Christina Gerakiteys: Limiting power of tired beliefs

Opinion

I have been working lately on limiting beliefs, others and my own. One of the most common phrases I use in consultation is “You teach best what you most need to learn”, so when I find myself dealing with the same issue for several clients, I take notice.

While enjoying time out recently I heard this conversation between a father and son: Dad, “Be careful or you will slip on the rocks”. Son, “I never slip Dad”. Dad, “Famous last words”. There was no doubt the father’s words were spoken through love. His intent was to protect his son from potential catastrophe and anyone who has cared for a child knows what this feels like. So a ‘falling on the rocks catastrophe’ may well have been averted, yet a limiting belief was potentially set; every time I have too much belief in my abilities, something will happen to bring me down.

As a child I had similar limiting beliefs set through love. Every time I excelled at something, took out first prize in a piano eisteddfod, came first in my year at school, I was reminded not to get carried away with the success or the achievement because something bad usually followed something good. My limiting belief meant I started to disregard the success, play it down. That way life would remain even keeled and I wouldn’t suffer any ensuing disappointment. I also shunned praise or recognition. 

It’s not uncommon to see this limiting practice play out in business. I have asked clients what they might achieve if they were to remove the cap they have set on their level of success? What potential would they open to themselves and their business? I often get a glazed response. And the ensuing discovery that most limiting beliefs are set during childhood. Some of these are extremely detrimental; “you will never amount to anything” and “don’t set your sites too high and you won’t be disappointed”.

How often do we sabotage ourselves when things are going well, personally or professionally?

How many successful entrepreneurs disclose that they never gave up because they had total belief in what they were doing, regardless of temporary setbacks. That they actually had nothing to lose? When you have nothing to lose, limiting beliefs lose their hold.

Today, take note of where a limiting belief might be stopping you from bursting through a barrier to success.

Christina Gerakiteys is an ideator, innovation and creativity expert, and facilitates the Rippler Effect Innovation Program