Many of the solo professionals I work with are stuck, and that stuck place (often a limiting belief) is hurting their personal and/or business life. It's my job to find the stuck place and help that person see the down-stream effects of staying stuck. Sometimes, one experience can impact and confine us in ways we don't even realize until an “outsider” points it out.
Let's consider Patty, who had an asthma attack when she was 10 years old after being near some cigar smoke. (This is not a made up story, by the way.) Patty never wanted that to happen again. The feeling of her throat closing up and her muscles straining for oxygen scared Patty, as it would most of us. Way back then, something in herself or in her environment pointed Patty into fear that never has been let go of. She could have been scared over the asthma attack but, with reassurance, let it go. Instead, Patty set out to control her environment and make sure that never happened to her ever again.
By the time Patty was 16, she had opted out of summer camps for fear of being around camp fire smoke. At 17, she decided not to take her senior trip because she knew some of her class would sneak a smoke on the back of the bus. In college, she didn't join a sorority and she roomed alone, fearful that she would be around sorority sisters who would smoke.
By the time Patty was 30, she had limited herself from ever wearing perfumes, ever having fresh flowers or live plants of any kind in her home, or using candles. Her limiting belief that she would have another asthma attack had spread from fear of smoke to fear of any odor at all, good or bad. Her constant statement was that she was “highly allergic” and had to stay away from people, places, and things that might set off an asthma attack. By now, that attack was 20 years old, but the limiting belief that she could control it ever happening again paralyzed her.
Patty is smart. She earned a college degree and then got a Master's degree. But she studied for her Master's online and at home, for fear of being out in the world. She worked for a small firm for many years, limiting her income, because she knew that the other 3
people would cater to her fears, agreeing to forego fresh flowers, perfume, smoking.
I could go on with this story, for Patty is now almost 60 years old and I still see the many ways she has limited her income and her personal life with the limiting belief that smelling any odor at all will set off another attack. She has lived her life for 50 years in fear of something that happened only once, and in the belief that she can control it ever happening again.
Maybe you are shaking your head in disbelief. The thing is that we ALL do this. Perhaps we limit ourselves in more subtle, less dramatic ways. But then again, perhaps not. Here's a quick exercise for you. Sit down right now and list out all the things you have passed on in your business, for fear they would not work out. Give yourself five full minutes to really think about the things you've said no to, and why. I'd bet if you shared this list with a friend or your biz coach you'd realize that your past experiences have limited your current success in ways that you never even realized! The question for you today is this…..how has refusing to let go of old experiences and beliefs cost you money?
In a few weeks, I'm interviewing neuroscientist Sandi Smith, who is an expert at seeing how our fears block our fortunes. You are welcome to join in on the call, to register (it's free) click here.