Episode 23: Miriam dives into limiting beliefs which are thoughts, opinions that one believes to be the absolute truth. How many times have you told yourself you can't do something? Sadly this means we don't get to experience certain things because of our limiting beliefs.
ABOUT THE HOST
Miriam is a Certified Trauma Informed Coach, an African, a mom of three daughters, a blogger and writer. After graduating from the London School of Economics, she built her international career in the fields of banking and international development, working for organisations such as the World Economic Forum, Lombard Odier Private Bank, JP Morgan, the Mastercard Foundation and the United Nations. She now uses her passion for psychology and dedicates her time to coaching others to free themselves from the burden of childhood trauma. Her wish to help other women connect to their inner wisdom, love themselves and follow their passion. In her effort to destigmatize mental health and normalize mental health conversations in black communities, she wrote her memoir about surviving childhood and finding her worth.
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Hi, dear listeners, this week's episode will be about limiting beliefs. Do you have limiting beliefs? I think we all have limiting beliefs to a certain extent some more than others. So it will be titled are your limiting beliefs holding you back? So what are limiting beliefs? They are assumptions we have about life, right? They can be positive or negative. They are part of our core beliefs. And our core beliefs are what we are made of most of our decisions in life come from our beliefs, right? So when we have limiting beliefs, it can be problematic. How many times have you told yourself, I can do this, and you didn't do it. I'm raising my hand right now. Because, sadly, in my life, I haven't done many things I did well, but there are many things I didn't experience because of my limiting beliefs, my fear of failure, or of trying things that looked a bit too risky. The thing is, what we need to realize is our beliefs are just beliefs. It's something we believe so it doesn't make it true. But when we believe things, it's, it seems so, so true in our minds, let's explore the idea a little bit. So we're going to talk about how these limiting beliefs, what they make us do, how they show up in our lives. And then we are going to go into granular into what it is and then give some tips on how to overcome the limiting beliefs. So just know that limiting beliefs or beliefs, negative and positive, really shape our life, they shape the way we live, they shape the way other people treat us. And they shape the environment we are in. So they are very powerful. It's the power we give them, right. So if you have a lot of limiting beliefs, you can really shape your life in a certain way. What limiting beliefs do is that they make you instead of taking action or doing things, you make excuses of why you can't do things, you procrastinate, or you try to be perfect, or you jump to conclusions, or also you talk to yourself in very unhealthy ways in a very negative way. When it comes to people who have been through trauma. I like exploring that. It's they can keep negative core beliefs in their adulthood. And these beliefs often stem from childhood. Sometimes it's it's not even just trauma could just be our experiences. I don't know, if in kindergarten, Eric, every child is drawing, painting and drawing something and the teacher says, oh, Nancy, very beautiful, or Lucy, art is not going to be it for you. So now Lucy thinks that she she's not good at drawing or anything artistic, it might stay with her that that emotion might stay with her. And if she doesn't uncover it later, she might start, she might really believe that anything artistic is not for her. And if she does the work, she will see that it comes from that, that period of time or that experience. So it can be also in childhood, when parents say negative things to their kids over a long period of time, it can really affect the way they see the world. And when they are grown, and those things don't matter anymore. They they will still be viewing the world from that point of view.
It can also be different events in childhood on in adulthood back different unconnected events, but glued together by a core belief, core negative belief it could be I don't deserve to be loved. And then there are many different events that tie to that right. limiting beliefs. They can push us to actually sabotage ourselves or avoid experiences, avoid experiencing something because we're trying to run away from what we see as perceived pain or something and then we don't experience something because we have scared sometimes that it could we could fail. So it can really be a big problem in experience in life. Some people are so stuck in their limiting beliefs that you They think they don't have a choice in the life that they leave. It's like that. And sometimes these limiting beliefs, they can be from everywhere. It's not only from parents, and it can be from society, from our childhood. And then from fears that we have, right we can have fears, I don't know, certain fears. And then from there we have we develop limiting beliefs that stay with us. So it is important to, to know about this, because they can really rule our life if we don't realize that and stop us from applying for that scholarship, because of course, we will not get it. So let me get into the main human limiting beliefs, fear of success, fear of failure, fear, we are not good enough to achieve what we want fear of not being loved, being unlovable. fear of rejection. Yeah. So it means that when you fear rejection, generally you avoid relationships, are you people, please because you want to be accepted, you can have a limiting belief about certain groups of people, like people who are rich, aware of money, and you think rich people are had this, but it doesn't mean that maybe you've experienced it, per se, your fear of greatness, we don't deserve, we are not worthy of success. We have to work very hard, long hours for our money. Other people are holding us back. These are the main human limiting beliefs. If we see that the same limiting beliefs in in items, it could be, I don't deserve love. I don't deserve good things to happen. The world is a dangerous place. So this is a belief we have about the world. I can't trust anyone or anything. I'm a bad person, I'm worthless, I'm unlucky. Everything is all my fault. I don't belong here. So when we navigate the world with these beliefs inside, in our core, we will take make decisions that actually sabotage our well being. So we can be we can say, for example, in love, or I'm so unlucky. But things keep happening to me. But then when we go on a date with that potential partner who shows signs of being unreliable, volatize volatiles, we chose that person to become our partner, or we go apply to jobs that are not for us, just because with our limiting belief, we believe that the job we we want, we are not good enough to have it. So we keep applying to jobs that are not fulfilling for us. And then we keep recreating the prophecy, and it creates even more pain because we are avoiding the experience we want. And then, so we stay stuck in pain, and then we're creating this kind of fulfilling prophecy over and over again. So that's why it's important to really get to know our limiting beliefs. Yeah, because the beliefs we have about ourselves. The ones we have doubt can come from society, for example, in society, if someone tells you I want to quit my job and go travel the world, most people will say, that's a crazy idea. And at the end of the day, I mean, why not? You know,
