A limiting mindset is a belief you have that is standing in the way of you becoming everything you are capable of becoming. They are incredibly destructive and often derail people from their dreams.
As the graphic above shows, your beliefs and thoughts are directly responsible for your actions and behavior. As such, what you believe is either helping or harming you.
Your belief systems are either empowering you toward your goals or keeping you from reaching them; there is no in-between. This makes identifying them and, if necessary, changing them critical for your success.
Following the path outlined above, here are three ways you can begin to identify the limiting mindsets you have (and everyone has them).
I am guilty, all too often, of saying things to myself about myself that I would never allow anyone to say about a friend or loved one. I know I’m not alone in this because just about every client I’ve ever worked with has had to work through the self-sabotage that invariably happens in our minds.
Your self-talk provides clues to your mindset and what you really believe. As you begin to pay attention to the thoughts in your head, you may discover that much of the self-talk going on in your head is not positive or empowering.
Instead, the little voice in your head (or if you’re like me, there may be several voices vying for the mic) is usually negative and discouraging.
This is the voice that shows up when you decide to do something new that feels scary, telling you all the reasons why you can’t.
It’s the voice that shows up when something doesn’t go right and you start beating yourself up and calling yourself names.
It’s the voice that says you aren’t good enough when you want to apply for that new position.
Those are all limiting mindsets and if not checked will keep you from moving forward in your life or career. If you listen to those thoughts you will not take the risks you need to take and you will stay stuck.
Be Aware of Feelings and Emotions
Pay attention to your feelings and emotions as they can act as guides to what you believe about a situation. If you’re feeling angry or nervous or excited then there is something that you are thinking that is driving that emotion which, as we have seen, is ultimately coming from a belief of some sort.
Pay particular attention to the times when your response doesn’t match the situation. For example, I used to get really angry whenever a team member didn’t respond to a text or answer my calls. I would become like murderously angry. That level of emotion did not match the situation so clearly something else was going.
When I realized the disconnect that was happening I got curious about why I was responding that way. When the belief that was driving that reaction finally emerged, it caught me by surprise but was full of so much truth.
Understanding the belief behind the emotion, allowed me to start making different choices in those situations and I no longer want to murder team members who don’t respond as quickly as I think they should ☺
Pay attention to those strong emotional responses and feelings. They are good indicators that there is a belief or some mindset that might be limiting you.
Look at Your Behaviors
Ultimately what you belief will determine how you act. If you tend to be the wallflower in the room, there is a mindset behind that behavior. If you’re the person who dominates the conversation, there is a belief driving that action.
When you notice your behavior and then get curious about why you act the way you do, your belief system will rise to the surface.
I once had a client who told me she felt really awkward at social gatherings at work and as a result tended to not engage much with people during those events. She was concerned, though, that other people iwould think she was anti-social or not any fun, which was not true but she didn’t know how to change the awkwardness she felt.
As we worked together, what emerged was that my client believed she wasn’t really good enough to be at her job. She believed everyone else was smarter and better than she was and she harbored a secret fear that her bosses would eventually figure it out and fire her.
Her awkwardness had more to do with those beliefs than anything else. It took some effort but in time she was able to change those beliefs into ones that would support her development at work; both in terms of her performance and her working relationships.
Look at your behaviors and, again, get curious about why you do what you do. You might be surprised what you learn.
Monitoring your self-talk, paying attention to your feelings and noticing your behaviors will provide you clues for identifying your limiting mindsets. Next week, I’ll talk more about how to specifically work with each of these to bring about the change you need.
In the meantime, which of these do you think will reveal the most for you? I would love to hear so please share in the comments below.
From my heart to yours,
Are you feeling stuck or hindered by your limiting mindsets? Would you like some focused one-on-one support to help you push past those limitations? Why not, schedule a complimentary coaching session with me today? You can click here to get on my calendar.