I recently watched Shrek The Musical on Netflix and this is the theme song that Shrek’s parents sing to him when they send him out into the world. Nice message, huh? Sounds like a limiting belief.
The tricky thing about our limiting beliefs is that they are often invisible to us. They are such a part of who we are that they are hard to recognize. Limiting beliefs are those phrases or sentences that have been repeated to us so many times that we don’t even realize how our life choices have been narrowed and restricted because of them.
The sound of this rings familiar. I don’t know about you, but I have internalized all kinds of limiting beliefs during my life. Here are a couple of mine: “I’m not good enough for that successful or beautiful person to like me,” or “I’m a girl, so I can’t serve God as a minister unless I’m married.”
What can we do about limiting beliefs? How can we discover something we don’t even realize is there? One way to shed light on them is to get unfiltered perspective from other people. Other people often see things that we cannot or will not see for ourselves. We might get this insight by asking someone we trust, “What are my blind spots?” or “What am I good at that I don’t realize is a strength?” Shrek was fortunate to encounter a friend like Donkey who told it like it was. Donkey didn’t hold back but, with honesty and loyalty, spoke truth to Shrek.
A great resource that I recommend is the use of assessments (with quality coaching, of course!). There are fourteen million assessments (give or take) online that tell you everything from which Star Wars character you are (I’m Princess Leia, of course) to which brand of cereal you are (don’t know, don’t care). A “reputable” assessment (you know, one that’s not necessarily found on Facebook) can give you some pretty encouraging information, like things you’re good at that you didn’t even realize could be a good thing. Just don’t take an assessment without a qualified person walking you through your results (remember the value of unfiltered perspective from someone else?).
Princess Fiona showed Shrek that his “weird” habits and tastes were really not that weird at all. She appreciated him for who he was and helped him to see that he was lovable. Sometimes the things we are strong at are not always the things that we are proud of. For example, if your family is made up of quiet and submissive individuals, your charismatic and bold personality might not have been valued much when you lived at home and now as an adult you’re not so sure your personality is a strength. What if it was? BAM! One limiting belief down, one or two more to go.
QUESTIONS: What limiting beliefs have you overcome? How do you help people around you overcome theirs? Are you more of a Donkey or more of a Princess Fiona? Please comment below.
To learn more about me and the coaching I provide to individuals and teams, I invite you to come poke around my website, kick off your shoes, and stay a while. www.coachamydevries.com.