One of the things I’ve done a lot of work on in my life, and with my clients, is to identify where we may hold beliefs in our subconscious that are not congruent with what we want to create. I call these limiting beliefs. Often outside of our conscious awareness, they are constantly at play sending messages that may hold you back, keep you playing small, feel unworthy or undeserving, people pleasing…you get the idea!
I remember the first time I had a really visceral experience of this. I was in an online class where we were working with manifesting our desires. The instructors took us through a guided visualization to imagine what we wanted to create in our lives that would be in line with our life purpose.
I immediately had an image of myself on stage, in front of hundreds (maybe thousands) of people, sharing my wisdom and my humor, having a blast, completely at ease and managing the energy in the room like a champ!
It felt awesome!!!
After a few minutes of holding the image, feeling the sensations, and embodying the experience we were directed to let the image go and complete this phrase with the first thing that came to our minds.
The phrase was,” I can’t be, do or have that because…”
Since I had done similar exercises before, I thought my response would be one of the common ones I hear in my work, “I’m not worthy” or “I don’t have enough experience” or some similar thought.
I TOTALLY DID NOT EXPECT WHAT POPPED INTO MY MIND.
I very clearly heard the words “I can’t play with the big boys.”
The obvious interpretation of this would be that, at that time, the overwhelming majority of “experts” in personal development, Law of Attraction and spirituality were men: Bob Proctor, Wayne Dyer, Joe Vitale, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker and more. So, on that level, this thought made sense.
But there’s another interpretation that is much more personal, and likely much more deeply embedded in my subconscious mind. That is, I grew up with 6 brothers, 5 of them older than me.
Can you imagine how many times, as a girl growing up in a household of older brothers, I heard some version of “Cathy, you can’t do what the boys are doing OR you can’t go with the boys” OR, more generally, “girls can’t (or don’t) do that.”
My parents weren’t being mean or punishing, they were simply pointing out the age and gender restrictions that were appropriate to my age, safety considerations or social beliefs about what girls and boys can do, at that time.
I was FLOORED when I got that message. Somewhere, deep down in my subconscious, there it was.
And it felt TRUE.
This belief that I couldn’t “do what the boys were doing” was only able to come into my awareness after I’d cleared away the more “surface” objections of my ego, such as being deserving, worthy, smart enough, etc.
I’ve included a similar guided imagery to go along with this post. I hope you’ll have a listen and then complete the prompt, “I can’t be, do or have that because…”
I’d love to hear from you what limiting belief you’ve uncovered for yourself.
CLICK HERE for the audio.
This “AH-HA” moment is the awareness that you’ll need to begin doing the inner work of healing and transforming that old pattern.
Awareness is the first step.
The next steps of healing and integrating new, healthier ways of thinking and behaving take time and commitment. Over the years I’ve been witness to how powerful this work is, especially when facilitated by a compassionate, non-judgmental and skilled professional.
If you’re ready to create awareness and then drop into the deeper work of transformation and integration, please reach out to me through email or this link.