you can do it, what is holding you back, if you've maybe you've worked and you've saved money, you can buy your air ticket, and some people even travel without much money. But people everyone will tell you that so crazy. That's because that's the limiting belief that society has put. And some of the limiting beliefs from society are not always bad, right? The limiting belief not to commit a crime or not to commit fraud. That's a good one because it keeps us in check. That's a good one from society, but there are some that are not necessary. For example, if we take the case of an example, a person who trains let's say, an animal trainer, who has a baby elephant to train, who ties the baby elephant to the tree, so the baby elephant we fight to try to free themselves Fight Fight for so long, everyday and it will not work out right. So and then when the baby elephant is big now.
He will not even need to tie that big elephant to a tree. can tie that elephant to a stick, and that elephant will not go away. Because the limiting belief that has been constructed over time, many years of trying and being knocked down not succeeding is that I cannot escape this, right. And that is what happens with trauma. Sometimes people go, people get knocked down so often, that they have this limiting belief, which becomes really very strong, because it's not just that one incident in kindergarten with, with Mrs. Whatever, Who told you that you were not good at this? No, it's overtime, trying and being knocked down trying and being knocked down. So it can create really powerful limiting beliefs and, and even negative, very strong negative self talk, right? Where we think that we belong to a bubble, we don't belong to society as everyone else. And this can keep us from. Even when we have the tools, the potential we we have the education can, it can keep us away from achieving what we want in life, because we sabotage ourselves even before trying. And we can have limiting beliefs about many different many different things, right? I'm too depressed. If I go to the party, people will notice I'm depressed, they will reject me. But maybe if you go to the party, actually, you will have a lot of fun. And you will feel better about yourself, and you will see that you are not rejected. So it's really limiting beliefs can really keep us stuck in this self fulfilling prophecy is really, really bad for us. That's what I want to say. And so how do we get out of this? Because the whole goal is to get out of these limiting beliefs. How do we get out of them? Number one is the awareness, gaining the awareness about your limiting beliefs, right? For example, if you believe that you're not good enough for this job, and then you keep applying to jobs that you think are safely for you, and then they keep making you unhappy, maybe maybe you need to uncover something. Or if you have, like a family member who always triggers you, maybe there's some healing to do there. Because the brain is very powerful. It's not because we don't have a strong wheel, then we talk about this. Because the brain is made like this, as a human being, we like telling ourselves stories about life. So we live we experience things, and then we tell ourselves stories about about them, right? But it doesn't mean that those stories are true. But we don't know that. So if we, we can tell ourselves a story that sticks on the stick so well. And it seems so true. And it's as if we cannot do anything against it, it's like that, no for them. No, he could travel because he he has friends is for me, it's different. In my case, it wouldn't work it for me, I cannot do it, because I'm not like them, you know. So that's how limiting beliefs how strong they are, how, how they push us to protect them. So when we are protecting our limiting beliefs, so strongly, it just means that we need to hear there's some trauma behind that there's something there's an emotional hurt, that when we harbor our limiting beliefs, or we don't want to let them go. So there's a pain there that we have to go deal with. Because sometimes those beliefs when we were growing up, sometimes they protected us. But where they become problematic is that when we become adults, and we don't need to have those beliefs anymore, they are stayed there and driving our lives. So it's important to uncover those those limiting beliefs because they were true at one point. But today is different today, we are in a different situation. So it's important number one, to be aware that you have limiting beliefs. That's normal. That's because you cannot you cannot change them if you're not aware of them. If you're in autopilot mode, you cannot change your limiting beliefs right? So you have to be conscious gain awareness that have limiting beliefs are number two question your limiting beliefs. And they ask yourself, what if I'm wrong? I go to that party and no one rejects me. What if so they lose their power as soon as we start questioning them? That's that's the powerful thing. When when you start questioning them that maybe there's another perspective, maybe just maybe an A You can also ask yourself, how is this belief serving me today? does it serve you that you believe that you're worth Less or you're incapable? No. So it's when you see that it's not serving you, it's time to change beliefs. What we can also do is create alternative beliefs. That's the next step, right? So we can create alternative beliefs. So when our mind tell us we are worthless, we can't say no, I am okay, just as I am, I am capable, you know, these really positive beliefs, but not just saying them, really feeling them and accepting them and practicing them. And it's also important to remind ourselves of our goal, what is my goal? What am I trying to achieve? And, and then repeat to ourselves our alternative positive beliefs. And then after we go test them in, in reality, if we think, Oh, I'm not good enough for this cool.
