Underlying belief holding you back?

The question that is most often asked during a coaching session is “What is holding you back?”.  What is the barrier to change and to move forward?  The most frequent answer is Fear.  It’s either fear of failure or fear of success.  To unpack fear, the next question is “What is the cause of this fear?”  This will lead to the unpacking of the underlying beliefs that each individual possesses.

For example, I would like to establish a new habit and routine for a healthier lifestyle, I know that I need to eat better and exercise.  What is holding me back from doing what is seemingly 2 very easy things?  To eat better would entail substituting a Big Mac with Grass-fed beef salad and to exercise would just require me to walk/run for 30 mins a day.  I am sure that I can make those adjustments.  The underlying beliefs that are holding me back would be “comfort zone”, “laziness”, “not an athlete” and so on.  These negative underlying beliefs would effectively stop what my rationale mind would think as beneficial to “it’s too much work and hard.”  On the flip side, there are positive underlying beliefs that I can start to establish, for example “no pain no gain”.  This underlying belief basically says to you that you can do it and everything good comes from hard work and pain.

Where do these underlying beliefs come from?  They are certainly an accumulation of our past experiences and our value system.   By knowing and being self aware of your underlying beliefs, you are able to then decide what changes you might need to make.

For example, I have an underlying belief of “no pain no gain”.  I will work hard at work, push through the hours, take on more commitments than time permits, pile on the stress and so on.  After all, no pain no gain, right?  All underlying belief can serve you well or taken to the extreme can have a negative impact.  To be able to discern the impact of an underlying belief, I need to be self-aware of the limits of its usefulness and know when to stop.

Ask yourself:

  • What beliefs are helping you to move forward?
  • What beliefs are holding you back?
  • When is a certain belief useful and when does it become not useful?
  • What are the signs that an underlying belief needs to be changed?
  • What steps can you take to create a new belief?

Underlying beliefs determines your actions and decisions hence taking a step back to know what they are can be useful to help you to move forward.


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