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Limiting Beliefs

We’re back home after an incredible week off visiting friends and family in Virginia! If you missed any pictures, you can see them on my instagram page.

Pookie did awesome on this trip. She did have some sleep issues toward the end, but all in all, she had a great time. There were plenty of dogs and other kids around, which made her super happy.

We spent many, many hours in the car driving between destinations. To keep us occupied on the drive, we read to each other and listened to some podcasts.

Right now, we’re both reading The 4-Hour Chef and listening to the School of Greatest podcast. I’m also currently hooked on Elise Blaha’s Elise Gets Crafty podcast.

podcast collage

All of these focus on motivation, inspiration, getting clear on your goals, and implementing them. We listened to an episode called Power of Belief and the host, Lewis Howes, talked about how a person should discover the limiting beliefs they have about themselves and take steps to counteract these beliefs. Sounded interesting to us, so with oodles of time in the car, we decided to do just that.

When it was my turn, I was surprised by my response. It came very quick, without much thought. What’s my limiting belief? Even though I was always a straight-A student, have a bachelor’s and master’s degree, teach at a university, and run a successful business, I always felt that I was not naturally smart.

Now, this is rather painful for me to admit, as all our short-comings are, but I think it’s important to share here because as Rob and I talked through this, we saw fairly quickly how inaccurate this belief was in real life, and even though it does take me a bit longer to wrap my head around things, I have another skill that is more powerful than book smarts – hard-work.

How did I develop this limiting belief?

I believe it started pretty young. I have always been a fairly sensitive person, so words did hurt me when I was little. I remember doing things (as all young kids do) and being told I was stupid for doing whatever that thing was, or that I should have known better.

Then I remember the first standardized assessment I took in school, which was in early elementary school. I remember we got our test results back and I scored average on most subjects and slightly below average on one or two. I remember feeling somewhat sad about this, but it didn’t really bother me until I met up with a good friend of mine at the time. She was so proud of her score and showed me her printout. She had scored in the top 15% of test takers nation-wide. I realized at that moment that I was embarrassed of my score and that I clearly was not as smart as her.

She got to move onto the gifted classes including math and science, while I struggled with the basics.  What came naturally to me was music, acting, dancing, and writing. I could easily entertain a crowd. Other subjects were something that did not “click” with me as easily. This struggle continued throughout primary school for me. I always had friends in accelerated or AP courses, and I felt like I masqueraded as a “smart person” with random excuses as to why I was not in the same classes.

The truth is, the traditional way of teaching in the schools I attended and the teachers I had did not always fit the way that I learned. It was hard for me to learn the information the way it was presented, and it did not come easy. I received A’s all throughout school and was marked as an excellent student, not because the material came easy, but because I worked hard to learn it.

This was the golden ticket for me: hard-work and having grit. I learned these skills from my mom, by watching how she worked and how she showed up in the world. If things didn’t come easy, that was no excuse for not trying. We were a family of hard-workers and earned the things we had.

The mind is everything. What you think,

Identifying my limiting belief was quite freeing and I learned a lot about myself at that moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and thinking that we should somehow be different than we are.

So here’s what I plan to do to counteract this limiting belief. As I continue to educate myself and learn new skills, I will work to change what I say to myself during the process. I’m a big fan of mantras and creating new self-dialogue, so I’m going to say the following to myself daily:

“I am capable of learning whatever I set my mind to.”

I may have to get creative, or seek out help, but there is nothing wrong with that. Knowledge is knowledge, however you acquired it! 🙂

Supporting each other is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Do you have a limiting belief? How does it hold you back?

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