Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential
(#3 of 7) from the series: Does Positive Thinking Really Work?
What are you willing to believe?
Last week, a new client and I were having our first coaching session. I asked her whether she was willing to believe that anything is possible. She immediately said yes and added, “Doesn’t everybody say yes to that question?” Frankly, no. Often, even when we hear ourselves say yes, we are besieged with doubts.
My high school English teacher taught us about a term in literature called “willing suspension of disbelief”. In today’s terms, that’s when we’re watching a movie and allow ourselves to believe that the premise unfolding is possible. The emphasis is on the word willing. It’s something we do voluntarily.
What are you implying?
Many times the beliefs that hold us back are so ingrained that we take them as proven truths. Sometimes, they are even disguised as rational, logical, or common sense. As a coach, my ears are attuned for conversation that betrays limited thinking. You can also train yourself to notice the thoughts that hold you back.
Here’s how limited thinking sounds: I’m too old to start a new job. I’m too ______ to do ______. I have no time for _____. If only I thought of that earlier, I’d have been able to ______. I’ve never had much luck with ______. You get the idea.
Listen to what you are saying… and hear what you are implying. Is it what you want to believe?
Step into possibility
Experiment with trying on new beliefs. You can actually script them. For example, an executive trainer noticed she was putting pressure on herself by saying, “They expect me to know all the answers.” She scripted a new belief: “When I don’t know, it leaves room for them to discover the answers themselves.” I like this example because it demonstrates that the new, empowering belief is not always the extreme opposite of the limiting belief. She didn’t try telling herself, “I do know all the answers.” That wouldn’t have worked. “I know enough,” is much more effective.
The point is to make a bridge to possibility. This week, notice when you are operating under a limiting belief or false assumption and remember the words of a famous possibility thinker:
“Think you can, think you can’t; either way, you’ll be right.”
© 2005, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.
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