Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Limiting Beliefs

We all have them. Beliefs we hold about ourselves. Some of them are what we call, Limiting Beliefs. We label them limiting because these beliefs limit what we think or believe we can do. For example, I enjoy training for sprint triathlons. Until recently I always thought of myself as a 3-4 mile runner. I never really ran more than four miles at a time. This belief about myself limited me from seeing myself as a person who could run say 8 miles. Believing that I could not run more than 4 miles and that I was a "4 mile" runner...did not allow me to be an "8 mile" runner.

So, how do you stop a limiting belief? The first step is simply awareness. Limiting beliefs can become part of our unconscious belief system...and we simply just go with it. Becoming aware that a belief is limiting key. Bring it out into the open. With awareness comes possibilities, new understanding and new choices.

Take a look at your beliefs about yourself. What's possible if you were to break them open? What's possible if you didn't buy into it? How might you change your limiting belief into a more empowering belief?

Today, I ran 9.5 miles. I no longer see myself as a "3 miler". I've broke open that limiting belief and now imagine what's possible. Perhaps a marathon one day. (Something I never would have even thought about being that "3 miler".) What's possible for you?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From a Worm to a Butterfly

The steps a caterpillar takes in becoming a beautiful, colorful butterfly is a great metaphor. I often speak with my clients about the comfort of their "cocoon" and how the cocoon represents our habits, routines...what we know...whether it's working or's comfortable and safe.

To EMERGE as a butterfly...leaving the warmth and safety of the cocoon, requires six steps.

1. Determination: How hungry for success or change are you? Your want or hunger will fuel your motivation to see the results or changes you want. How big is YOUR want?

2. Inspiration: Why do you want what you want? What is inspiring your to see the growth you desire? Where will you get inspiration from?

3. Vision: What is your vision for yourself? What are you trying to accomplish? How will life look different after you have emerged from that cocoon? (Flying like a butterfly instead of laying in a cocoon!)

4. Initiative: You must take action to make it happen. Ask for help, do research or just take small steps forward. Chew a little, rest, chew a little more, rest. Just start nibbling.

5. Network: Create strategic partners, create a support system - ask for assistance. Who can support you in making the changes and taking the small steps? How will you create the support?

6. Believe: Rid yourself of negative and limiting beliefs. Believe in yourself. You are no longer a worm, you are a beautiful butterfly. How will you accept this new belief? Write an affirmation for yourself and post it somewhere you see it everyday and repeat it to yourself constantly.

What's ready to EMERGE in you? What's keeping you in the comfort of the cocoon?
Imagine the possibilities living life as a to fly above the trees, take nectar and pollen from flowers...spreading your beauty throughout the land.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Top 10 Ingredients to a Successful Visualization

Anticipating an event, competition, or a stressful situation can cause people to feel anxious, uncertain or even fearful. Anticipating the start of race, giving a presentation or giving birth (flying in a plane) can all elicit anxious feelings. When we focus on our “what ifs” that can run through our minds the anxious feelings only increase. The “what ifs” also play out in our minds in not only words, but in pictures as well. Our “what ifs” are the movie we’re living. What you see is what you believe.

Many of our challenges in life, sports and in business can be handled by changing our “what ifs”. How many times have you imagined an outcome to a life event that you were certain would not be favorable? The event probably went just as you imagined, right?

Champions in life, sports and in business use visualization strategies to overcome feelings of anxiety, perform at their best and to increase their energy and enjoyment. Every visualization has 10 important ingredients.

1.Begin by relaxing.
A relaxed mind equals a relaxed body.
Quiet your body and your mind. Relax your breathing.
2.It must be real, right now, in the present moment.
3.Use all of your senses.
Actively engage what it feels, tastes, smells, sounds, and looks like to perform exactly as you would like to.
4.Use repetition and small doses.
Practice your visualization in small doses. Start out with 5 minutes. Stop. Then do it again for just 5 minutes. Try to increase your time to a maximum of 20 minutes, two to three times a day.
5.Use different perspectives.
Imagine seeing yourself perform through the lens of a camera. Try the zoom lens and the wide lens. See yourself from the front, the back, and the side. See it from your mind’s eye and as an observer.
6.Utilize your emotions
Feel your excitement, your pride, as you visualize your performance.
7.It’s time to be perfect
The best time to be a perfectionist is in your visualization. See yourself performing perfectly.
8.Use past successes to fuel and energize you.
Recall past successes. Recall the emotions, your senses to energize and build your confidence.
9.Incorporate affirmations
Utilize positive self-talk. Repeat affirmations to yourself.
10.Practice, practice, practice.
Like any skill the more you practice, the better you become.