Rachael had just competed in the first tournament of the season. Through 2 games she averaged a double-double. This was uncommon ground for her and she wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. Her coach approached her to tell her how great she did and how she was looking forward to seeing what she would do in the next game. Without even thinking, Rachael replied “well, don’t get used to it.” Rachael’s coach looked at her a bit confused, and said “what do you mean?” Rachael went on to explain how she was an “ok” rebounder, and was “decent” with assists, but “I am not a scorer”, she said. “Says who?… says you?” her coach replied. She then looked Rachael directly in the eyes and said, “yes, you are a good rebounder, you are a play maker, and you are a scorer. I will get used to it, and you better get used to it too.” Then she smiled and walked away. Rachael stood there somewhat dismayed and feeling something she’d never felt before. She wasn’t quite sure what it was, but she knew she never had anyone believe in her that way, and for the first time she thought maybe it was o.k to believe in herself too.
Our beliefs shape our behavior!
Exam your own behavior. In what areas are you acting most confident? I can bet that, if you dig deeper into why you’re so confident, it goes back to what you believe. You believe you’re the best shooter because you know you put in the time necessary to make shots. You believe you’re an excellent student because you are disciplined in your studies. You believe you’re the best manager because you genuinely care for those you lead. Every one of those beliefs elicits a feeling. That feeling leads to an attitude about what you’re doing. And, that attitude determines your behavior.
Fortunately, this also applies to limiting beliefs. When you don’t believe you can do something, or you’re not enough in some area, or any other limiting belief, that too will lead to a feeling, then an attitude, and ultimately a self-limiting behavior. Lucky for you, that you hold the power to change it all with a simple shift in your beliefs.
What areas of your life are you experiencing limiting beliefs? Write them down… ALL of them. No matter how awful or stupid or painful they seem, Acknowledging what limits us is the first step. Then, play the best Alicia Florick, Olivia Pope, Perry Mason, or whatever lawyer you wish to be, and challenge every single thing you’ve written with one question; “says who?” Whatever the answer is to that question, challenge it. Make your case against it. Then, form a new self-promoting belief statement. I call these a “praise phrase.” for example “I believe I am an excellent free throw shooter.” or, “I believe I am a manager who genuinely cares for, and brings out the best in those I lead.” Write it down and post it where you’ll read it multiple times per day. Record yourself saying it and listen to it over and over throughout your day. Just like your confident areas, with repetition, dedication, and time, those limiting beliefs will be squelched and, just like Rachael, you’ll realize it’s o.k. to believe in yourself too!