When I first saw this video of the flees in a jar it had a profound impact on me. It reiterated a lot of the material I had been reading about regarding beliefs and specifically limiting beliefs. We are all like the flees in a jar and to one degree or another we accept the status quo to a certain extent picking up our main beliefs about life and what we are capable of from our parents and those closest to us.
When we are small we have a lot of ideas which can easily be knocked out of us by ‘grown ups’ telling us what we can or cannot expect to achieve from life. It’s not that they are deliberately undermining our potential, just that they are sharing their own beliefs about themselves and what they have accepted as ‘reality’. We accept what they tell us and limit ourselves by adopting their beliefs – much like the offspring of the flees in the jar who accept they cannot jump/fly beyond the limit of the jar’s ceiling. But even when the lid has been removed the flees behavior remains the same. Their habits have set a parameter for how they will live their lives. This is very similar to how people operate. They accept the reality of their lives and don’t move out of their comfort zone. ‘That’s just the way things are’ – they tell themselves.
When working through the blueprint which has been drawn up by Jay and Stuart of SFM (join their 7 day boot-camp video series here), one of the exercises was to fill out a form which had the last 10 years of income and assets in your life. It was quite an eye opener for me and I realized that even though I had changed jobs and careers many times over the last 10 years I was maintaining my lifestyle and my salary didn’t really change, nor did my assets. I was shuffling along hoping for things to change when my barometer for income was set far too low.
It was an exercise which stays with me today. The point of it was to show that if your self image is set at a certain limit, how can you change your life if you constantly undermine your efforts with a negative or self deprecating self image? If your self image is that of someone who is hard done by and ‘poor me’ and even broke, achieving success threatens our self image and we self sabotage our efforts for success, therefore maintaining our self image and our model of the world remains intact. What the exercise showed me was that you can’t grow beyond your self image.
Â So how can we change?
So if we are ‘stuck’ with some beliefs about ourselves and the world which hold us back, how can we change and create a better life for ourselves? Phobias are irrational fears which are often the result of a traumatic experience in childhood. When the event which created the fear is brought to the attention of the person suffering from it through hypnosis, simply through the new conscious awareness of the event, often the irrational fear will subside as it can now be rationalized. By becoming more aware of how our own minds operate we can open up to making new choices and decisions – simply by being aware of our own unconscious pattern of behavior.
Here’s a great exercise for finding our some of our limiting beliefs:
1. Write down a list of goals and dreams which you would like to manifest in your life. Really go to town and try to think up some of the dreams you had earlier in your life.
2. Next to each one write down why you haven’t achieved it yet. These might be things like ‘I can’t afford it’, ‘my partner wouldn’t let me’, ‘I’m too old/young’, ‘broke’ etc.
3. Next to each ‘excuse’ write down something which is more positive and softens the ‘can’t do attitude’ or the negative belief. This might be something like: ‘I can make it happen if I really want it’, ‘I can save up the money if I put my mind to it’, ‘I may not be able to do that yet, but I can learn’ or something like that.
4. Whenever you hear yourself say one of your excuses either to yourself or someone else, remind yourself of the new positive comment instead. Become aware that it is our constant thinking and reinforcing of our attitudes which holds us where we are. We have taken a long time in building our attitudes so change may take time.
Notice when you get your excuses out and pay attention to how you talk about yourself. Our excuses to ourselves about an aspect of our lives with which we are unhappy are often clues to our own limiting beliefs in this area. Notice your self talk and the things you say to others in this area and take the appropriate action. Change might not happen straight away but if you stick with it anything is possible!
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