A plant can be limited by a pot that’s too small. In the same way, self-imposed limiting beliefs can restrict your growth and development.
People need a big container—a mind that is open—to grow. A small container—limited thinking—inhibits the ability to receive and learn new information. In order to succeed, you must develop the right mindset to enlarge your container so that you can fill it with new information, skills, and possibilities.
For example, I recently worked with a coaching client who was trying to figure out if she had what it took to go after a VP position. During our coaching sessions, she expressed a lack of self-confidence along with other assumed constraints. The client doubted herself—and her negative thoughts were limiting her possibilities.
I coached my client to take a second look at her beliefs. Were they accurate? I also asked her to identify supportive beliefs that could lead her toward her goal.
Thinking it through, she realized she did have the experience and the transferable skills to step into a VP role. As far as steps she could take to address specific areas where she needed work, my client identified two executives she would ask to be her mentors.
During our coaching journey, I observed a shift in my client’s mindset. She went from a negative feeling about herself to a positive, confident attitude regarding her capabilities to move into a VP role. She could see a personal vision for herself and the steps required to become a VP. The size of my client’s internal container was expanding as she considered ways to absorb new knowledge, skills, and behaviors. She was on her way to pursuing her goal!
How about you? Do you need a little extra room to grow? Here are three tips for changing your mindset and enlarging your container:
- Question your assumed constraints. What are you assuming is true about your current capabilities or about the situation? Re-examine your reality, experiences, and capabilities. Reflect on what is causing you to hesitate.
- Examine your mindset. Which of your beliefs is causing self-imposed limits and an unsupportive attitude? Change your internal talk from negative and cynical to positive and encouraging. Recognize you have a choice!
- Reshape your outlook with a specific vision. Where are you headed? Identify a clear and precise goal. Create an action plan. Commit to the challenge of accomplishing the goal.
Don’t let a limited internal container stifle your possibilities. Remember, your thoughts drive your behavior. Open your mind and create a bigger container—one with room for new information and skills—and a positive mindset to succeed!
About the Author
Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.