Tales from the Wendy House

I’ve just been in a meeting with someone who paid me a compliment on my outfit. I said “thank you”. We then got onto the subject of how, when paid a compliment, people are keen to run themselves down. Responses such as “oh I’ve had it for ages” or “it was in the sale” are common.

Another example of this was something I was involved in last week. It was a social event and someone mentioned that they’d organised a little quiz. Immediately the response was “I’m not very good at quizzes”.

That got me thinking, why do we run ourselves down when we don’t need to? Why are we so unable to take a compliment, and why do we think we’re no good at something even when we don’t know what it is we’ll be doing?

These are self limiting beliefs. Some people are paralysed by them. These beliefs hold us back and stop us from feeling confident about ourselves and our abilities.

It’s the same with public speaking in a way. Some people immediately will say I’m not very good at public speaking. How do they know? Has someone told them that or have they even tried it?

I have a friend that is terrified of public speaking. They do it because their job dictates that they have to. They are in fact very good at it. They are still terrified, but live with the fact that they come across ok and accept that. Reducing self limiting beliefs isn’t magic. It takes hard work and determination.

Here are my top 5 tips for dealing with self limiting beliefs.

Highlighting your not very good at something will put the microscope on you. If you don’t highlight it, no one knows.

Quite often the self limiting belief is false, created in our childhood or by those around us. The likelihood is that no one can remember this only us so if we chose to let it go, we are back in control.

Not all self limiting beliefs are negative, we need some of them to prevent us from doing bad things. We limit our speed on a road because we’re told that it’s not good. That’s ok!

Don’t let age limit you. We are never to old to learn, try something new or break down a life long limitation. Quite often it’s only our minds that control this not our age.

If a self limiting belief is stopping you from moving forward with your life or your career, you could end up living with anxiety that gets worse each time someone mentions doing something. Try it, if you don’t like it you can then say you don’t like it, not I’m not very good at it.

Finally, the next time someone compliments you on something, such as how you look or what you say, just say thank you. You’ll be surprised how good it makes the other person feel too!

I’ll be covering this topic on my Why Women Don’t Play Golf Programme in July of this year – please message me for more details of how you can release yourself from the sticky floor.

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