Coach’s Corner – Self-Help That Prevents Self-Limiting Beliefs from Becoming Self-Fulfilling

Our thoughts are based on our beliefs, while at the same time these thoughts reaffirm what we believe in.

Some people ‘double-down’ on their commitments, and display courageous optimism in difficult economic and personal times. At the other end, other people doubt and question opportunities, even when these opportunities are in front of them. To me, what differentiates both parties are their beliefs, and how they manage their thoughts.

Photo%20by%20Mitchel%20Lensink%20on%20Unsplash

Photo by Mitchel Lensink on Unsplash

In a previous post, I shared how thoughts affect our mood and our actions, as well as some recommendations to manage our thoughts. Let’s focus on a few specific and common thoughts that are not only self-limiting but can also be self-fulfilling. I also hope a few reminders of pragmatic self-help actions you can make a difference in changing those beliefs and negative thoughts when they appear.

Self-limiting belief: “I’m not ready/qualified/prepared.”

Self-fulfilling result: I don’t apply for the job opportunity, and therefore, I don’t get the job.

Self-help: Self-coaching. Ask yourself these questions, and stay in the positive. 🙂 What outcome am I seeking? Where am I now in achieving this goal? What options and possibilities are there to help me get closer to my goal? How will I turn these options into action? What’s my first step, second step, etc.? How will I know when I’ve achieved my goal? [Self-coaching does have its limits, and I will share these in a future post.]

Self-limiting belief: “It’s not my job.”

Self-fulfilling result: My view and understanding of the world remains narrow. I’m busy drawing and protecting boundaries, and not learning and growing.

Self-help: Reflect on how you accepted and took on new responsibilities and projects, AND still maintained your desired work-life balance. Don’t mis-interpret “quiet quitting” [a recent practice adopted by younger workers in America to only work in the hours they are paid for, and not doing anything beyond their work hours and job description] as refusal to accept responsibilities and accountability. The more examples you can identify, the weaker this self-limiting belief becomes. This opens the door to more possibilities for understanding, collaboration and personal growth.

Self-limiting belief: “I’ll never get to the same level of professional accomplishment/status.”

Self-fulfilling result: I continue compare myself to others, chase their goals, and feel like I’m always behind.

Self-help: Define your own success based on your capabilities, rather than the success-measures or expectations of others. Striving to achieve more, and having role-models are good things. However, when we only focus on the achievements of others, we often miss the method by which these individuals achieved their success. The learning opportunity is not only in what others have, but more how they got there. Get curious, and find out how others achieved their goals. Then ask yourself: is this really how I define success? Am I willing to put in the same (or more) effort to achieve this?

The best way to change your thought process is to question your belief. The best way to change your belief is to ask yourself questions.

Check out more blog posts in this series: Coach’s Corner.