way, beliefs are both empowering and disempowering.
It is the disempowering beliefs that we should identify and look to change. These are the deep-seated beliefs that are holding us back from doing what we want to really do. It is important to understand that our beliefs are OUR truth – the danger is that in doing so we can treat them as FACTS. It is important to understand that our truths are really our experiences as we remember them. They are not a true fact of life.
We can go through life holding on to beliefs that we have never challenged. This can mean the beliefs we allow to dictate our lives are out of date and not actually true. Have a look back at those reasons you gave for not doing what you want to do. Question each one of them. Are they actually true? How do you know?
If we tell ourselves we can’t do something often enough it will become the default response to anything we think we might want to do. Questioning our reasons to check if they are actually true is the first step to empower you and stop outdated beliefs that do not allow you to achieve what you want.
If you think it is all about confidence – well, being confident is just having more empowering beliefs than limiting ones. So, if you’re terrified of doing something – Fantastic – and think again. What is REALLY stopping you?
You are only as good as your positive beliefs so start thinking positively NOW.