Unconscious (or sometimes conscious) beliefs that hold us back, tell us we can’t do things, or that we shouldn’t do things.
Beliefs that we are not knowledgeable enough, skilled enough, qualified enough or good enough in some way.
Limiting beliefs impact on our lives in all sorts of ways.
But where do they come from? Where do they start?
Perhaps they start when we are children and we are told a few too many times to stop doing things we feel inclined to do. We are told to stop jumping on the sofa, stop doing risky things, stop getting dirty, stop making a mess, stop shouting, to sit down, calm down, stop getting excited, stop expressing ourselves, stop being who we naturally are.
After a while, we lose touch with what our heart desires and we become conditioned to believe that we must hold back, we must not fully express ourselves, we must conform and do what other people expect us to do. We end up suppressing our true selves and become used to ignoring what we feel inclined to do.
The evidence of this is when we feel triggered by seeing children living fully in the moment, being completely themselves, embracing all that life has to offer and throwing themselves into new experiences. We feel triggered by this because it challenges us. Because we have stopped embracing life in the same way. So our response is to start unconsciously conditioning our children in the same way that we were conditioned. We tell them to stop being themselves and ask them to conform to our expectations or other people’s expectations or society’s expectations.
When my two year old waded into this knee deep puddle, I initially wrestled with thoughts about her getting stuck in the mud, losing a welly boot, getting completely soaked, getting covered in mud, getting mud all over the car or falling over in the water – and I felt an urge to tell her not to go in it. But I ignored it because these limiting thoughts were about me, not her. Her little face lit up with sheer delight at this new experience. She stood in that puddle for ages. She walked around in it. She experimented with splashing in it and stomping in it and she felt how squelchy the mud was, she felt excited at how deep it was and she did nearly fall over in it.
And I questioned why I had felt the urge to stop her doing something that she got so much joy from. Why did it matter if she got wet or muddy? Why was I bothered? I realised I couldn’t remember when I had last got covered in mud or splashed in a puddle. So I waded in there with her. It was weirdly liberating!
Children start off life feeling liberated and free to be themselves. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could stay that way? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all felt that way?
Empowered parenting is about bringing the unconscious into the conscious. Challenging our limiting beliefs that we might unconsciously pass onto our children. Questioning our expectations of our children and ourselves. Questioning everything, in fact, that we have ever been told about life, and challenging our own assumptions about everything.
Because we no longer have to conform to other people’s expectations if we don’t want to. We are free to be ourselves if we dare – and children are the best teachers if we allow them to be.
When is the last time you splashed in puddles, got covered in mud, went swimming in the sea, painted or drew on your face, rolled around on the floor, made a mud pie, covered yourself in glitter, dressed in fancy dress, went on a swing, jumped onto a pile of cushions, made a den or danced around in public?
When is the last time you jumped into the unknown or threw yourself into a scary new experience without knowing how it was all going to work out?
When is the last time you PLAYED? When did you last feel completely free to be your true self and do whatever your heart desired without holding back?
Limiting beliefs impact on the way we live, how we feel about ourselves and how we parent our children. If this post speaks to you and you want a safe space to bust through your own limiting beliefs, let’s chat! I currently have two coaching slots becoming available in February. Click here to find out more and book in a free consultation.