What (Tired, Old) Stories Are You Holding On To?

When my business coach walked us through an exercise designed to get us thinking about limiting beliefs, I resisted the whole thing.

We were asked to pay attention to how we talked about our businesses and about what was possible.

Anytime we told old stories about what we couldn’t do or why something wouldn’t work, we were to write it down, and toss that paper into a little “trash” can. Later, we’d study those stories and look for themes.

I didn’t expect to have any. In fact, I almost didn’t put anything in that little can at all.

But eventually, I did. And what I wrote, sure enough, revealed a pattern I’d never noticed before.

It was a lie I’ve been telling myself for years.

See, I run two different businesses, both of which have completely transformed over the past 18 months or so.

At Cove Mountain Counseling, my income is more predictable, hours more manageable, and I’m working with clients who are totally committed to their own growth. I’ve always loved what I do, but today, things are better than ever.

In the Courage Academy, I coach and mentor entrepreneurs as they find their brave and build their businesses. This, too, is powerful work that changes lives.

Just yesterday, one of my clients wrote in as she shared a long list of happy victories: “This stuff really works!”  She’s only been in the Courage Academy for a month and is already seeing measurable success.

(I’ll admit – I clapped and laughed out loud when I read that one!)

But with each new level of growth, and success, there are always going to be challenges.

And my business is no different.

For instance, I know that it’s time to clean up some of the backstage systems and processes that I have in place.

I know it’s time to strengthen strategic planning, linking all the parts to a comprehensive whole. Momentum is picking up, and I want to be ready for the growth that is on the horizon.

So, when one of my little scraps of paper said, “I don’t do word problems”, that theme jumped right out at me. The truth is, I have used this little ‘joke’ for a long time as a kind of shorthand.

It means, “I can’t handle a complicated, abstract picture with multiple moving parts.

It means, “If it’s too complex, I am probably not the best one for figuring out the solution.

And – true confession here –  I’ve used it to tell myself I can’t handle the growing complexity of my own business.

Only, that’s baloney.

In fact, working through a complicated abstract picture with multiple moving parts is EXACTLY what I do with my clients – all of my clients, in both businesses.

In fact, finding a way through the fog towards a clear, desired outcome is one of the best ways I help them reach their goals!

So I’ve been lying to myself all this time.

But no more. I’m done with that. :)

And I’m watching out for other lies I may have told myself as well.

Are you telling yourself stories that really aren’t true?

Do you ever catch yourself saying, “well that would never work with my business because…

Or, “I’m not nearly smart enough to do that….” Or, “Other people can do that, but I don’t think I ever could…

Or any number of other (tired, old) stories about why you can’t be the magnificent success you are totally meant to be.

Pay attention to the jokes you tell about yourself. Watch the negative thoughts and words you toss without thinking.

Notice them, name them. And nullify them before they hold you back a minute longer.

Don’t let them steal your strength, or your success.

Photo Credit: Lisa Brewster  on Flickr



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