Are you setting your own limits to success?

March 2022

I know it sounds crazy, but why would someone create their own barriers to success?

Although you may not want this, believe it or not, many of us are doing this on the unconscious level. Self-sabotage and limiting beliefs are some of the main reasons why someone doesn't reach their goals, their wishes and ultimately their dreams. 

What is a limiting belief? A limiting belief is something that you believe to be true, that restricts your ability to move forward, or prevents you from moving towards something you desire. Many of these beliefs have been taught to us in the past - by society, media, teachers, friends and even our parents. Not all of these beliefs are passed down to us with ill intentions - in fact, many of them are based on the other person's belief systems and even fears. 

For example, a parent who constantly tells their child that they're lazy, in the hopes that they will clean up their act, probably won't get the result they want. Instead, the child will have the reinforced thinking that they're lazy (or not being good enough) that this will carry on with them through their adult years. It may further manifest as low self-esteem and become engrained in their thinking patterns. This in turn may become an unconscious belief that they aren't good enough and prevent them from obtaining the life that they want, possibly in the form of their relationships, their health or even their finances.

The other day, one of my children asked me a random question. He asked me, "Mum, if you lived alone, would you have a table with one chair, or two?" I took a moment to think about it, partly because I was wondering why he would ask such a random question. But I finally responded, "I would have two chairs - even if I didn't use the other, it would be good to have one in case someone came over or if I wanted to eventually not be on my own."

The following day I was setting up for my weekly meditation group. I had been running the sessions in this location for nearly eight months now and had a lovely small group of regular attendees. Prior to this group, I had another one in a nearby location and it was also a nice group of six to eight people. I wondered why there seemed to be a magic number of six people, and sometimes slightly more. In fact, for many of the sessions, it would be a different set of six people each time, and I actually laughed to myself, thinking that the place would actually be full if they all turned up at once!

As I was setting up the chairs, it reminded me of the question my son had asked me the day before. For the past few weeks, I had started to set fewer chairs in the room, anticipating the smaller number of people. I was setting my own expectation that this was the norm and I didn't realise that I was limiting my audience by limiting my beliefs around how many I thought would turn up.

And so I consciously decided to set out a few more chairs, knowing that it didn't necessarily mean that more would turn up that day. But knowing that in my mind, by setting out fewer chairs, I was setting up my own limiting belief of how many people would come. 

And so from now on, I'm going to set out more chairs - because my intention and my goal is to grow this wonderful meditation group. And when you do decide to do anything at all, I want you to remember what you want to achieve, and align all of your actions to reaching it - set out the number of chairs you want to have, not the number that you may expect or need for the moment.

P.S. And always listen to your children - lessons often come in clever ways - you just need to learn how to hear them ;)