Hannah Wilson portrait

Hannah Wilson

Limiting Beliefs: What is Holding You Back?

As a coach I have the privilege of working with lots of different people. It is a pleasure to be taken into their circle of trust, for them to share their innermost thoughts and their feelings with me. I often hear things that they have not said out loud to themselves or others before.

I hold space for them… I listen… I support… I hold up the mirror for them to see themselves… I play back what I hear so that they can hear what they have said… I catch them… and I help them make sense of the messiness.

A recurring theme in our conversations are the barriers and the obstacles that we put in our own way and the limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves that hold us back from realising goals and fulfilling our potential.

Rocky shoreline near lake with quote: If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you - Louise Hay

These limiting beliefs show up in different ways for different people: the very loud inner critic inside our head, the imposter syndrome that swamps us and the saboteur that creeps into the room. Each is like a weed that wraps itself around us, restricting our growth.

In order to overcome our limiting beliefs, we thus firstly need to be able to identify them. There is an expression that we need to ‘name them, to tame them’. By labelling them and articulating them we anchor them and get some control back over them.

We then need to identity where they come from so that we can tackle the root of this weed that is trying to strangle us. Often we think it is our voice, our thoughts and our feelings, but when we reflect and begin to unpack the words and the tone, we realise that we have internalised them from external sources. In that they have often come from a family member, a friend, a partner or a colleague, not from us.

Sunset over mountains with quote: A self-limiting belief is no stronger than the flimsy rope that tethers an elephant by its foot - Stephen Richards

I often say to my clients that we need to remind ourselves to see ourselves, talk to ourselves and treat ourselves how we treat others. We champion, cheerlead and build others up, so it is a double standard if we criticise, crush and pull ourselves down.

We all have limiting beliefs but we need to realise that we are the only ones who can control them. We need to consciously hack them down so that we grow into our full potential. We need to decide who we are going to let occupy our heads and our hearts.

Check out my new REAL toolkit on this theme to read some of the articles, listen to some of the podcasts and watch some of the TED talks to hear from others how they have they developed strategies to overcome their self-limiting mindset.

Waves crashing into cliffs with quote: You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights - Brian Tracy