Life Coaching Tip: Limiting beliefs are like invisible fences—we’ve learned to stay inside to avoid the painful zap of guilt and shame that comes from wandering beyond the edges. But here’s the beautiful news: Once you shine a laser light of awareness on your limiting beliefs, they will loosen their grip on you! Continue reading to learn more . . . .
When our daughters were young, we took a family cruise to the Caribbean, and one of our stops was in Cozumel, Mexico. Since we would visit four ports on this trip, each of the members of our family had the opportunity to pick an excursion—and it was our youngest daughter, Shannon’s, turn in Cozumel.
Shannon decided we would do a dolphin encounter, which sounded interesting to all of us—except to our eldest daughter, Marissa.
“I don’t want to swim with the angry dolphins,” Marissa said. “It will make me sad.”
“Angry dolphins?” I questioned. “Why do you think the dolphins are angry?”
“They’re angry because they’re trapped,” she answered. “They don’t get to swim freely in the ocean and do the things they are naturally meant to do.”
Wow, my wise daughter’s perspective made sense to me—and it was heartbreaking to think about.
Fast forward twelve year later, and I was able to grasp Marissa’s sentiments even better when I read Glennon Doyle’s book, “Untamed”.
If you’ve not read this book yet, please put it near the top of your list.
As a quick summary (but not a spoiler)—Doyle’s inspiration for “Untamed” came from watching an animal show during a family trip to the zoo. The star of the show was a majestic female cheetah, Tabitha, and her performance involved chasing a stuffed animal that was attached to a fast-moving jeep.
After the show, a child in the audience asked one of the zookeepers if the Tabitha missed the wild. And the zookeeper assured the child that the cheetah did not, because Tabitha was born in captivity and had not seen the wild—ever.
But Doyle’s young daughter disagreed, as she watched Tabitha pacing back and forth in her enclosure. Then, Tabitha’s posture changed—and the regal creature held her head high and stared somewhere out beyond the fence.
Doyle and her daughter surmised that although Tabitha had been domesticated since birth—she still had an intuitive “remembrance” of the wild she had never even seen.
Doyle then used Tabitha’s story as a metaphor for the way women are conditioned from birth in patriarchal societies to reject their true essence—deny their own thoughts and feelings—and learn not trust themselves.
She asserted that to fully experience a free and authentic life, we, as women, must break society’s rules, upend cultural expectations, and rediscover our innate traits and virtues.
When I initially read “Untamed”, I remembered Marissa’s assumption that the dolphins in captivity were likely angry—and it made perfect sense to me why a young woman would come to such a conclusion.
No doubt, any life that has been taught to hold back from its full expression of badassery—the intrinsic gifts and strengths that make it feel alive and joyful—will naturally feel anger (and sadness, confusion, and grief too).
If Doyle’s analogy sounds a bit melodramatic, as a seasoned life coach for women, I can assure you—it’s not.
It’s not unusual for prospective clients to tell me on a consultation that they feel burned out, stagnant, and stuck, after spending a lifetime of hustling and striving to be all the world told them to be.
They have glimpses of what might fulfill them—but busy schedules, guilt, and fear hold them back.
This is what my client, Stacey, said:
“Before coaching with Tracy, I felt like I was in a cage. I felt like I was looking out of this cage— where I see this person that I am and want to be— but I didn’t know how to get there.”
If this is you, do you wonder why you feel trapped?
Here’s my guess . . . As women, we often find ourselves stuck between other people’s expectations and our own desires. The rules of the patriarchy teach us to put our dreams on hold and keep ourselves small while holding others up.
These stifling beliefs run deep—and they are so sly that we typically don’t realize they are in our subconscious mind—but we feel them whenever we try to break free.
Your limiting beliefs might sound something like:
I’m not good enough to be, do, or have ______.
I shouldn’t bother anyone with my opinions or ideas.
I don’t deserve _______ (success, wealth, love).
I need to hold back, or I will make my _______ (colleague, boss, partner, sibling, etc.) feel bad about themselves.
There’s something wrong with me—I don’t have the ______ (skills, strengths, intelligence, talents) that other people seem to have.
It’s selfish (or greedy) to do what makes me happy and put my needs and desires ahead of my family’s.
These limiting beliefs are like an invisible fence—we’ve learned to stay inside to avoid the painful zap of guilt and shame that comes from wandering beyond the edges.
But here’s the beautiful news: Once you shine a laser light of awareness on your limiting beliefs, they will loosen their grip on you!
You can’t unsee them.
Your mind begins to understand that these beliefs are just thoughts— other people’s thoughts that were passed on to you—and they are not serving you. This insight alone can weaken the false foundation of the long-held beliefs that have been holding you back.
The following questions will help you uncover some of the hidden beliefs that are keeping you from fully stepping into your power and shining:
- Where do you feel out of integrity with your authentic self?
- What important feelings are you not letting into your awareness?
- What fears are keeping you inside your comfort zone?
- Where did these fears come from?
- What’s the truth?
Spend some time thinking and journaling about your answers and note any new shifts of awareness that come up for you.
Seriously, sister, do this—it will be worth your time and effort!
The emotional freedom that comes from shining a bright light of awareness on the beliefs that have been confining you can feel liberating. You deserve to fully embrace your brilliance and follow the callings of your heart!
PS – Flushing out limiting beliefs is not a “one-and-done” kind of practice. It’s a life-long process, because your human brain will always find new, creative ways to hold you back. This is why mindset work is such an integral part of life coaching. And it’s the reason why working with a coach can be so powerful and help you move forward faster. . . with far less drama. You simply can’t see past your own blind spots.
If you’re ready to make exciting changes in your life but can’t seem to get going on your own, I highly recommend you get some help. I’d love to help you gain freedom from your self-sabotaging thoughts, slay your goals, and fully step into badassery! Schedule your free consultation, and let’s talk about it! SCHEDULE HERE