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Fishing for elephants (and killing self-limiting beliefs)

Fishing for elephants (and killing self-limiting beliefs)

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Published by eatablesled163


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Published by: eatablesled163 on Aug 04, 2014
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Fishing for elephants (and killing self-limiting beliefs)
 Average: Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)On the journey towards greatness you must go fishing for elephants. The bigger the better. Knowingwhere to fish and which bait to use takes experience and when an elephant bites it can be a longfight to reel it in. And then, it's time to kill it.Fishing for elephants can be a long-windedand painful experience but it's one of thosethings you must go through on your inner journey towards greatness. The elephants arethe obvious self-limiting beliefs that no onewants to discuss. They're sometimes obvious topeople around you but you are consciously orunconsciously unaware. It's a self-limitingbelief that is such a big part of who you arethat you don't clearly see it and neverarticulated it.The expression "fishing for elephants" came tome through my experience as a coach. Incoaching we often talk about "spotting theelephant" based on the classic English idiom"the elephant in the room". And in thecoaching relationship the coach and the coachee "go fishing" in the mental pond to identify the realreasons for certain behaviors. The small fish circling close to the surface always bait but that's theeasy things to discuss, the topics to which you already have formulated thoughts and answers. Butit's the elephants that you're after - catch an elephant, take the time it takes to reel it in and kill itand you can make leaps on your inner journey towards greatness."I'm not good enough."Self-limiting beliefs are deeply rooted beliefs that you repeat to yourself as an excuse to not take
 
action. And in addition they disempower you, puts you in a negative mental state that sets you back and may even put you on a downward spiral.- "I could never do that"- "I'm too young"- "I'm too old"- "I'm not smart enough"- "I'm no good at this"- "I'm never lucky"- "I'm not attractive"The most common being "I'm not good enough." We all think that to ourselves every now and then,the most successful people you can imagine do it as well. I am sure Steve Jobs did it, I am sureRichard Branson does it in certain situations, even the most famous coach of them all AnthonyRobbins has moments of self-doubt.The difference between Steve, Richard and Tony on one side and most people on the other side isthat the former learned to deal with these thoughts in a way that it doesn't stop them from takingaction. They make think "I'm not good enough" before entering the stage to speak in front of a roomfull of some of the brightest minds at Davos but they would still throw themselves at the opportunity.Identifying a self-limiting belief The first step in getting rid of a self-limiting belief is obviously to become aware of it. Depending on your level of self-awareness that can be an exercise you can do on your own or something you'dbetter do together with a coach. The fact that you're still reading this article tells me you've at leaststarted your inner journey and reached some level of self-awareness so maybe you're ready for thefollowing exercise. If the following exercise doesn't makes sense to you - don't think: "I'm not goodenough" but rather "I look forward to learn more on my inner journey".1. Is it a self-limiting belief or a fact?Firstly, is it a belief or a fact?Let's say you've just turned fifty and think "I am too old to be skateboarding". That's a belief whereasthinking "I am older that most skateboarders" is a fact.Thinking "I'm not good enough to be playing tennis" is a belief whereas thinking "I'm not as good intennis as Roger Federer is" is a fact.2. What's the root of the self-limiting belief?Most self-limiting beliefs come from our childhood up until the age of around 20 or so and areformed based on interactions with parents and friends. Year 2-6 are critical in forming personalityand all the way through the teens children are like sponges sucking up everything going on around
 
them trying to make sense of it. During these years we're the most sensitive as we try to figure outour role in the interaction in the family, in school, with friends and with strangers. Self-limitingbeliefs often come from things our parents or closest social circle told us during the forming yearstherefore it's important to go back in memory to identify the moments when these things were said.Replay the situation in your head a few times, even better, write down the dialogue as youremember minn kota rebate it.Maybe you formed your self-limiting belief "I'm not good enough" when your father saw your gradesin 5th class and his first comment was: "Why is your grade in math so low?"Maybe you where at a party with a friend in your teens and the most attractive kid there hardlylooked at you but went straight for your friend so from then on you walk around with the self-limiting belief "I'm not attractive".3. Are there alternative interpretations? A self-limiting belief is your interpretation of statement, an opinion, of somebody that matters to you.So since it's an interpretation of one opinion there are probably alternative interpretations right?For each self-limiting belief identify as many alternative interpretations as you can - don't stopbefore you have at least three.In the example with the math grade above, is it possible that your father thought: "Wow, the averagegrade is fantastic, I'm so proud but what can I do to help with maths?", or that he had a shitty day atwork and just throwing a quick glance at your grades, while thinking about his crazy boss, the mathis what stood out, or could there be a different interpretation of the statement?Maybe the most attractive kid at the party really liked you but was too afraid to be turned down sowent for your friend as it wouldn't really matter to be turned down.4. Which interpretation is true?Now that you have a couple of different interpretations of the statements that triggered your self-limiting belief let's look at each of them and determine which one is true? Hang on here, can wedetermine which one is true? All you saw and heard back then was your father, or the attractive kid,act out a series of events and you do not know the intent. So to be honest here, you gave that seriesof events meaning. And that meaning was probably formed by your prior experiences.Maybe your father had the same tone of voice when he made his statement about your math gradesas he had two weeks before when you had nicked money from his wallet. Back then he had the rightto be disappointed but now his tone of voice was only because his mind was preoccupied with work. You don't know do you? You can't know what the true intent of the statement was. The only thing you do know is that you gave the statement meaning, a meaning that made you feel bad.5. Kill the elephantSo if you gave the statement one meaning back when the self-limiting belief was formed than youcan give it another meaning today right? Let's make that clear, the meaning of an event comes from your mind so if it's a product of your mind then the feeling the event gave you is not connected tothe event itself but to the meaning YOU gave it. So if the event itself doesn't have meaning then itdoesn't matter right?

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