As a Life Coach I help to identify and remove obstacles that are holding you back and keeping you from achieving your goals. In my coaching sessions I have seen many of the same obstacles in people:

  • lack of vision or focus
  • lack of commitment to achieving a goal
  • putting yourself last
  • feeling guilty if you do something for yourself
  • feeling too old, too poor, too fat, too anything to get started
  • worrying what your family and friends will think
  • overcommitment at work
  • letting yourself get stuck in a rut
  • lack of time, or perceived lack of time
  • feeling like you’re going against your family’s or church’s values

These are all common. I’m sure you will recognize some of these and realize you are not alone.

Limiting Beliefs

But the biggest obstruction of all will be a client’s belief system. We are taught our beliefs as soon as we are born and it continues throughout our lives — from our parents, school teachers, anyone who ever offered an opinion or attitude about something in our lives. This affects how we behave, how we think, and how we feel about ourselves.

It takes work to break away from your own beliefs.

I have a friend who was constantly on a diet. I asked her once why she was dieting when she was not overweight. And she said she was always a fat kid and didn’t want to put the weight back on. Later I saw a picture of her as a child and she was not overweight, not at all. She looked like any other kid. I pointed this out to her and she looked through many more pictures of herself growing up. She realized she was never a fat kid. But she was always told she was fat — and she believed it. She still has trouble believing she is not overweight. It’s something she works on. This is an example of a belief that was given to her by her mother.

A Life Coach can’t sort out the issues she has with her mother. A therapist would be much better equipped for that role. A Life Coach needs to know where to draw these boundaries and stick to them. But as a coach I helped her identify how this limiting belief was holding her back. Her belief that she was overweight was keeping her from wearing stylish clothes, speaking up at work, auditioning for a cabaret, among other things. These are all things she wanted to do but was waiting until she lost the weight. She is now working on accepting that she is perfect the way she is right now. She doesn’t have to take on her mother’s issues with her own weight.

The decision to change her belief is what will move her forward.

“Life coaching is founded on the premise that your past need not equate to the future.” — Curly Martin, author of The Life Coaching Handbook

I have another friend who was always told that she was awkward and clumsy and can’t dance. It made her self-conscious about getting out on a dance floor. But who isn’t awkward on a dance floor, unless they’re a professional dancer? Now that she is in her 40s she has finally let this belief go. She told me that she doesn’t care anymore what people think of her dance moves. She gets out on the dance floor to have fun and that’s all that matters.

Some limiting beliefs are easier to change than others.

Can you identify any limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Perhaps you were told something as a child. When we are children we are very impressionable. We believe what we are told. It can take years to start to form your own opinions about yourself and the world. There is guilt that comes with disagreeing with our parents or realizing that maybe your teachers were imposing their opinions on you instead of historical facts. It takes some analytical thinking and learning to trust your instincts. You get to believe what you want about yourself.

What is holding you back?