What is a limiting belief?

There are a lot of definitions about what is a limiting belief in coaching or personal development books but they are not always easy to understand at first sight.

I prefer to share with us an extract of the book of Laurent Gounelle «The man who wanted to be happy».

His conversation with a balinese sage is much more explicite !

Laurent Gounelle: So, you begin to believe things about yourself on the basis of what others say to you or what you conclude unconsciously from certain lived experienced. Is that it ?

Il Saggio: Yes.

Laurent: And only during childhood ?

Il Saggio: No, let’s say it is especially during childhood that most of the beliefs we have about ourselves are formed, but you can also develop them later on, even as an adult. But, in that case, they will generally be the result of very strong emotional experiences.

Laurent: For example?

Il Saggio: Imagine that the first time you speak in public, you make an awful mess of it. You stammer and can’t find your words, your voice is stuck in your throat, and your mouth is dry, as if you don’t spend three day without drink in the middle of the desert. In the hall, you can hear a pin drop. You can see that people feel sorry for you. Some have a slightly mocking smile. You would give all your savings, and even next year’s salary, to be somewhere else and not going through this. You are ashamed just to think back to it. In that case, it’s quite possible that you will begin to think that you are not made for public speaking. In fact, you have just failed once, that day, in front of those people, talking on that subject. But your brain has generalized the experience by drawing a definitive conclusion from it.

You have understood that we have unconsciously a lot of beliefs about us which become our reality.

Let’s take two examples :

You are uncounsciously convinced that the world is dangerous, that you must be wary of it, that you must protect yourself. Your attention will be caught by the potential risks which exist in every situation and you will increasingly have the impression of living in a dangerous world.

Now imagine that you have the opposite belief, that the world is friendly, that people are nice, honnest, and trustworthy. You are going to behave very openly with people. You will smile, be relaxed. And that, of course, is going to lead them to open up, to relax in your company. You will uncounsciously have the proof that the world is indeed friendly.

What we believe about reality acts like a filter which leads us to see the details that go along with what we believe to such an extent that it reinforces our beliefs. Our beliefs lead us to adopt certain behaviors that will effect on the behavior of others in a way that will, once again, reinforce what we believe.

We have all developed beliefs about ourselves, about others, about our relationships with others, about the world that surrounds us, about everything, more or less. Each one of us carries within himself a constellation of beliefs. They are numberless and direct our lives.

Each belief tends to produce both beneficial effects and limiting effects. We recognize a limiting belief as it leads to more negative effects than positive.

Help you to identify, to understand their effects and to enlarge your field of possibilities. That’s the job of your coach !

The coach will use reframe technique that consists of changing the way you see things and finding alternative ways of viewing ideas, events, situations.

Reframing will enlarge your vision of the world. All meaning depends on your point of view. To reframe something is to change its meaning by putting it in a different setting, context or frame. The meaning of any event depends on how we frame it. And when you have understood the second meaning of the events, it’s very difficult to go back to the first vision of the reality. When we change the frame we change the meaning and with it our responses and behaviors.

By using what you say or do, the coach will allow you to enlarge your vision of the world and to multiply comprehensions that you have about a situation or a problem.

The coach is at your side to help you transcend your physical, psychological and emotional limits so that you can use all your potential and make your dreams come true!

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