How To Remove the Limiting Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Having What You Want
Written by: James R. Weiss
You are bright, articulate and ready to make some serious changes in your life. Sure you are working, but there is no room for any type of growth at your present company. Every day you spend a great deal of time thinking about switching careers or starting your own business, but so far nothing has worked out for you.
Perhaps, like many of my clients you too are still searching for the right person to spend the rest of your life with, You’ve tried everything from dating services to hanging out at one or more of those pricy clubs, but all you have found is disappointment and more anguish.
Questions, questions and more questions. Why am I having such a difficult time finding the right career? Several of my friends and coworkers have recently switched to better high paying jobs what’s holding me back?
It’s time to silence the “critic”
Along with the live saving advice your family and those responsible for educating you they also passed on their own fears, prejudices and short-comings that are still having a profound effect on your adult life. I can still remember passing St. John’s University on the way to my aunt’s house in Bayside. One Sunday when I was about twelve years old I told my mother that one day I would be a professor at this university. She responded by telling me that “the men in our family work with their hands and do not attend college. I don’t think you’re going to college either.” Of course you realize that my mother’s off-handed remark was based on her own beliefs and fears. Note: Later in life I would spend thirteen years teaching as an Adjunct Professor of English at St. John’s.
It’s safe to say that fears passed onto us by well-meaning adults are still keeping us from having what we really want. Your “internal critic” is constantly talking at you and filling you with warnings and rules that are long out dated.
Take a minute or two to place a check mark next to any of the statements that you can identify to
- Never trust anyone outside of the family
- You are no better than the rest of us
- You’re not as smart as (you fill in the missing name)
- Why are you always talking? Stop making a pest of yourself
- Never talk to strangers
- What do you know? You are only a child.
- Please don’t get your hopes up. Nothing good ever happens to our family.
- Why can’t you be like the rest of us?
- Stop trying so hard you will never make the team (or whatever else you were trying to accomplish)
- Don’t go too far from home. Stay here where they know you (One of my father’s favorite expressions)
Silencing Your Critic
Silencing or at least slowing down your internal critic is a two-step process.. The first thing you must do is become aware of its presence. This unwanted voice has been with you long enough to become an automatic response. You must begin by recognizing your critic’s voice. It takes time, but well worth the effort. Secondly, as the critic is trying to prevent you from trying something new admonish it (silently of course). As you continue correcting ignoring this monster it will slowly leave your life…well almost leave your life.
Here Are Eight Limiting Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Having What you Want
Limiting Belief # 1 I hate my job, but I’m afraid to change my career
Suggestion: Recent research indicates that men and women who spend 7-10 years at the same position become bored and anxious, especially if there is little or no change in their duties. No one is telling you to pick up and walk away when you have a family to support. The best way to begin your new job search is to bring your resume up to date and send it to companies that need your services. There are also search firms and dozens of other venues for you to access. If your still employed the best advice is to hold on until you have landed a new job. As of May 2015 75% of those looking for a new position will find one within seven to eight months.
Limiting Belief #2 I’m not as intelligent as most people
Suggestion: To begin with there are very few real geniuses in this world. The rest of us mortals must work hard to achieve our goals. If you are interested in updating your professional skills and increasing your body of general knowledge you can always return to school. There are literally thousands of online courses and programs that can help you achieve your goals. You can also create your own self-directed reading program and join a book club that centers around your area of interest. There are thousands of very specialized audio tapes you can listen to while you drive or relaxing at home. Above all do not measure you achievements against someone else. Judge yourself by the progress you have made in your own self-education plan,
Limiting Belief # 3 Things will get better next year
Suggestion: Wishful thinking will get you nowhere. About fifteen years ago one of my old classmates opened a dry cleaning business in my neighborhood. One Saturday I dropped by to wish him well. Sam told me that “business was not good, but I’m sure it will be better next year”. When I asked him what he was doing to make it better he just shrugged his shoulders and said “Jim, I just know it will be better that’s all.” Three months later Sammy Boy was out of business
Sure there is a moral to this story. It is almost too obvious to mention, but here goes. Nothing in your life or in or anyone else’s will get better unless you work at it. Forget it, you are not going to win the big lottery and retire to Valhalla.
