Have you ever been lucky enough to have a limiting belief cracked wide open?
Let me explain...the first time I remember it happening to me I did not even know what a limiting belief was, you might not either and that is okay. It's a realization that shatters your world, but in a good way. When you discover a belief you always held as truth, is not actually not the truth - it's mind blowing.
A limiting belief is an assumption we form. It causes us pain or stress. These beliefs are "the rules" we set up based on our experiences. We assume everyone abides by the same rules or at least they "should".
We develop many of our beliefs from our family of origin, the people who shape our early views of the world. As we gain exposure to more people and experiences, our awareness opens up and we start to form our own opinions. Limiting beliefs can be hard to see but they do constrain us, they hold us back.
Perhaps it's because I'm a middle child, but somewhere along the way I developed a belief that "you have to be competitive to be successful" and "if you aren't competitive you will lose and there is not enough for everyone" or something along those lines. I just knew I did not want to lose.
It drove me. During middle school and high school I competed in sports. I earned decent grades. I didn't want to be left out. I craved approval. I was accepted into the university I wanted to go to. My mission was to always be one step ahead, to find a way to win or at least "not lose".
This way of living was stressful. Innately I'm a driven and ambitious person, I enjoy winning but not at the expense of seeing someone else lose. I assumed everyone wanted to win and because of my belief I assumed that those who "lost" were devastated. I believed that there wasn't enough to go around and if you didn't stay ahead you might have to go without. There are not enough jobs, there isn't enough money, there is not enough food, etc.
Then one day, sometime during my senior year of college I was having a discussion with someone, I don't even remember who or exactly how it went. I do remember having a huge "AHA" moment though. My friend simply said they were not competitive and hated competing. As long as they do their best they are perfectly fine with coming in last. There will always be enough for everyone. It didn't matter, they didn't care. Whoa, what? You are telling me you are not devastated and don't feel left out or worthless if you lose?
Cracked. Me. Open.
You mean "everyone" isn't competing and trying to climb this metaphorical ladder? It's not every man for himself? It's not an "as long as I get mine then I can help you get yours" world I live in? There are people who are okay with being at the bottom of the ladder and push others up ahead of them and they are genuinely happy to do so? There are people who honestly want to help you get yours first, because there will always be enough left for me? Sign me up!
“The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
My world opened up. I let it all go. It relieved so much stress and anxiety. I could just be me. I wasn't being judged on where I was on the ladder. In fact, if I was up high, I could happily reach down and help someone else up, even help them climb past me and I would be okay. Heck, someone has to be on the bottom, but suddenly it no longer held the same meaning, it didn't mean loser. Whoever it was I was speaking with was someone I admired, someone who had it all together. Certainly they were not a loser. This awareness freed me.
I realized I was making judgments about people who came in last or who failed at something. I assumed they didn't try and they must be sulking with embarrassment and shame. Wrong. Turns out they have the confidence to handle losing, it was me who had the problem. It was me with the judgments, insecurities, embarrassment and shame. Once I questioned my belief and let it go, I was free to try new things without fear of failure.
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." ~ J.K. Rowling
We are all in this world together. We need to help each other out. We all have our individual strengths. There is plenty to go around.
I'll help you, and maybe you'll help me, if not I'll still be okay!
It's taken years of trial and error, but I am learning to be a better person. To genuinely mean it when I say I want the best for you, for all of you. We are all super important, we each have special and amazing talents and gifts to offer.
If we can open ourselves up and question our own limiting beliefs it will increase our own self awareness and the whole world will be a better place.
There are no losers, if you believe there are I invite you to start examining your own judgments and beliefs. There is peace and freedom on the other side.
I am working hard on myself, if you are interested in working on yourself contact me today.