How your limiting beliefs can create your reality...

...And in turn impact on your potential

A couple of weeks ago I made this....

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Now I know this isn’t Facebook, and I’m not writing on here to boast, although I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself. The truth is however, that I very nearly didn’t allow myself the opportunity to do this because of the limiting beliefs I hold about myself.

I am not artistically creative in anyway, I believe that 100% (well maybe 98% after this effort). I have grown up knowing and seeing the evidence that I can’t draw, I’m no good at art, I’m not particularly musical and the thought of doing any kind of crafts fills me with dread, even my handwriting is messy! As a result, for as long as I can remember I have held the belief that, although I have many skills that I'm really proud of, I'm not an artistically creative person, that’s just not a talent I have and that’s okay.

But then my daughter told me she wanted a rainbow unicorn cake for her 5th birthday and she wanted me to make it! I tried to talk her round by suggesting how lovely it might be to have someone professional make one for her, and when that didn’t work showed her all the other (simpler) cakes she could have; but no, she wanted that, and she wanted me to make it.

So, I reluctantly found a recipe and set out. My adrenaline was racing for most of the 6 (yes 6!) hours it took to bake each of the 4 different coloured layers, ice, and decorate it. But then as I sat back and looked at my creation, even more so when I saw her face when she saw it, I felt the most incredible sense of pride and achievement. 

It turns out that maybe I am just a bit creative in more ways than I thought, or at least I have the potential to be if the stakes are high enough (and they couldn’t be any higher than having your work critiqued by a bunch of 5-year olds). But up until this point I had let the limiting belief I hold about myself become my reality, and this in turn then meant that I wouldn’t ever question or test it, it was just how it was, out of my control, and there was nothing I could do about it.

If we take this further, how many other areas could this apply to? How many times are we potentially not putting ourselves forward for opportunities, not trying things or even avoiding situations because our limiting beliefs have created the reality for ourselves where we believe wholeheartedly that we just can’t?

How many new opportunities and possibilities could therefore be open to us if we challenged that reality, and those beliefs, and tried it anyway? If, perhaps, we replaced them instead with a new belief, one for example that says that with effort, practice and determination, we could achieve them?

What could be possible then I wonder….?

Naomi Regan is a Professional Coach obsessed with enabling, equipping and empowering new, emerging and returning leaders and their organisations.

Naomi Regan