During my workshops on career planning I hand each of my students a notebook and have them label it Things Will Be Better Next Year. Their assignment is to record one or more activities they perform every day during the next 365 days to make their professional and personal lives better. When used properly this is a very powerful exercise.
Limiting Belief # 4 If I work harder I will earn more money
Suggestion: The correct statement should be: if I work smarter I will make more money. You are working anywhere between forty to sixty hours a week. What are you actually accomplishing and most of all are you being properly paid for your effort? If you are feeling frustrated you may want to employ one or more of these strategies:
- If possible delegate some of your duties to your staff or a coworker so you can spend more time focusing on projects that will advance your career
- Enter a new career that will make better use of your knowledge and skills
Limiting Belief # 5 I’m doing the best I can
Suggestion: It’s time to be totally honest with yourself and and ask if you are in deed doing the best you can. Before answering this all important question take a minute or two to respond to each of the following statements:
- I enjoy spending my spare time watching TV or visiting friends
- I frequently find myself day dreaming or “spacing out”
- I have one or more hobbies or interests that consume a great deal of my time
- I believe that I am actually doing the best I can
- My social life fills up most of my evenings and weekends
- Why bother exerting myself no one appreciates what I do for them
If you answered “yes” to two or more of these statements you may not be doing the best you can…you may well be wasting valuable time that could be used to improve your career or education
Limiting Belief # 6 I know I’ll never be popular
Suggestion: To begin with no one is born popular or out-going. People skills are something we begin learning at an early age. In the real world we all feel inferior in one way or another. It’s just that some people are better at hiding their fear of failing better than others. Here are several suggestions that can help you break out of your shell and meet other like-minded men and women
- Join one of the volunteer or community sponsored groups in you area. This is perfect way to meet people who share the same interests as you
- If you feel that you have nothing important to say subscribe to magazines such as The New Yorker, Esquire or Vanity Fair. They offer great “now type” of information that you can easily share in any public situation
- Take a friend along when you go out to make new friends. There is nothing like the comfort of a close friend to give you a sense of security as you wade through uncharted
Limiting Belief # 7 If only I had a better education or different parents my life would be more successful
Suggestion: The first thing to do is stop blaming your parents and your incomplete education for your lack of social and professional mobility. In all likelihood the people who were responsible for raising you did the best job they could. Hey, the past is dead and over…bury it and walk away. There is only two ways to deal with your less than favorable childhood and the education you never received. First, you can spend the rest of your life walking around feeling sorry for yourself. Secondly, as many of us have already done you can brush yourself off and take charge of your life. This may sound a little trite or naïve, but believe me it works. Here are a few suggestions to point you in the right direction:
- If you are still having a difficult time coming to terms with your past you can seek professional help. There are plenty of qualified counselors who can help you to let go of the “old days”
- Return to school and complete the education you were once denied. It’s never too late to educate yourself. This is a great way to build your self-esteem and power up your career
- If possible meet with those relatives who offended you and work at forgiving them for their less than favorable treatment of you as a child
- Join a support group so you can discuss your childhood in a safe secure environment
Limiting Belief # 8 I never have any good luck
Suggestion: If you are basing your luck on your ability to win the lottery or hit it big at the casinos forget. These are sucker bets. There is an old saying that I am fond of telling my clients. “The harder I work the luckier I get.” It makes sense if you really think about it. Here is how you can bring lots of good luck into your life right now:
- Stop settling for second best. Don’t accept a dead end job because it’s convenient and a no brainer.
- Start looking for new opportunities to expand your present position or begin your own business
- If you are really interested in becoming lucky begin reading biographies of men and women who have created their own “luck”
- Double or triple your effort at work and personal life