Yesterday I threw a bunch of exciting updates your way: I tackled my limiting beliefs, I changed my tagline, I made the decision to become a Certified Life Coach, etc.
I also mentioned that I’d been working on My Word of the Year (which replaces New Year’s resolutions) – but I didn’t actually tell you what word I finally landed on.
Rude, I know, but before I tell you the word, I have to tell you a little more about my limiting beliefs.
The first time I heard the term “limiting belief” was in Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
In its simplest form, a limiting belief is a belief that constrains us. By virtue of believing something about ourselves, about the world, about other people – we act (or don’t act) in a certain way.
The thing about limiting beliefs is that they’re just beliefs. Beliefs that aren’t necessarily true, beliefs that can be disproved or changed.
As Sincero explains in her book, in order to “start living an awesome life” – you have to find out what’s holding you back (enter: limiting beliefs) and do the work to eliminate those beliefs so you can replace them with something a little more positive and inspiring (enter: affirmations).
When I first read the book, I couldn’t identify any limiting beliefs. I am (or thought I was) pretty confident, thanks in part to a floor-to-ceiling mirror in my room and a mom who constantly inflates the ego of her only child.
Almost a year after reading the book, I found myself in the middle of a conversation with my accountability partner in which she told me that she’s going to pursue her dreams. When she told me her plan, I felt something I didn’t expect to feel: defeated.
I was happy for her, of course, and in awe of her confidence and tenacity, but at the same time I felt my stomach churn. I immediately felt anxious and started thinking, “What about my dreams?” We’re supposed to be on this growth and development journey together, how is that she’s skipped all of these steps and made it to the success stage while I’m still down here hanging with the fundamentals?
I have all these things I want to do but instead of doing them, I spend 99% of my time THINKING about doing them.
WHY AM I LIKE THIS?
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve mastered the art of reflection. I’ve dug deep, I’ve found my purpose and I’ve identified the elements of my career that bring me fulfillment. I journal, I meditate (at least I try to), I set intentions, I write down my goals, I listen to podcasts, I read self-help books, I have career conversations, I learn, I study, I practice, I visualize my ideal life and then… I wait.
I wait until I’m more qualified, until I feel ready, until I think it’s the right time to make a move.
You know what happens to waiters? Nothing.
So, back to the conversation with my accountability partner, Courtney. She told me about her plans and I told her that I’ve been thinking about becoming a life coach for years. “But not yet,” I said. “At 27 years old, I don’t feel qualified to give anyone life advice.” What do I know? Who would believe me? What difference could I really make?
And then she challenged me. She pointed out that I’m already doing my own version of coaching. By “working out loud” on myself and sharing what I learn here on the blog and on my Instagram page and on the Growth Mindset Group I started at work, I’ve been consistently delivering on my purpose, “to grow and inspire growth.”
The funny thing is, I know all of this. I truly believe that the beauty of personal development is that you grow through what you go through. It’s a never-ending cycle of continuous improvement. No one’s perfect. No one’s ever prepared to do anything. As Courtney so aptly pointed out, “Even Tony Robbins went through a divorce.”
So if I know what I want to do, and why I want to do it, what was holding me back?
It’s my limiting beliefs!
All the bed-making and lemon-water drinking in the world won’t help me achieve my goals if, deep down inside, I don’t actually believe in myself.
That’s where the real work lies – in identifying my limiting beliefs, figuring out why they were there in the first place, questioning them and proving them wrong, thanking them for the purpose they once served and then letting them go so I can replace them with new, empowering beliefs that will help me achieve the life I’ve always wanted.
Last month, I did that work. I really focused on identifying my limiting beliefs and honestly surprised myself when I realized how many insecurities I was harboring.
- Limiting belief: I’m not knowledgeable enough to provide others with advice.
- Limiting belief: There are people out there who can do it better than me.
- Limiting belief: I don’t have enough time, money and resources to get started.
- Limiting belief: I don’t have the work ethic that’s needed to be an entrepreneur.
- Limiting belief: People will think I’m being annoying and preachy.
These are just a few of the many, many, MANY limiting beliefs that I identified. They spanned across all areas of my life. From exercise to dating to making money, it turns out I was holding on to a lot of beliefs that were hindering my ability to find true fulfillment.
After doing the work to eliminate each and every one of these beliefs, I felt lighter and brighter and more confident than I have in a long time. I stopped underestimating myself, I stopped thinking I was unworthy and I stopped discrediting all the wonderful and impressive things I’ve done thus far.
In Jen Sincero’s words, I stopped doubting my greatness and started living an awesome life.
Getting rid of my limiting beliefs has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done. If you, like me, have ever felt stuck, scared, unqualified, insecure, etc. – trust me when I say there’s a way around to overcome that.
I’ve been working on a step-by-step guide that will show you guys exactly how to get rid of your limiting beliefs. I’m so excited to finish it and share it. If all goes well, it should be ready by next week.
As for my Word of the Year, I’ll tell you that tomorrow. Gotta keep you coming back for something, right? ;)
Cheers to a new year, new you.
Doubt not included.
Not Quite There Yet – but doing it anyway