Mindset plays an important role in success, health and well-being. However, we are still just scratching the surface of the impacts mindset and self-belief play in creating results at work, in our relationships and in all other important aspects of life.
One of my favourite quotes is from Henry Ford, who said:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way, you are right.”
It is a profound statement from a man who regularly faced criticism from others who told him that what he was trying to do was impossible. Yet, he accomplished incredible things and forever changed the way we live.
The challenge is that the level-thinking required to change our destinies is often misunderstood. Many people believe that changing their thinking only requires consciously putting out a few positive thoughts. But, this approach generally leads to disappointment.
We must overcome historical patterns that have shaped our self beliefs before we can truly resonate at a new level.
How Self Belief Can Limit Potential
I have a client who, as a child, had what we now know to be dyslexia. One day early on in his school years, when expected to speak in front of his classmates, he froze. The teacher admonished him for “goofing off” and not taking his studies seriously.
At that moment, without realising it, he branded himself as “stupid”.
This client would be what would widely be considered a business genius. Yet the underlying belief that he was “stupid” prevented him from seeing his potential. He had let his interpretation of the behaviour he had witnessed in another influence his self-belief. This, in turn, negatively affected his attitude towards his own success.
After working with him to clear this subconscious patterning, he was able to see the myriad of debilitating results that this belief had on his life. It stopped him from pursuing many dreams and significantly limited what he did and achieved.
As we cleared this belief, an entirely new level of creativity, self-confidence and business ideas began to emerge. His success trajectory changed.
Beliefs impact on how we deal with hardship and difficulty
In the town of Christchurch, New Zealand, where I live, terrorist attacks in early 2019 involved the killing of many people of the Muslim faith. The country had never before experienced this kind of hate-inspired violence. The nation was shocked to the core.
Farid Ahmed, a leader at one of the mosques that was attacked, where his wife was actually killed in the shootings, later stated that he believes he is a human brother to the shooter. While he didn’t condone the actions taken, he also said that he couldn’t hate the gunman who took his wife’s life and those of 49 others.
I don’t want to have a heart that is boiling like a volcano. A volcano has anger, fury rage – it doesn’t have peace, it has hatred. It burns itself within, and it burns the surroundings.Farid Ahmed
At the same time, another person directly affected by the tragedy had not left the house in the three weeks after the shooting. Their beliefs had them in a state of perpetual fear with debilitating outcomes.
Beliefs can be hard to understand. They are habitual and most often hard to see, as they are not conscious and based on historical patterns. Emotions come from our beliefs and they too often start below the surface. However, beliefs and emotions are reflected in our behaviours.
Fears are never about anything new. They are more about a repeated story from the perception of a historical incident.
But with awareness and the right techniques, negative self belief and fear can be overcome, and potential realised.