Ever saw the mighty elephant being tied with a simple rope / chain to a bamboo fence and wondered what stops him from breaking free with all the power he has? 

Many times you would have felt to let go of your shackles and break free too, but you simply could not! 

Why? These are Limiting Beliefs or Imagined Constraints

A limiting belief or imagined constraint is something which we believe to be true about ourselves, others or the world. These could limit us by not letting us make the right choices, decisions or let opportunities that come our way pass. These beliefs are formed through our past direct experiences. We act, something happens, and we draw conclusions. Such beliefs can be helpful, but they can also be very limiting. here are some examples of limiting beliefs:

  1. I don’t have the ability to compete with my key competitor as they have more money.
  2. My team is not good enough to sell in this market.
  3. I will not try anything new as If I fail in this task people will not trust me with any other job 
  4. If I share my challenges at work with my boss he will use it to deny me promotion / increment.
  5. I cannot trust my peers because I’ve been betrayed by someone before…

We all have a perspective or a lens with which we view the world based on our previous experiences and this perspective is what we use to make meaning of any event or situation. Perspective is a point of view; a way of looking at or interpreting a set of events. So while we cannot always change our circumstances; we can choose to change our perspective at any time.

REFRAMING is one of the effective techniques used by successful people to overcome limiting beliefs and achieve breakthrough results. So what is Reframing ?  

Reframing is seeing the current situation from a different perspective or in a different light. Reframing is an important technique because it helps us in problem solving, decision making, learning, embrace new ideas and most importantly; keep moving … 

Reframing normally involves changing the mindset to an empowering or a positive one to see through the situation or challenges in varied ways to deal with them. 

Whenever we feel that that we are unable to make headway in any situation or find a solution to a given problem, consider using the following questions to help find a solution to the limiting beliefs listed out above: 

  1. What other advantages do I have other than money? Product, Quality, Price, Relationships and so on. What actions can I take to get the best out of them?
  2. How do I train and coach my team so that they can excel in this challenging market?
  3. Is there a possibility of gaining first mover advantage with a new or innovative product? 
  4. How can I seek coaching or guidance from my boss so that I can overcome the challenges I am facing at work?
  5. If one of the peers has betrayed my trust in the past, how can I learn from that experience and find more supportive and trustworthy peers?.

Breaking up the problem in small parts is another way of trying to look beyond the obvious bottleneck as solving smaller parts may become lot easier. This will help you to experiment with new ways of doing things, questioning and learning new skills and allowing yourself to experience and reflect. What next? Ask yourself more questions- : “If I can do this, what else is possible? Can I try to now solve the next complex part of the larger challenge”

It is said that in any problem or issue that you face 10% impact is due to the situation and 90% impact is due to the way you react to the situation. Reframing helps us move towards a positive mindset so that we respond to the situation with the mindset of finding solutions.


Author:

RAJIV MISRA

R Square Consultancy