This months cuppa and a chat post was inspired by a realisation that I had a while back about myself. I was sitting on the train, going into London. My stomach was in knots, as it had been all morning. Even on the short distance into London I had talked myself into and out of the destination I was heading to. You see, I was off to meet a group of travel bloggers to have a catch up and a chat, and, like I always do, I was messing with my own head. I probably looked slightly mental as I was having a little convo with myself! I knew that it was time to work through the madness that goes on in my head, and maybe in many of our heads! Grab you cuppa you gorgeous lot, lets have a chat about why you could be your biggest obstacle……..
I have spoken to you before about the irrational fears that I used to have about going to blogging events, and wrote about how I can at times fall into the comparison – the stealer of joy trap. When I first began to get invites, I would get the initial bubble of excitement, promptly replaced by a feeling of dread. A gazillion thoughts would go through my head ranging from the classic “No one will talk to me” to the irrational “they will all think who does she think she is, calling herself a blogger’. Before the day was out, my anxiety was high and I had usually talked myself out of going. Thankfully I got over that, and have enjoyed many an event since, (although I still have a million nervous wee’s on the way).
Are self limiting beliefs making you your biggest obstacle?
My latest self imposed wobble arose, and I knew I had to delve into and examine what was going on in my head. It dawned on me, sitting on that train, that it was my own self limiting beliefs that were stressing me out. It was ME that was my biggest obstacle as I allowed my thoughts to take hold. The thoughts creeping in are always a variation of the same, and the conversation in my head goes a little like this;
“Kerry, what the hell are you thinking. Your going to meet a group of travel bloggers. Firstly, they are going to look at you and think Oh, who brought their Nan, and secondly, your days of backpacking travel are long gone. These bloggers are all living their best lives, country hopping and sleeping in hostels. Not doing mini breaks to Prague! You will have nothing to talk to them about. They will just humour you and be polite….blah, blah, blah”
You get my drift?
I had totally made up this entire scenario of what I thought would happen. It occurred to me that not only was I creating my own drama, but my own self limiting beliefs, the way I thought about the situation, was stopping me reaching for my goals or just enjoying an event. It was hindering me from pushing forward. Also, if I was honest with myself, I was perhaps hiding behind what I saw as my obstacles. I was giving myself excuses as to why I hadn’t achieved what I wanted to.
So, what are self-limiting beliefs? These are false beliefs, that we put on ourself. They are assumptions or perceptions that you’ve got about yourself and about the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because in some way they’re holding you back from achieving what you are capable of. Does that make sense? It did to me and kind of summed up my brain completely! So in my case, “Kerry you are to old to have anything in common with these youngsters” “Kerry, you are not travelling every week, what value can you add” “Kerry, you don’t have lots of social media followers, you are not in their league” Get it? I am putting these things in the way as obstacles. Me. No one else. I have never had a bad experience at events and everyone I have met in the travel blogger community are blooming lovely!
These thoughts are destructive. They lead to a lack of action as we already have ourselves beat! Think of a job advert that you see and you fit pretty much most of the criteria. Then you see “qualification in space travel would be an advantage” Straight away you think “Oh I don’t have that, I wont bother to apply”. Then of course there is the ones that we have all at some point put in our way, “I don’t have time” or “Id never be able to do that” All of these self limiting beliefs are rubbish, make you your biggest obstacle, and are negative, so how can we get rid of them?
In my case, I read a few books, (Mindset Switch in particular was great), and I wrote it down, (of course I used a new note pad for the job, you know my stationary obsession). I wrote down what my belief was, then questioned its purpose, and this is where I found I was hiding behind them a little. For me to think Oh Im to old to fit in as a travel blogger, was almost protecting me from what I feared as an outcome. I feared not being accepted into the “group” so had already set myself up an excuse. You see? This showed me that it was more a lack of confidence than the fact that I was older. It made me feel better to realise that, as a lack of confidence I can work on and get over, there is bugger all I can do about my age!
I spent a lot of time working on me during my twenties and thirties, I think its around then that you grow into yourself and start becoming the person you want to be don’t you, so I am a pretty balanced and rational person, and people’s opinion of me honesty does not usually bother me. These limiting beliefs however were totally irrational, so I know they came from emotion rather than logic. I picked them apart, understood what was behind them, (fear of not being liked, uncertainty of where I fit in the “travel blogger” niche) and then worked on that. Im pleased t report that last week I again went into London to have a meet up with some travel bloggers, and I blooming well enjoyed every moment!
So, I would love to know, do you recognise that sometimes YOU can be your biggest hurdle to get over? Can you talk yourself out of things because of your fear? Do you let irrational emotion creep into your head and stop you doing things? Have you a strategy you use to work through it? I would love to hear your thoughts.