To know your intentions, you will need to ask the why question.
Know your Intentions
In this blog post, I will be covering the 2nd element of the next 3 steps to overcoming limiting belief. The first two parts of this 5-part series on Overcoming Limiting Belief was on identifying the limiting belief that you want to overcome, and the Mindset change that needs to occur. Click the links above to check them out.
In this post, I will be going through the next part which is Intentions. The why. Why do you want to change? Why do you want to take the steps to move from limiting belief or a limiting posture to one that is empowering and growing?
As a quick recap on what we have covered in the past 2 posts:
- Identify the specific limiting belief that you want to challenge and change. You need to acknowledge and know what the limiting beliefs that you want to overcome.
- Mindset. Changing the mindset consists of 3 parts:
- Intentional retraining of your mind or thoughts.
- Consistent training of your thoughts
- Determined resolved in keeping on.
Let’s start. The focus now is on intentions and how that will lead to meaning actions. There are 3 steps that you will need to do:
- Ask and answer the why.
- Visualise or reconceptualize what it would be like if you did not have this limiting belief.
- Align the why with the what. Aligning your intentions with the actions or steps that you need to take.
Let’s break each of the 3 parts down.
Ask and Answer the WHY.
Start with uncovering the reason or reasons for change. To do that, it is through asking why. Simon Sinek’s in his book “Start with Why” talks about knowing the purpose or intention of why you are doing what you are doing. The clearer and deeper your intentions, the deeper and more meaningful the reasons, the more committed you are to the doing. Let us start with asking: Why do you want to overcome this specific limiting belief? You might have to ask yourself many why questions before you are able to get to the heart of the intention. You need to have clarity and be specific. Write them down.
For example, the limiting belief that you want to overcome is the “I am not good at public speaking”. Write down all the reason why you want to overcome it as well as what is holding you back. It could be because of career advancement, business growth and opportunities, it is holding you back from exploring other options or opportunities as well as the fear of failure and so on.
The intentions will drive the reason for the change. If the intention is superficial, the attempt at change will be superficial as well. For example, if I want to lose weight, say 1 kg, just because the doctor told me to, I could achieve it in the short term but there is nothing in that intent that will drive long term behavioural changes. I could just starve for a week and lose that 1 kg and I would not be able to maintain and change my lifestyle in the long term. Not only was this reason superficial, but it could also potentially be harmful. Your why must be deep and meaningful. Most people who are successful at weight loss is because they have found a deeper reason and will likely involve the desire to be living a healthy lifestyle because they would like to spend and enjoy as much time with the people they love as possible.
People who are clear on the why or their intentions are purposeful and intentional in what they choose to spend their time and energy on. The why will help you remove the distractions, the nice-to-have, the-follow-the-crowd trend, and anything that drives you away from what you are purposed to do.
One of the best methods to get clarity is to write down your answers and with each answer, keep on asking why until you discover or uncover a common theme. For example, I had the desire to challenge a long held limiting belief of “I am not good at art and therefore I am not artistic or creative.” What started out as just not being able to draw turned into the whole category of art and creativity. I had to ask myself the following questions:
- Why do I belief that I am not good at draw which leads to not being creative?
- Why am I defining creative to just being good at drawing?
- What are the other avenues of creativity?
- What have I done that would be considered creative?
- Why am I not trying to see if I can be good in other areas of creativity?
- What am I holding on to this limiting belief? Does it make me feel good? Am I afraid of being disappointed? Am I expecting perfection?
After a series of questions, my answers had a common theme around being afraid to fail. I had then decided what learning about painting and to truly see just how far I could go if I truly tried. That took me on a journey of learning a new skill and a lot of knowledge in the process. This journey has been amazing, and I have not only enjoyed the painting process, but I have also started to notice and observe colours and designs that I had taken for granted or just never saw before.
This leads to the next step which is to reconceptualise or visualise.
Visualise or reconceptualise. This step is all about replacing the limiting with intentional thoughts.
Visualise or re-conceptualise what it would look like when you do not have this limiting belief. Replace the limiting belief with the why you are doing this. Reconceptualise the intention into the new empowering belief.
For example, replace “I am not good at public speaking” to “My intent is to help others by sharing my experience and knowledge and one way that I can do effectively is through public speaking. Therefore, I am going to learn and be better at public speaking”.
The key here is to change words like not good or can’t to remind yourself of your intention, the why and include words that will help you focus on learning and growing.
Visualise is one of the things that my golf coach would tell me especially when it comes to putting. He would say, visualise the ball going into the hole. Now of course I would also say “yeah I am visualising but the ball still isn’t going into the hole!” there are other factors going into supporting the visualising exercise such as the knowledge of what to do. Just like the golf example, part of the process is to visualise and the other part is knowing how to putt. It is like, I can visualise all I want but if I don’t aim, estimate the speed and how much to power to hit the ball, all visualise will do is just that, visualise.
Therefore, after visualising, it is also the know-how of what to do next and this leads to the next part.
Align the why with the what.
Aligning your intentions with the actions or steps that you need to take. For example, to overcome the limiting belief of “I am not good at public speaking” to “I can learn to be better at public speaking”, I will need to focus the actions that I will need to do with learning to be better at public speaking. Steps that you would need to take to learn would include, attending a public speaking workshop, reading about techniques and tips and tricks on public speaking, watching, observing, and learning from a good public speaker, reviewing and learning from your previous public speaking engagement and so on.
Each step is intentional and aligned to the purpose. Alignment is important in that we do not want to waste time and effort on actions that do not directly help you. For example, learning how to write better speeches while useful does not directly align with the intention.
Let me summarise the 3 key parts to intentions:
- Ask and answer the why. Be crystal clear with your intentions. Know the motivations. This will help you put in the effort and time because it has become important and a priority for you.
- Visualise or reconceptualize to an empowering belief. Replace the limiting with empowering belief. Focus on words and thoughts that are forward looking. Replace words such as can’t or not good with can learn or can improve to help get you started.
- Align the why with the what. Align your intentions with the actions and steps that you need to take. Alignment enables prioritization, focus and effort management.
In this coming week, let’s start to overcome the limiting belief by being crystal clear on your intentions or the why. In the next episode, I will be covering the next part of the 3 steps to overcoming limiting belief which is supporting structure or the How.
As always, Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. You are able to listen to the podcast below as well. I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. Please subscribe and set the notification so that you will know when that episode is available.
Please share the podcast with your friends and as always step into the everyday with purpose.