And then we create an alternative believe that, no, I'm good enough. I've graduated with my undergrad, I'm good enough to enter the school. Going to test that on this alternative believe would be to, to actually apply to the school and see what happens. Right? I hope this is a bit helpful. I want to hear from you. Do you have limiting beliefs, Which ones? Have you tried changing them, I really like hearing those stories where people gain awareness of their limiting beliefs, and then they try changing them. I'm so passionate about this, I love coaching on limiting beliefs, because they can't just free the human being in such a way that you go from a place where you're just stuck to seeing that actually, you can do things differently. And sometimes it's just so freeing. The saddest part is when you have a client, and they're stuck in their limiting belief, and they really think that if they do this society, we do the No, you cannot do that. You cannot say that? How can you say that? No, I cannot. I cannot betray my parents like that. I have to do this. I have to? Uh, yeah, all these I have to I must I, you know, yeah. So language is very important when it comes to limiting beliefs. So saying to ourselves, I can't, I can't, I can't I can tell you, if you say that. That's what you will manifest, you wouldn't be able to, if you say I can't, I can't, I can't. Sometimes I can. I will, I will do it, you know, you try it, you do it. And they you see what happens. That's the best way to beat limiting beliefs is by taking decisions based on that alternative belief, and then seeing what happens, it doesn't mean that you have success. Just by doing that it takes it takes a lot to change, limiting beliefs, because these are core beliefs. You know, core beliefs are in the unconscious mind. That's what drives us. It's like the iceberg. So when you say I can't, behind as a core belief that's in your unconscious mind that was built over a long period of time. And also visualize what you want, you know, to remind yourself of your purpose, to remind yourself of your goal to talk to yourself with positive, positive self talk. And to also visualize what what you want for yourself, you know, if it's, if you want to be an entrepreneur, visualize the life you want to live, how you want to work, how you want to feel like really visualize and enter that position where you feel it in your body. It's like a movie. And you're like, imagine you have like a 3d set on your face, and you're in a movie. And as you're live in the future, and you're visualizing it, you have to really do it like that, to stay focused. It also journaling, you can sit, you can save like five minutes every day for one week. You take a piece of paper and a pen, and you write for five minutes, just five minutes. All the good things about you, you know, and forget, stop. You just ask yourself this powerful little question What else and then you see something we come up under you write it, do that for seven days, you'll be surprised at what many good things you find about yourself. And also meditation can help. And it's important if we don't have the belief yet, and we want to get somewhere to look at people who did things that were impossible. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, or even people in our vicinity in our lives, who really achieved things that we think are impossible things to achieve. And then we see them as examples. We get inspiration from them for our lives on a we we believe in ourselves. So, yeah, I just wanted to end with giving just a few sentences that one can replace these limiting beliefs with I am unlovable can be replaced with I am okay as I am,
I am bad, I am selfish. I can't accept myself, I am not good enough can be replaced with I am good enough, I should have done something I did what I could, I am bad. I can learn from my mistakes, I am a failure, you can replace that with I did the best I could, I am powerless, I am helpless, I am trapped. You can change that too. I can control what I can. For people who suffer who's who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you can have COVID eluga have limiting beliefs like I am going to die. You can change that with I survived, I am in danger, you can change that too. I can survive. I am overwhelmed, you can change that I can get through this. It's important to gain this awareness. Because what our mind creates, we go out in the world and create it. So if you go around telling yourself, you're worthless, you take decisions that show prove to you again and again that you're worthless. It doesn't mean you're worthless. It's just your belief that tells you that and believe is just an assumption, it can be changed. It can be changed. Sometimes it's hard because we are loyal to a group, a man doesn't do this, a woman doesn't do this. These are things that we have to step back and unlearn those beliefs, right, unlearn them and say that, okay, they are not serving me right now. Another powerful one for someone who grows up, for example, in Cameroon, and who comes to the west, where you have to respect and as you have to respect people who are ordered a new arrest pet authority, in my case, sometimes when an adult was talking good and look them in the eye. But if you come to if you come to the west, and you don't you, you have to change that you have to see that you cannot blindly respect authority, you have to see that you're the adult yourself, or you're even authority in some cases, right? So it's really important to shift those limiting beliefs to to be able to live the life we want to live. That's what I wanted to say. I hope it was helpful. Share with me if you have limiting beliefs, which ones How did you gain awareness about them? How have you changed them? Have you found out alternative beliefs for your life and have they worked out or not? I would like to hear from you about that. Thank you for this episode today. And stay tuned for next week's episode. Bye