Working as a coach every day and helping people to reconnect with their natural talents, I often see how our beliefs can hold us back and prevent us from achieving true satisfaction and happiness. Most of the time, beliefs start from our childhood, and sometimes just one comment is enough for us to start believing something about ourselves that has no basis in fact.
Petra Bock in the book “MindFuck”, refers to beliefs as internal obstacles, or thoughts and beliefs that slow down and hinder our progress. In other words, it is our inner voice – a dialogue with ourselves that manifests itself as limitation or criticism. In person’s head is a parallel world with a whole belief system and an internal language that uses its own logic and wording. This parallel world shows what a person thinks about themself, the world and life in their subconscious.
In order to transform beliefs, it is important to feel what it is that we have been telling ourselves to be true, and then formulate a new supporting belief. Start by identifying what is actually holding you back, what you believe and accept as truth. Play with wording, first put your finger on the belief that is holding you back and then formulate a new belief for yourself that supports you and that seems true. Trust yourself in this process. You will definitely recognize the correct wording! Below are the five most frequently occurring beliefs that I encounter on a daily basis as a Gallup strengths coach, maybe you’ll recognize yourself somewhere?
#1 Belief – I have to be good at everything
This is the belief I see the most. We have already been taught this way at school – there must be great grades in all subjects. But the truth is, if you’re good at everything, you’re not great at anything. Just as companies make strategic choices, we as people must decide whether to focus on developing our weaknesses or instead amplify our strengths. Gallup has studied strengths-focused teams and individuals and found that by developing our natural talents we can become great, but by developing our weaknesses we can only become mediocre. What are your natural talents? What makes you lose track of time? What activities and situations give you energy and strength? Once you understand where your natural talents lie, focus on them and replace the old belief with a new supportive belief: I am good at certain areas and that carries me.
Belief #2 – I have no special talents.
I often hear from people that, well, I do not have any talents. I am an ordinary Estonian person and I have no special talents. However, it is true that we are all talented, but only a few have realized and admitted it. Why is it like that? We are modest and often blind to simple things. Our human nature likes to overcomplicate things, and if innate talent is our most natural way of behaving, thinking and communicating, how can it be a talent? But it can and is! Follow yourself for two weeks and write down which activities give and take energy, and you will get a lot of clues about what is natural to you and what is not. Once you have identified your talents, use them with pride and change your belief: My natural talents are…
Belief #3 – Results will only come if you work hard
As Estonians, suffering is in our blood, we like to work hard and suffer, for example by working long hours and hoping that the expected salary increase will eventually come. Once you have named your natural talents, then their development takes place very organically and you do not perceive it as an effort. It is enough to raise awareness and set the focus, and the rest will come naturally. And it’s worth developing your natural talents, because according to Gallup research, people who work in their strengths zone are three times happier and six times more committed to their work. A new supporting belief could sound like this: I accept and take myself as I am, I am satisfied and happy that I am just the way I am!
Belief #4 – You have to accept what is
For example, you feel like an outsider at work, your activities do not bring you pleasure and your colleagues do not inspire you, but you have a strong belief that you have to accept what is and not always want better. There are certainly situations where this is true, but there are also situations where you have to make bold decisions and find a more suitable environment for yourself. However, for such leaders, belief can become an obstacle and a limitation, why we do not make the necessary decisions. Start with yourself and understand what suits you and what doesn’t, what your talents are and what you don’t have, and then it will be easier to make the necessary and informed decisions about where and how to proceed.
I wish you good luck in discovering your natural talents! You can be supported by the Gallup Strengths Finder test and by coaching sessions.