If someone asked the question...
'What can ants teach us about ourselves?'
....it might take a while to come up with any kind of an answer.
However, below is a video that shows us in just a few seconds the simplest visual, demonstrated by one single ant, that can be applied to the actions of the majority of humans on this earth:
(Just to add - I didn't make this video, and I have every faith once the person had finshed recording the quick experiment they lifted little Anty out of his circle carefully on a piece of paper to let him go about his day doing more ant stuff that ants like to do).
If you were to look at that circle as a symbolic representation of your own beliefs - about yourself, your capabilities, the world around you - and then apply it to something that's new or challenging...how often would you find yourself doing what the ant is doing?
- Are you allowing your comfort zone to trap you....?
- Are you allowing the fear of the unknown to outweigh your fear of standing still....?
- Are you allowing internalised thoughts about your abilities to stop you from trying something you really want to do?
- Are you getting in your own way?
That circle represents your own set of personal limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way. Just by believing them, we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit. And in doing so we impoverish our lives. We may have beliefs about rights, duties, abilities, permissions and so on. Limiting beliefs are often about ourselves and our self-identity. The beliefs may also be about other people and the world in general. In any case, they sadly limit us. (changingminds.org)
Take a real look at that circle again and how it relates to you.It may be true that in similar past instances you've had a bad experience, something didn't go to plan or work out how you'd hoped, you've been taught a particular set of beliefs, or your fear exacerbates these limits that you feel about yourself. But to make your future decisions solely based on what your past experiences and assumptions have taught you means you'll cease to learn and grow. This is a very unfulfilling place from which to live your life.
Take notice of the fact that there is no physical barrier.
The barrier is simply one created by the mind.
Why Am I Sharing This With You?
To be able to understand our own limiting beliefs can be really difficult, as it can feel like such an innate part of who we are, and has played a huge part in how we've lived our lives up until this point.
Furthermore, these beliefs more often than not have evolved in our mind to play a role of keeping us 'safe' from potential risk of the unknown, (although the risk of not living the life you want out of fear seems like a riskier strategy to me!)
So how do you start to work on changing these beliefs so that you can unlock some of your potential that you aren't currently letting out?
Spotting Your Limiting Beliefs
Be conscious about noticing and identifying when these beliefs pop into your daily thoughts and how they affect your actions.
Take stock of moments when you catch yourself saying any of the following:
- 'I can't...'
- 'I must...' or 'I mustn't...'
- 'I do...' or 'I don't...'
- 'I am...' or 'I am not....'
- 'Other people...'
- 'The world is made up of luck and coincidence, I have no control or power...'
- What do you attach on to the end of any of these above sentence starters? How are you limiting yourself by what you're thinking, saying and doing when you use them?
- What words and thoughts can you use to replace these limiting beliefs with more empowering and positive ones?
Alongside identifying when you're allow limiting beliefs into your thought process, is that of recognising every decision you make is a choice.
When these beliefs are so ingrained it may genuinely feel like this choice is non-existent, but that's not true.
There is always a choice.
In the most basic of terms it comes down to the following:
You choosing to do what you've always done, or you choosing to try something different.
It might not be easy to step into something new and unknown, but there is always a choice, and the power of that resides in you and you alone.
You always have a choice.
You always have power.
Don't let your invisible circle stop you from living your best life.
*If you would like information on the Business & Personal Coaching services that I offer and pricings, please do go to my Coaching Services page or email me via my Contact page.