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How To Let Go Of Limiting Beliefs

Written by Debra Olshan Cooper,
President and Founder of Your Career Design lab

Where do limiting beliefs come from? While many therapists, psychologists, and theorists might ponder, it comes from our childhood, It comes from being compared to others, it comes from "Johnny scored a home run, why didn’t you?" It comes from "she got the lead?!!!".

Throughout my practice, when I pose the preverbal question “Tell me about yourself?” 9 out of 10 times throughout the conversation I hear the following statements:

  • “I want to go for this job but don’t feel I am qualified"
  • "I know I can be good at this but I don’t know”
  • "I feel that I am stuck and can’t reach my goals and aspirations”

And the narrative beats on...

When I bring up the concept that those statements are made with limiting beliefs, a light bulb goes off and my clients want to know more. 

It comes from labels that were put on us at a young age when our well-meaning parents and teachers used adjectives such as he’s shy, he’s loud, she’s mean, she’s a trouble maker which becomes our core beliefs. 

When I  use the “TA-DA” list to excavate my client's background, inevitably we begin to find the bolder that has stopped us from achieving our deepest goals and aspirations. Fear is another factor whereby only awareness is the catalyst for the recovery of the deepest wounds we all carry.

Until the bandaid is ripped off, and the sting eases can we begin to tap into who we truly are and who we are truly meant to become. 

I remember a time recently when I held a workshop at an amazing adult camp in Upstate New York. The title of the workshop was “How To Shift Your Shit” lose the Bull and Gain the Fulfillment of Your Life.”

I got a feeling that the only question of each person who attended was: "Who Are You?".

Like an onion peal one young, beautiful and accomplished young woman answered, “ I just graduated from Cornell with a degree in Bioengineering.”

Again I questioned, "Who Are You?". She again with confidence answered, "I am a girlfriend, a daughter, a great friend, a wonderful roommate…"

Again I dug deeper and asked, “ Who are you?”. This time instead of the answers of accomplishments, tears started streaming down her beautiful face to reveal, “ I don’t know who I am”.

From that moment, the Chasm to her beliefs was open and peeled back with someone who spent her whole life believing in her accomplishments but not the biggest one…Herself.

Once she understood that all true accomplishments come first from loving ourselves, parenting ourselves, and owning all the parts that make us who we are. In that sense, our limiting beliefs appear in the back mirror so that the road ahead becomes vast, open, and exciting. Upon remembering your childhood, facing your truth becomes a kaleidoscope of wonderment and beauty.

When we sit in our limiting beliefs it is like you are driving in the slow lane on 1-95 trying to get to your destination. You can see the fast lane and know that is what will get you to your destination or carer but the limiting beliefs keep you in the slow lane. 

To move over and free yourself from fear and your limiting beliefs, and move over to the lane that will get you to where you want to go, you need to go back to a time when you got lost in your room or outside where joy, passion, freedom resided and you got lost in time before your mom called you for dinner.

Who were you? What were you doing? What was bringing you joy and fulfillment before the world got hold of your thoughts and aspirations? Sit for a moment and ponder that thought or better yet download my free TA-DA list and use the prompts to dump the contents of your beautiful brain onto the list and go back to find the person, your essence your true calling before labels like 3M sticky notes were pasted all over your head. 

We begin the journey of undoing the fears of our limiting beliefs from our past so that we can claim love, peace, and freedom that abound and are with you at this present moment. Undoing is the operative word. Deep within all of us is a belief in who we are and who we are meant to become to live our best life. There is nothing “out there” that can come from fear. 

So many young adults today ponder why they cannot land their dream careers. Because unconsciously they go into job interviews with these limiting beliefs. It is my purpose to coach each and everyone to learn who they are, let go of limiting beliefs, and do the work that gives you the confidence and conviction to go into any job opportunity and land it because you brought it with you besides your resume - YOURSELF! You brought the you that has value, skillsets, and passion, you brought the you that is a team player who enjoys playing with others, and more importantly and affirm that you are who you are and there is no one better.

This process is essential and transformative. It puts into motion the guidance and freedom from your past beliefs and brings inner peace in the present. 

Are you ready to let go? Move forward and reclaim YOU!

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