Coaching Limiting Beliefs to Empower the Creation of New Habits
I have always been driven and that has gotten me to where I am. And now – as much I am satisfied with where I am in my life – I get how that impacts my stress levels as well as others’.
Coaching and advice I have received over the years on how to relax had the opposite effect: it increased my tension rather than reduced it. I also tried the strategy, ‘fake it till I make it’ and that too didn’t help. All efforts led me to scratching my head as to why?
The reality is that I operate at my best when I am relaxed and feel I have nothing to prove. This is the authentic me, and I’ve now learned that beliefs I held and my results-driven way of being got in my way of operating authentically.
Do you ever feel like you are faking it / not being authentic, or can’t figure out why you keep on saying ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’?
It is critical to understand that our beliefs have an enormous impact on influencing habitual patterns. Consider riding a bike. The first time was likely a bit of a struggle and once you nailed it, a belief was formed, “I can ride a bike.” Your belief wired your brain and its associated neurology accordingly. Now, when riding, you don’t even think about how to do it – you just do it.
Consider what happens when the mind – informed by our five senses – experiences something that is distressing, especially if at a younger age. This could look like an abusive parent, being kept back a grade, a car accident, divorce or anything that disrupts our life patterns and forces us to look at life differently and adapt. Like in the bike analogy, if you ended up falling and seriously hurting yourself, you may adapt by keeping the bike hanging in the garage.
“I think, therefore I am.” – Rene Decartes
For 16 years, I have been on a journey to understand my mind and associated past. Bringing my unconscious to the conscious through various self-awareness work, I was able to realize things like I hide to stay safe. It is no wonder I did that as being in an abusive home environment, I developed a belief that that strategy kept me alive.
Yet there was something missing for me in all the programs, TED Talks and the some of the self-help books I read. It was the crucial understanding that everything in our mind and body is connected. The book, The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD, and the work of Gabor Maté opened my eyes to how distressing experiences may be locked in our memories or body parts, but the consequences are not. Body sensations we feel can be like stories that need to be told – we just need to be willing to listen.
In listening more to the stress and other signals my body was giving me, with research I discovered a unique process for shifting beliefs at the core of the psyche and I am now in the process of being certified as a Clear Beliefs Coach. This coaching program has helped me rediscover significant historical events in my life that shaped how I am today. Some of my old belief structures no longer work and in fact get in my way and cause unnecessary stress. By understanding the full story, applying some proven methodologies and being vulnerable, I was able to transform dated beliefs to new, empowering ones. I stopped resisting and got curious instead. As a result, dated and dysfunctional beliefs were free to disappear, helping me forge more desirable habits in terms of how I ‘do’ my life.
We as humans can get stuck in unproductive cycles of behaviour. If we don’t stop to examine where it came from and what associated beliefs and ways of being were created as a result, we risk experiencing the same results. For many, we may even feel sensations in our body when something happens that doesn’t align with expectations or we are not being true to ourselves. Unaddressed, not only will it impact how we do our lives, it may lead to chronic aches and possible disease as related stress reactions may impact the body in a negative way.
Coaching can be enormously effective in helping us understand our beliefs and the parts of us that make us who we are – and if we’re willing to inquire and own them, we can more easily transform any limiting beliefs to ones that create desirable habits and patterns.
Kwela’s one-to-one Coaching Services provide leaders with objective support in their attempts to bring about desired change.
Glen Sollors, Partner