– Tony Robbins
A few weeks ago I had a happy hour with my amazing work girlfriends – we call ourselves the “Party of 5” (amongst other names I cannot mention here 😉). At dinner we started having a discussion about what our biggest limiting belief is and they were surprised to hear when I shared mine that I have two:
“I am damaged goods”
“Everything has to be perfect”
They’ve known me long enough to know the second is true, but as close of friends as we all are, no one knew the first belief had haunted me since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.
After eight surgeries, including a double mastectomy, and later having my ovaries removed, I have often confessed to my husband that I barely feel like a woman. My most recent genetic testing show I have the hormones of a 6 year old girl. This results in feelings that I have lost my femininity, sexuality and so much more. It’s hard to write or talk about it, but I share it with you today because I have been faced with how to overcome this belief in order to regain my health, strength, and intimacy with my spouse, whom I love dearly.
A limiting belief is the tape that plays in your head that stops you from taking action and prevents you from being your highest self.
It’s those default messages you tell yourself that prevent you from…
-trying new things for fear of failure
-doing what you need to do that is good for you, and
-isolates you from the world.
And we all have them! A few that I hear quite often from people include:
-I am not good enough
-I am not smart enough
-I make bad decisions
-I am not a good person
-I am too old to try
-I am a quitter
and so so many more.
This your default tape – this is the message that shows up every time you find yourself at a crossroad to take action. And your brain shuts down that action and keeps you, well, STUCK.
It’s not your fault…it’s likely that you have been told this limiting belief by someone close to you in your life and after replaying that tape in your mind thousands of time, you believe it.
I promise you can do something about it – stick with me on these 3 tips to overcoming your limiting belief.
The first thing I suggest you do is write it down. Call it out. Make it known – to yourself.
Not to give it power, but to identify what it is so you can start to reflect deeper on it – what caused it, why do I carry it around in my baggage, and when/where and how does it rear it’s ugly head.
Then ask yourself…
What has been the cost of having this limiting belief in your past, present and what could it cost you in the future?
If you took a true, honest assessment of the costs of your limiting beliefs, these beliefs have likely taken a small piece of who you are and even worse, have changed the trajectory of your success. Think about how it has impacted…
-your relationship with your spouse/partner
-your relationship with your kids
-your ability to advance at work
-your earning potential
-your growth potential
-your self esteem
After you write down your limiting belief and realize it’s impact, you may feel terrible, wonder why you didn’t spot this earlier and do something about it? Here’s the thing…life is sometimes a big beautiful mess!
But, here’s the good news…TODAY IS YOUR DAY!
You can break your default thinking and change your tape. Here’s how.
Mel Robbins launched the Mindset Reset challenge in 2019 where she teaches the key to breaking the default thinking and establishing new deliberate thinking.
In just five seconds flat, you can experience, doubt, fear and worry – these emotions can stop you in your tracks from taking action.
I used to be a terrified of flying in an airplane. So much so that when I got out of the car at the airport, I would start sweating, my palms were wet and clammy and I felt like I was going to throw up. I’m not even sure where this fear started but it was REAL.
A few years before, I flew to London on a 10 hour flight, and one of my clients suggested getting a prescription for anti-anxiety medicine – and it worked! But I soon realized, that I was worthless when I arrived, wanted to sleep the entire day and could not function like my usual self – so it worked, but it didn’t.
Several years later, I took a leadership class on Emotional Intelligence with Emory University and learned the secret to breaking this negative, limiting belief about flying. I learned that when the part of your brain called the front lobe (the part of your brain that was logical, reasoning, and problem solving) was engaged, that the amygdala (your “fight or flight” center of the brain), cannot work at the same time.
So I created a new tape…
The next time I boarded the plane and got ready for takeoff (the scariest part of the flight for me), and I started counting – by 3’s – all the way to 300.
And it WORKED!
No more sweating, no more asking the person next to me to hold my hand on takeoff so I wouldn’t be afraid.
In Mel Robbins book, The 5 Second Rule she outlines how to disrupt your default thinking and replace that message with deliberate thinking.
Here is how it works:
1. When your brain starts the default thinking tape – “you are damaged goods”
2. Count 5-4-3-2-1
3. And STOP the tape
Mel explains that your brain wants to stop you from doing things that are uncertain, scary or new. And in 5 seconds, the brain has the ability to highjack your fight or flight instinct to stop those things from happening.
Thus, tip #3.
Remember, your old way of thinking happens by default. And it’s not your fault. But once you discover the 5 Second Rule, and stop that old tape from playing at the exact moment it tries to get you from taking positive action, you need to replace the tape and take action.
Here’s how it looks in my default thinking – “I am damaged goods.”
My husband, who is a total hottie, comes into the kitchen after showering – he smells great, looks great and is even wearing those favorite pair of jeans and Patagonia shirt that makes him look – just amazing.
My limiting belief says…”someone like him doesn’t want to be with someone like you. You are damaged goods.”
Ok brain, TAKE THIS…5-4-3-2-1
And I play my new tape: “Girl…he is so lucky to have you – you’re body beat cancer’s a$$. Go hug your man and tell him how sexy he is.”
So I do, and he smiles and gives me a big hug and kiss. Instant intimacy – that I desire and require to feel like a woman.
And I KILL THAT TAPE. Until next time. And the next time. And the next time.
Until my default tape becomes my deliberate tape – “You beat cancer because your body is strong!”
Here are some other examples to put into your new deliberate thinking tape:
Instead of “It has to be perfect,” THINK “Perfection is unattainable, but I will make progress every day.”
Instead of “I’m a quitter,” THINK “I will do what it takes to win.”
Instead of “I’ll never be as good as _______,” THINK “God gave me unique strengths and gifts to offer the world.”
Instead of “I’m not worthy,” THINK “I deserve every good thing life has to offer.”
If you are brave (and I know you are) – I’d like to challenge you to share your limiting belief (default thinking) and your NEW tape (deliberate thinking)
I’d love to hear which of these tips was most helpful for you.
Want to live your purpose and create a thriving career or business you love? Need more support and accountability to make it all happen? Hire Tricia as your coach: www.thrive-her.com/4sessions
Looking for your next speaker for your business resource group, conference or event? Email Tricia at [email protected]
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