How to break through your limiting beliefs

From Nick Bennett, Minds Aligned

A lot of my work is assisting people to unlock their thinking to gain a broader perspective on the world so that they are more effective in their personal and professional lives.

In our first conversation, I spend a lot of time listening as I ask clients to share their story with me – the journey that they have taken to get to where and who they are today. This helps me to understand their perspective, their drivers, joy, pain, motivation and, importantly, their beliefs.

This conversation also highlights their limiting beliefs, ie patterns of behaviour that are being used to protect the person and reinforce who they think they are and how they believe they have to act in order to maintain that safety.

Let’s face it, we all have some sort of a façade as we reaffirm beliefs – “we can’t trust everyone, you’ve got to be careful ‘out there’, the world is nasty place, life wasn’t meant to be easy”, or a myriad of other thoughts that have been reinforced by our thinking over time and shape the way we see the world.

So what happens when we create and reinforce these beliefs through thinking and repetition? We set out to find examples of their reality, not to deny them. We become blinded by our own thinking and will walk past things that provide evidence to contradict our belief to focus on and find evidence to reinforce it, and it’s easy to do.

This cognitive bias is demonstrated every day when we start to look for it. It is reinforced in the opinions of others and promulgated by media, social and otherwise. It is difficult to get away from and brings to mind for me the words my grandfather, a committed socialist and highly intelligent man, passed on by my mother; “Read around the subject! If you take one person’s view as gospel, you are missing the truth in the situation. Read around the subject.”

So here’s the thing; if we seek on a daily basis to be better than we are, to rise above the drone of our own unconscious thinking that blinds, we can challenge those limiting beliefs. Ask yourself questions; Why am I agreeing with this? What’s the rest of the story? What’s the real truth?

Remember, opinions are like mobile phones; everybody’s got one, and they change with relative frequency!