During a coaching session, my job is to show my client’s their mind and bring awareness to the cause of their problems. It’s almost as if I was invited to walk into the messiest part of their home, and I enter it with a flashlight to look for all the things that are contributing to the chaos. My job is to find that old pair of shoes that she didn’t even know were there, but it was occupying some precious real estate in her closet and did not make room for the new tennis shoes she’s been wanting to buy.
That old pair of shoes represents a thought that you might have been thinking for so long that you forgot it was there. Your brain decided to believe it was true at one point in your life, and so it went from being a thought to becoming a belief. And since the brain loves being efficient, it creates neural pathways dedicated for that thought to transit with so much ease that you don’t even notice it. It’s the primitive brain that is now in charge and turns on the autopilot without considering whether that thought will land you in Maui, Hawaii (rated as a top tourist attraction) or Tijuana, Mexico (ranked as the most dangerous city in the world.)
You can take me to Hawaii anytime you want. It’s one of my favorite places to go to. Tijuana….on the other hand….no thank you. The problem is that when your thoughts turn into beliefs, and they are the limiting kind, you may land in Tijuana even if that is not what you want. You may think that your ticket out of there is adopting a new belief that will serve you. But if you’re going to catch the next flight out of there, you first need to become conscious of how you got there in the first place. We need to find that old pair of shoes tucked away in the corner of your closet. We need to discover the belief that has been contributing to the messiness. You can then flash the light on it and see why it’s no longer serving you and decide to let go of it. Knowing where you are now is the start of the awareness process.
My clients often want to rush and buy the new pair of tennis shoes without fully getting rid of the old. It’s their human nature to want to feel better right away. But when you don’t work on cleaning out your closet to make room for the new shoes, you’ll continue to have a messy closet. You may temporarily feel good about them, but your closet’s overall state will continue to weigh on you. The same applies to your limiting belief. You want to fully understand it and dissect it by questioning it so you can offer yourself the opportunity to once again believe it as true, or decide that it is not, and let it go.
Do you want to know one of the limiting beliefs that landed me in Tijuana after my divorce? It’s a belief that at one point had served my family and me very well. It was a belief that I learned from a religious community I was a part of for the vast majority of my life. I did not question it until I realized I had landed in one of the world’s most dangerous cities. It’s a belief that many women share today, and that’s okay, and I respect it if it is serving them well.
I believed that husbands were to preside over the family and provide as the breadwinners, and wives’ primary responsibility was to nurture their children. This belief led me to quit my career in Finance when I had my first child and became a stay at home mom. I would not say this belief “landed me in Hawaii” for a set of reasons I may discuss in a different post. But when I got divorced... It took me straight to Tijuana!
I had not realized until I became a Life Coach that this was the very reason I did not seem to be able to commit to a career right after my divorce. While pursuing a couple of different jobs, I found lots of evidence to bring me back home full time to nurture my two kids. And even though this felt like Maui, in the sense that it was for sure the place I wanted to be in...when it comes to learning to become the CEO and breadwinner of my own family, I was not in safe and beautiful Maui…. I was in dangerous Tijuana.
As a divorced housewife, it’s worth spending time cleaning up your mind to create the life experiences that align with your new goals. You must get rid of the old to welcome the new.
This process provides real awakening. Taking ownership of your limiting beliefs and being aware of them is the very first step to change.
Not everyone will open the doors of their messy closet for me to shine the light in. It takes commitment and courage. So if you are ready to take a look and overcome your own limiting beliefs, click here to schedule a Free Mini Session.